Google’s New Logo is Boring… and Brilliant

How do you redesign the logo of one of the single most recognised brands in the world?

Very, very carefully.

You can rest assured that companies like Alphabet (Google’s parent) don’t approach such things lightly. In fact it’s a pretty sure bet that this would have been a massive undertaking with a gazillion stakeholders, committees, workshops, draft designs, internal presentations, redesigns, consultations and reviews.

Which is why it turned out so vanilla right? Wrong.

The New Google Logo is Brilliant

It’s a poster child for the evolving-brand mantra that has rather sensibly been at the core of our industry for the better part of a century. So what have they done?

1. They kept the colours (kind of)

Colour order has been retained but the colours themselves are clearer, brighter and a touch more harmonious. This is critical to the new structure of the parent company and the underlying products as colour-branding of products has been part of Google’s strategy for years.

2. They went sans-serif

Even if you know zero about fonts and stuff (everybody knows SOMETHING now though don’t they?) you can see that this is an “update”. This is the bit most people will notice. Probably the only thing most people will notice.

It’s more fun. More human. A bit softer. A little playful. But really, for most people not a huge change. Not a new logo,

just the old logo updated. A bit boring.

3. They own the font

This is actually the brilliant part. Google have designed a new font for this rebrand. This is clever because everyone thinks they don’t notice, but we do.

Standing out is not the issue, there’s a million beautiful sans-serif fonts out there, surely we don’t need another one, but branding with type is an incredibly powerful tool that is used by some of the world’s biggest brands to great effect. It makes every communication speak with the same voice, and when you own the font, you own the voice. No-one else can talk exactly like you.

Think of any communication you’ve seen for Mercedes-Benz or Volvo in the last 10 years.

The only boring bit is the name: they called it Product Sans.

Which makes sense, but… you know…zzzz

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