After 16 years usage, Google is introducing a new logo today. The new logomark is the company’s first major branding update.
It will preserve the famous blue-red-yellow-blue-green-red color sequence of the original one (the green letter was thrown in to purposefully break up the primary color pattern, because Google isn’t your ordinary tech company), but will lose the old-style serif typeface. The new logo is simpler, younger, friendlier, and—dare we say—more visually in line with Alphabet, Google’s new holding company.
Just a month after unveiling a major restructuring of the company, Google is updating its image, too. The new Google logo is still a wordmark, but it’s now using a sans-serif typeface, making it look a lot more modern and playful. The colors are also softer than they used to be.
So why did Google decide to make the change? In a blog post, Google discusses how much technology has changed how we interact with its products and with the internet at large.
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It doesn’t really settle on a specific reason that a redesign was needed, but it says that this logo should better reflect the reality that Google is no longer a site you visit on a desktop computer — it’s a huge collection of sites, apps, and services that you visit on PCs, Chromebooks, smartphones, and anywhere you can find a web browser. Google writes that its new logo is meant to reflect “this reality and [show] you when the Google magic is working for you, even on the tiniest screens.”
Making the logo look good on small screens seems to have been a major consideration. The new, simpler lettering is supposed to scale better to smaller sizes, making the wordmark more distinct and easier to read.
It’s also supposed to be easier for Google to display on low-bandwidth connections: Google says that it’s made a version of its logo that’s “only 305 bytes, compared to our existing logo at ~14,000 bytes.” Given that one of new Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s big goals is to bring the internet — and Google, of course — to areas of the globe that don’t already have it, that small difference is definitely going to be an important one.