5 Reasons to Pay Attention to the Google Rebrand


Jason Clark
Jason Clark

on 9/3/2015


This week Google launched the largest rebrand of their logo and identity ever. I’m always happy when a major brand launches a new identity that is well thought out, and I thought this was a good opportunity to share why you should pay attention. The folks over at Brand New have further dissected the launch, and I pretty much agree with everything they say, so if you want more detail, read it.

Here’s why you should pay attention, even if you’re not a designer:

Research and insights to see future design trends

Google has more resources than you will ever have. If they made a decision in with their branding, you better believe they did it with as much data as necessary to ensure that it was a good one. The details are what counts. That leads us into the next point.

A concise Creative Brief

If Google’s blog post about the identity launch is any indication of the Creative Brief, then it was a very well thought out Creative Brief, and it obviously evolved as they got closer to the mark. However, the four challenges that they identified in their first design sprint were obviously the guiding stars for the entire undertaking.

  1. A scalable mark that could convey the feeling of the full logotype in constrained spaces.
  2. The incorporation of dynamic, intelligent motion that responded to users at all stages of an interaction.
  3. A systematic approach to branding in our products to provide consistency in people’s daily encounters with Google.
  4. A refinement of what makes us Googley, combining the best of the brand our users know and love with thoughtful consideration for how their needs are changing.

Consistency across mediums

The Google logo and identifying marks are everywhere in your life, so consistency is critical. Big, small, on different devices. Just pushing out a new logo is more work than just making a pretty mark. Understanding where it will live and how that will affect things is vital.

Animation is becoming increasingly important

Animation defines interactions, especially on mobile devices. A consistency of style and a consideration of transformations and indications is a beautiful flourish that shows attention to detail. The animated dots aren’t an addition to the identity, they are a part of it.

Simplicity is more difficult than it looks

The identity system that they have created here is deceptively simple as you see it play across all their properties. However (and surprisingly), it works exceedingly well. Bold identity changes for big brands is usually met with a ton of critique, but when you see this play out in everything from favicons to web services to campus signage, you know they spent a LOT of time refining the system.

“First glance” awkwardness in one setting may be an A-1 decision in many others

Google is a brand that I love, so on first glance, that new sans-serif “G” icon looked really weird. It’s made from a perfect circle, which gives an awkwardness to the arm of the “G”. However, seeing it in context, it’s not perfect, but it makes sense.

We’d love to hear your opinion about the logo in the Comments below. (Just kidding, we don’t have comments.) :P

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