Last month, Google’s founders announced that they would be creating a new company called Alphabet. They described Alphabet as a “group of companies” that would include Google, YouTube, Android and Chrome as well as a few of their lesser known ventures such as Life Sciences, Calico and Wing.
The restructure so far has meant very little for the ‘look and feel’ of Alphabet’s subsidiaries, until now. Yesterday came the announcement that Google has a brand new logo. Compared to Facebook’s latest logo change, this rebrand is blindingly obvious.
The typeface has changed from a serif wordmark to a sans-serif one, giving the logo a more modern look (this is like changing from Times New Roman to Helvetica). The typeface was designed by Google and is called Product Sans; not only is it more scalable than its predecessor, it is also a lot ‘lighter’. The previous logo was 14,000 bytes, the new one weighs in at just 304 bytes.
The iconic blue, red, yellow and green remain, however each colour has been slightly tweaked. Everything’s a little brighter, making the design more playful and fresh.
Google have also added new icons – a capital ‘G’ to replace the existing lowercase icon, a microphone as well as animated ‘loading’ and ‘listening’ icons for voice search.
In an unexpected move from such a large company, they have also released an image that shows a few of the designs that didn’t quite make the cut. Looking at the various different designs, we can guess that the words ‘flat’, ‘colourful’ and ‘modern’ were thrown around a lot during each brainstorming session.
Why does this matter?
Although this doesn’t affect the functionality of search, or how we optimise sites for search engines, it’s part of further acknowledgement by Google that brands should be present on (and optimised for) a wide range of devices.
We are all multi-device consumers. We Google the weather on our tablets in the morning, use Gmail on our desktops during the day and get directions to dinner in the evening (most likely with the help of the Google Maps app on our phone!).
In yesterday’s blog post, Google indicated that the rebrand is geared for modern technology, and that the new visual identity is adaptable across a range of devices, apps and Google products.
“These days, people interact with Google products across many different platforms, apps and devices—sometimes all in a single day.” – Google
Google have noted that we will start to see the new identity rolled out across the web over the next few days. We definitely don’t envy the team in charge of the change – we can’t even begin to imagine how many buildings, web pages, icons and apps would have had to be updated (and how much Google merchandise would have been thrown out!).
You might be wondering, “What does this mean for me?” As an everyday user of Google’s products, not much. However, if you’re a business owner and your online presence isn’t optimised for multi-device use, it might be time for a refresh. Even Google’s doing it!
You can watch the rebrand video below, and make sure you check out the new Doodle on their homepage.