Branding Google


September 2015 By Brian Heffron

 

Few will argue that Google is one of the most important brands in the world. The company is much more than its eponymous search engine. From Android phones and YouTube to Nest and self-driving cars, Google never stops thinking or growing. But its innovation hasn’t touched its own branding for a very long time. Until yesterday when it unveiled its first logo refresh in 16 years.

So we asked a few folks across our agency what they thought. As is the case with what other experts had to say, the opinions are largely favorable.

  • It’s about time! Given the nature of their services, multi-device consideration is paramount. They’ve nailed down great design standards for their browser and apps (mail, drive, docs, sheets, etc) that look great across platforms, and now they have a logo to match. – Jonathan Schoeck, Senior Digital Art Director
  • Ok, Google. Does anyone even know you have a logo? Between the apps, the mail, the drive and the doodles. It seems to evolve and animate on a daily basis. Seems like it’s almost more of a color palette than a typestyle. The colors are not unique in themselves. They are used by everyone from Microsoftto Sony Playstation to my kid’s pre-school. I guess at some point youhave to put something on the letterhead. Though I have a feeling Google uses very little paper. Evolve on– Mark Bappe, VP, Creative Director

  • As a writer I can’t ignore that you can spell LOGO using the four letters in the middle of their name. – Grant Pace, Partner, Executive Creative Director
  • From a design perspective, I suppose it’s a pretty predictable evolution. They’ve been simplifying, cleaning up the wordmark incrementally since they launched.  And, as a company that has diversified from search, how the identity extends into other areas of the business was an important consideration. I can understand why they’ve avoided a more wholesale, sophisticated redesign of the logo.  Google is continually trying to strike a tricky balance in its posture. They’re a global technology powerhouse, the world’s second largest company with massive and widening influence on consumer behavior. And yet they’ve always seen themselves as approachable, inventive, nimble and conscientious (remember that “Don’t be evil” was their founding motto). Which are they? With a reductive, cleaner font that retains the playful, child-like colors and simplistic design they’re hoping they can be perceived as both. – Steve Angel, VP, Director of Strategic Development​
  • They can do whatever they want – bless Google, the omnipresent organizer of my life. The video – and the animation of the “e” at the end:) – gave me chills. – Kara Day, Art Director​
  • Even the most iconic logos change more often than we tend to realize. Who noticed Facebook’s logo refresh this year? Google’s new look is so fresh that its predecessor suddenly seems old and clunky. And its flexibility and various forms suit the broadened business that Google has become. This is not your father’s search company. – Mark Fredrickson, Managing Director, Technology Practice​​​​
  • They could almost do anything to the logo and as long as the rainbow colors stay, it will be recognizable. Everyone has jumped on the bandwagon with sans serif — not surprising Google did it as well. Wonder if serif fonts will ever come back in fashion?  – Alison McCarthy, SVP, Director of Account Management
  • It definitely reflects a younger, fresh company with endless possibilities. But I think it’s also their attempt to look more friendly and approachable. Google has had problems with being perceived as a “big brother” of sorts, collecting information on our behaviors, discretely filtering our news streams, and fostering an air of mystery surrounding certain projects (Google X). The unknown is scary, especially in our increasingly digital world. The new Google logo just wants to be our friend. They want us to stop thinking of them as a powerful, all-knowing, discreet influencer of everything we do. Can a logo fix all of this? No. But it’s a step. – Natalie Rizk, PR Senior Account Executive

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