Introducing Google, the iconic search engine, is like introducing water to someone. It is probably the most famous platform people worldwide know at such a large scale throughout human history.
However, not many of us know the story of Google’s logo. Why is it the way it is, what it stands for, and how it became this way? Answering all these questions can give unique insights into the design process of the world’s largest tech company.
If you’re curious to explore the mystery behind Google’s logo, keep on reading. We are going to discuss the Google logo, its evolution, and the design elements that make it instantly recognizable.
Evolution of Google Logo
Here’s a look at the evolution of the Google logo from its inception throughout the years.
1996: The Beginning
You might be surprised to learn that the first-ever logo for the search engine we call Google today was not named “Google.” Instead, the founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin named the search engine “BackRub” initially.
This name represented the fact that the search engine scrolled through various internet backlinks to give you the desired results. However, they felt that the name could be better. Therefore, they changed it to “Google” in almost a year.
1998: The First Google Logo
Google’s first official log was designed in 1998. The logo featured a title case with red, green, blue, or yellow letters. The font was Baskerville Bold.
There was also a blue exclamation mark at the end, which stayed there for some time. It was to replicate or mimic Yahoo! ‘s logo at that time.
1999-2010: Iconic Designs by Ruth Kedar
By 1999, Google had gained a lot of popularity as the go-to search engine. At this point, Brin and Page decided to rebrand the logo. They met Ruth Kedar, a Stanford assistant professor, through a mutual friend. She created a few prototypes that became the precursor to the current Google logo.
She experimented with different colors and quirky shapes, such as interlocking Os. Initially, she added a magnifying glass, but the founders thought it was visually overwhelming.
As Kedar refined the logo, she eliminated the quirky elements and made the letters more noticeable with bolder outlines and pronounced shadows.
However, the final design most accurately described and represented what the founders had in mind. This final design had random colored letters such as blue, light blue, purple, green, yellow, and red.
The second O in this logo slanted towards the first O. Overall, the logo was slightly eccentric without being excessive to represent the company’s image of being one-of-a-kind. This logo was also the closest to the modern Google logo.
2015: The Modernization of Google’s Logo
In 2015, Google decided to revamp its logo and gathered various design experts in New York from different cities. The goal of the week-long meeting was to come up with a new logo and brand image for the superstar search engine.
The first change was seen in the font and style of the letters. The font chosen this time was called Product Sans. It was an entirely new inscription based on a sans-serif typeface made exclusively for Google.
The second change was made in the slanting second “O.” It was replaced with a regular O that was in line with the first one. During this meeting, Google also made different logo variations for platforms such as Google Maps, Play Store, etc.
Even though the final logo retained its colorful nature, the colors were limited to Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow.
Elements of Google Logo
So, this was Google Logo’s history. Let’s move to different design elements of the Google logo, such as color, font, icon, etc.
The versatility of the Google Logo
The most recent rendition of Google’s logo and its distinctive design elements are intentionally dynamic. This is to keep Google’s brand image intact over different platforms and services while also adapting to limited spaces.
For example, when we use Google’s voice search feature on a smartphone, we see the instantly recognizable RGBY dots bouncing as Google waits for you to complete your query.
The dots soon shift into an equalizer when you’re done speaking, as the equalizer moves when it’s looking for an answer to your query. Designers at Google have given the brand a full range of expressions no matter the activity.
This is to make the brand identity stick in people’s minds whenever they use a service or product by Google.
Google Logo Colors
Today, the color Google uses for its logo represents the ecosystem of Google’s products and services and the brand’s visual identity. For example, if you find these colors together somewhere, you’ll instantly relate them to Google, even if it is unrelated.
It means that the particular shade and the order in which they are arranged represent something more than what meets the eye. The colors are also easy on the eyes and give the image of a user-friendly and energetic brand.
Here are the hex codes and RGB codes for the colors in the Google logo today:
- Blue: Hex: #4285F4; RGB: (66, 133, 244)
- Red: Hex: #EA4335 RGB: (234, 67, 53)
- Yellow: Hex: #FBBC05, RGB: (251, 188, 5)
- Green: Hex: #34A853; RGB: (52, 168, 83)
The choice of these colors intentionally positions Google as an out-of-the-box company that is always creative, transformative, efficient, and advanced.
Google Logo Font
In 2015, Google shifted from the old serif typeface Catull to a newer, custom, and exclusive sans-serif typeface called Product Sans. This font was specifically made for Google to be bolder and more geometric. It is also more pixel-friendly and is used across Google’s ecosystem.
The font also plays a role in making the brand subconsciously recognizable. In fact, it becomes more recognizable when the font is exclusively used only by one brand. Using Product Sans font gives Google a catchy, minimalistic, and user-friendly look.
Symbols & Icons
With the revamp of the Google logo in 2015, the tech giant also decided to create a uniform brand identity across all platforms. It meant updating Google’s logo across different products and services and including the latest changes, such as the Product Sans font, RGBY color palette, and a more simplistic design.
As a result, we now have a whole rostrum of Google icons and symbols consistent with its overall brand identity and image. This includes things like:
- Google Plus Logo
- Google Play Logo
- Google Drive Logo
- Google Maps Logo
- Google Analytics
- Google AdWords
- And more…
Google White Emblems
The company uses “Google White Emblems” during times of tragedy and emergency. It is a clean, white, and colorless logo on a black background. The font is the same, and the logo is meant to tone down the “excited” and “energetic” appearance to a more somber one.
Google Doodles are the search engine’s fun way to celebrate events like holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous people such as artists, scientists, leaders, and pioneers. Google customizes the logo on its main page to symbolize a special day or personality.
Google uses the geometric sans-serif typeface called Product Sans. This font was made in-house at Google. The company also uses the font across Google’s ecosystem and for the “Alphabet” logo.
The word Google is a play on the word “Googol,” which means a numerical value of 10 to the hundredth degree. It shows that Google has an almost infinite number of results to show when looking for information.
Learning how big companies and businesses invest so much time and resources into designing their logos is informative and generates new ideas. They treat it like a science as they know how important it is to establish the brand identity in the customer’s mind.