Every day when I open up Google Chrome, I am greeted with the google homepage by default and a version of the ever-changing Google logo. It’s clean, simple and just does what you need it to, probably why it’s been my search engine of choice since the mid-90’s. As a lover of all things ‘type’, I tend to really look at typography, focusing on the little aspects that make it interesting.
The version of the Google logo below, which adorned the homepage in 1997 now shows it’s age. The once-trendy drop-shadow was for many designers the easiest way to show depth, especially alongside the slight bevelled type. According to wikipedia : “The exclamation mark was added, mimicking the Yahoo! logo.” I’m not sure why.
In 1999, this was updated with a new font (Catull BQ if anyone is interested) and minus the exclamation mark. The colour scheme remained, although tweaked subtly.
Cut to 2011. Google has grown to be one of the most recognised names and entered everyday language — “I don’t know what Inkbot Design is, I’m gonna’ google it.” Not only is it a search engine, it has countless internet-based web applications, an upcoming OS and are key to development with the Android system for mobile phones. But, I don’t need to tell you that, because you probably use them anyway.
They gave their logo a redesign in 2010 to try to bring it up to date. The drop-shadow was all but removed, the colours were redone to add less contrast, and the yellow is most noticeably now a deeper tone. I do think it’s a lot better, but my main annoyances lie within the font itself. The sharp serifs are too sharp, both the capital and lowercase letter “G”’s look awkward and the letter “l” seems top-heavy. Ironically, the sharp serifs get a little lost when viewed on-screen at 72dpi.
When the homepage popped up today I decided to have a go at a little Google logo redesign myself. I am well aware that this has probably been done before, by better logo designers with more experience, but I don’t care. Obviously this is just an experiment, and something that interests me — I have not been contacted by google to do this. Although, if anyone high up in the corporation comes across this page, I am more than happy to give them a quote!
Leaving the Catull BQ font to one side, I began scouring my font collection to see what could work. Calluna regular instantly caught my eye as having similarities to the existing look with thicker serifs and a better looking “g”.
As for the colours, I tried to keep them as similar as possible, but lightened the yellow back toward a brighter tone reminiscent of how it was before the 2010 re-do.
The current logo’s designer Ruth Kedar said, “We ended up with the primary colors, but instead of having the pattern go in order, we put a secondary color on the L, which brought back the idea that Google doesn’t follow the rules.”
Google Logo Redesign — Update January 2012.
After reading the comments I came back to this post in January 2012 with an update. The changes I made regarding the loss of the gradient and the drop-shadow I think are appropriate, but lose some of the Google-feel that are still inherent in the current design. My changes were subtle but I feel they add a little depth back to where it was arguably lacking.
Let me know what you think anyway, I appreciate any feedback, positive or negative — does my Google logo redesign add or detract from the Google brand?
Originally published at inkbotdesign.com on July 27, 2011.