We all know Google.
The company itself has long since dominated the Internet, coming to us first as nothing but a search engine. It has since expanded into a super giant of projects, several wildly successful, many more eventually abandoned. All usually created or acquired with both good intentions and a fair bit of ingenuity and instinct.
Through their influence, we have all also come to know their logos on site. Being some of the most famous in the world, have you ever wondered the story behind them? If you are like me, the concept behind logos are often more interesting than the final products. Especially when they have become recognizable across the globe.
Here is a short history of the three main Google logos.
There have been many, many Google logos over the years. They also change regularly to reflect special events, historical landmarks or humorous jokes. We have come to know these as “Google Doodles”, and they provide a great deal of entertainment when they are changed.
But the first ever logo was created by Sergey Brin in 1998. Originally, it was a simple creation of colored typeface with the standard colors. All with a shadow to give it more depth. The use of an exclamation point was used to mimic then-powerhouse Yahoo!
Interestingly, it was made on the free imaging editing software GIMP, showing an early preference for opensource applications that Google maintains today.
According to Ruth Kedar, who has herself designed many logos including the one currently in official use, the colors were a statement.
“We ended up with the primary colors, but instead of having the pattern go in order, we put a secondary color on the L, which brought back the idea that Google doesn’t follow the rules,” she explained in a 2008 interview with Wired.
According to Kevin Fox in a Quora answer, the Gmail logo was originally designed as a last minute project. Exhausted and working late the night prior to the service’s official launch, he and Hwang went over to his desk so he could create the design.
Fox states that the entire logo was originally done in the same Catull font as the original Google logo. But the strange form of the ‘a’ made the finished product look off. This led Hwang to keep the ‘G’ in that font, but used a standard serif sans for the rest. Hence the inconsistency with the font.
Google Chrome has had a few hiccups in their logo design. They started out with a rather odd looking, shiny icon that was meant to look more realistic, or perhaps just futuristic. But it looked more like a badly done piece of clip art than a professional design for one of the most famous browsers ever released. It was a shame.
Later on, they created a new logo. It was based on the same design, but had a cleaner and more retro look. Less based on looking 3-D, it was flat and with richer colors. There were shadows, but no reflections that made it look cheesy.
For some reason, in 2011 they suddenly changed it back. But that didn’t last long, and by popular demand they reverted to the flat image. It has stayed there ever since.
Google is a big believer in maintaining the same principle design for recognition, but giving it a fresh slap of paint as often as possible. The difference between how they do it and how others do it is the fact that they, frankly, do it right.
With innovative and interactive Doodles and some of the best logos on the Internet, it is any wonder they are king?