A great new standard or soulless dreck? You decide.
Unless you were living in a cave, under a rock, or on vacation (like I was) you couldn’t have missed the big announcement. Yep. Google has gone changed their logo completely – there have been various tweaks and micro changes over the company’s 16 years but this is a complete about face. As in typeface. Which the design has changed from the original Catull into some weird Helvetica/Avant Garde hybrid the company is referring to as “Product Sans.” The only reference to the original is the child-like color palette. For comparison sake, here’s the new logo beside the old:
The reasoning behind the rebrand is sound. It fits in with the branding for Alphabet, the new holding company that owns Google.
The new Google font is sans-serif (no little feet on the letters) as serif letters tend to clump up when they’re used smallish. Google is rolling out a lot of different products and their logo is featured at a lot of sizes, on a lot of devices. The bolder style helps as well. The logo is animated too, and that’s pretty slick:
Google roll outs tend to receive universal acclaim but I’m going to break company here. While it’s not a hill I’m willing to die on (and far be it for me to bag on a multi-billion dollar empire’s design department) at first blush the new logo is soulless dreck. The old Google was a bit of quirky, flawed design that was Google. They didn’t have to turn themselves into every wannabe web 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 company with their featureless font logos because that’s who/what they were. This reincarnation is just like every other humorless tech startup on the planet.
There’s some weirdness going on with the font – the upper case G is pretty much circular, as are the two “o”s and the “e.” The lower case “g” isn’t at all, making it appear almost like another font entirely. I’d also say the upper-case “G” looks out of whack with the rest of the word. And that slightly spun “e”? Not worried enough about it to post some “fix the logo” fauxrage illustrations (update: couldn’t help myself) because at the end of the day, Google has always been about function over form. This new logo is no different.
We’ll all have forgotten about it in a week anyway.