Much has been said about the new google logo in the past few days since its introduction.
Some people like it, some don’t…some designers like it while others resent it, and that is to be expected when a noticeable change is made in any brand let alone a change in the identity of the biggest browser in the world.
People accept changes very slowly it’s generally difficult and in most cases an uncomfortable experience. That’s just the way we function, so all the fuss is completely understandable.
Google had many redesigns since its beginning so this not anything new for the company but the question remains is the latest redesign a good or bad decision?
If you analyse the new logo you can see perfect proportions and mathematical precision in every aspect of the logo, and on the first hand that is fine since the Google logo is a visual representation of a mathematical algorithm that analysis millions of results in a split second so that you can see what you’re looking for, so it makes sense to be represented in such a way.
However people don’t get attached to algorithms or some line of code…people get attached to people or things with character.
Character is what defines us.
Another interesting fact is that human brain functions as a big pattern making machine. If you saw just a part of an image your brain automatically tries to fill in the blank and complete the image. One of the built-in characteristics of the brain is that when surrounded by people it searches its database rapidly in order to find a familiar face, and every time it recognize someone it awards itself with a small dose a Serotonin (happiness hormone).
Many designers have known this fact and tried to incorporate some human characteristics in company logos. Take Amazon for example, notice anything humanly in it?
The smile right? And on top of that the arrow shaped smile spreads from letter a to z implying that you can find everything from a to z. Pretty smart right?
That being said, is this approach necessary in order for the logo to be recognizable? Of course not. And that is not the point in this case. Google is perhaps the most known logo in the world, they don’t fear of being recognized. Google can make a radical change and present three dots as their now logo and in some time people will get used to it. There will be problems in the transition no doubt about that, but in the end people will get used to it, and that’s a fact.
So if recognizability is not the issue what is? In my opinion, emotion.
You may say, wait a minute ”emotion” it just a Logo what are you talking about? Logos can’t express emotions, and that’s true but you can. You get some kind of emotional response every time you see something you like or dislike. And the best way to get your users to like your logo it to give it certain characteristics.
I personally like minimalism and clean forms, and i certainly get the whole responsive mathematical approach in design, however in life character makes us appealing or not.
I am not saying that in order for a logo to be likable it has to be imperfect constructively, but the thing is, you should not start your thinking process from a technical point of view. Thinking process should not start in a grid.
Whats a grid than mathematically calculated boundaries. Use the grid later on in the process to align the elements and if it feels right for some element to be slightly of the grid, then place it off the grid. Whats the big deal. When i look at the new google logo the main features i see are clean shapes, modern approach and precision…
What about character?
Similar thing can be seen in a Pepsi logo redesign documentation from 2009, where the design team explains how the new logo fits perfectly like Earth in the mathematical lines of the universe and the construction is inviting people to come closer to the logo just like the sun is holding together the planets…some of the biggest PR B.S a have ever seen. That logo is a disaster, plain and simple and when you have poor final product, you can support it with thousands of B.S features and it wont make it better. You may fool someone, but it will not make the product any batter. The point is that the key aspects of the logo is its weird construction. Same thing goes for the new google logo, but its construction is not weird but boring, and perhaps this is worse.
That is not what makes us humans tick.
Did the old Google logo had character? Certainly more than now, with its slightly serif-ed typography and diverse color scheme it had that ”wacky” feel to it.
It was far from perfect, but it was likable and it certainly was a trust wordy face.
In my eyes the newest redesign with its bland and generic look just doesn’t cut it, and like always not so much for technical but for emotional reasons.