Comparative Critique (Google)

Google has grown to the point where it has become synonymous with the internet. The Google homepage is iconic for its simplicity and its ease of use. With this integration into online media, Google has a lot of responsibility in keeping its search engine clean in terms of design because of its global use. I never feel limited while using google. There is just enough customizability and the content is always the main focus. Simplicity has always been at the forefront of Google which is made evident through their logo and branding systems.

In 2013 Google changed from a 3d logo to a primarily flat one. It seems like the 2013-2015 logo still had some sort of gradient making it appear 3d to me. I think the variance in the girth of the type also contributed to this 3d effect in the old logo. The newest Google logo has eliminated any doubt that it is even slightly 3d. It is truly flat and feels a lot more stable compared to the old logo.

With the rebranding of Google in 2015 they also released a new Product Sans typeface to be paired with Google products. The type in the new logo is derived from this typeface as well. The simple typographic shapes and forms in the new logo are interactive and fun. It  feels very architectural in form due to the type’s rectangular structure and stability. The  previous logo feels sophisticated while the new logo feels more approachable and kind hearted. This duality in nature is found primarily in the two logo’s type choices. The new typeface provides more interesting negative space within the logo while the old is more about the form and movement of the positive space.

The color scheme has not changed in the new logo however the G icon now sports the full arrangement of color instead of just solid blue. This change to the G icon makes it more versatile in my opinion. The use of the full color scheme adds depth and complexity that is potentially lost in the flattening of the main logo. I really appreciate how the G icon and main logo compliment each other in their different applications.

Google released a design rollout video that accompanied the new logo and brand systems. The video featured a lot of new animation elements that linked different design elements together in a pretty fun way. The video also focused a lot on the new voice recognition software and how it could be used with newer devices such as smart watches. This is a cool feature however it takes center stage away from more important conceptual changes in the rebrand.

In addition to the new G icon there is also a new microphone icon which falls in line with their focus on voice recognition. This microphone icon follows the same color scheme as the main logo similar to how the new G icon looks. The shapes combined with the color and the flatness make this icon feel strange compared to the other design elements. There is no implied depth like with the new G icon making the microphone feel out of place. The variance in rounded versus sharp corners adds to this strangeness.

Overall I think the ideas and concept behind the rebrand are really well thought out and make a lot of sense with Google’s history. I think the simplistic nature of the new logo brings a new perspective on Google for me. When I was a child I mainly thought of Google as a source for information and studying. This rebrand gives a gentle push away from the formal perception that I had previously.

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