The Google rebrand - our initial thoughts

We’re sure you’ve noticed the new logo - not a day goes by when we don’t ‘Google’ something. That’s the mark of a good brand - that the name of the brand becomes a regularly-used word used generically for anything related to it. E.g. Biro = A ball point pen. Hoover = Vacuum. Google = An internet search.

How could you go about rebranding such a powerful, well known entity? Well, the guys at Google decided to give it a go, and it is still being rolled out as we type this. Our first thoughts? Well, to be honest, a bit ‘meh’.

We can see what they’re trying to do. Going from a serif to a sans serif font is a good way to modernise your brand - it also makes the logo seem less formal, more friendly. It looks cleaner, which would roll out well on smaller screens, perfect for today’s society constantly browsing the web on their tablets and smartphones. It’s a subtle change - they’ve stuck to the order of the colours and made them slightly softer, so the brand is still instantly recognisable. They’ve even kept the ‘e’ on the end at a slight slant.

The icon version of their logo is also different. It is now a singular, capital G which now represents the brand arguably better than the previous version due to the clearness of the font (after looking at the old icon for a while, the lower case ‘g’ looks less like a ‘g’ the more you look at it). It also includes all of the brand colours, which makes the brand more identifiable. This is important when the icon is made to occupy such a small space.

While all of this change sounds quite positive, for Google, we would have expected something with a little more ‘oomph’. While it is true, the new font is tidier, to some it could be construed as more infantile. For such a prestigious and important brand as Google, this is not something that you would want to be identified as and could be dangerous. Maybe the somewhat more professional-looking font in the logo’s previous iteration was a bit more suitable for this reason.

As we previously mentioned, we believe the new font also seems ‘friendlier’. However, the old Google logo was such a big part of our lives, seeing it every day and relying on the service that it represents so much, that the old logo was a bit like an old friend in itself that we had made over time, meaning that a new friendlier version maybe wasn’t necessary for such an established brand.

However, we mustn’t pass judgement too harshly. By all means it is not an ugly logo. It’s still in it’s early days, so we should give it time to grow on us a little more. Maybe we’ll be sold once we’ve seen it in it’s various different executions - on the other hand, perhaps the phrase, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ applies here. Only time will tell.

Here’s a video from Google itself promoting the rebrand. What do you think?

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The Two Sarahs, graphic design, Southampton