The intricate process of tweaking the iconic Google logo

September 3, 2015
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The Google search page is the most recognized web page in the world. From the onset, Co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin made it clear the Google home page would remain simple with the plain white background and the search input. That has remained consistent.

The only thing that has changed several times over the last 17 years is the logo. Google announced a new logo on Tuesday driven by the need to accommodate the changing technology landscape.

“These days, people interact with Google products across many different platforms, apps, and devices. You expect Google to help you whenever and wherever you need it, whether it’s on your mobile phone, TV, watch, the dashboard in your car, and yes, even a desktop,” said Tamar Yehoshua, VP, Product Management and Bobby Nath, Director of User Experience in a blog post.

Like the previous redesigns, the new logo is an iteration of the previous logo but Google went one step further to create three forms of the logo while keeping the philosophy of simplicity, uncluttered, colorful and friendly intact.

But creating something simple is complex, as Google’s Creative Lab and Material Design teams have shown. It has taken months of brainstorming, consultations, design hackathons and testing to finally release the final logo. Hundreds of designs were considered and rejected according to TNW.

Google identified four principles to stick to when creating the new logo; scalability, responsiveness, consistency and improving on existing logo.

The design team worked first worked with sticky boards and pieces of coloured paper that littered the workshop, according to Google designers Jonathan Jarvis, Alex Cook and Jonathan Lee. After hours of back and forth discussions and trials, the team shared their options with engineering, research, product and marketing departments who shared their input.

“This collaborative process led to a system flexible enough to be used across our marketing materials and product work on any platform: three elemental states that make up a single logo,” shared the team.

The result? A Google logo, interactive dots and the symbol ‘G’ that works in small contexts. All the symbols maintain the playful red, blue, green and yellow colors, and it is clear the line of thinking behind the symbols. To ensure the outcome was consistent to the new logo was applied across multiple devices, products in screens and printed material.

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