A Googley way to design a logo

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A Googley way to design a logo

This morning my three-year-old daughter showed me how she can find videos of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty by using the Google voice search function on YouTube.

1I sat on her bed and watched Aurora appear on the screen. She proudly turned to me and said: “ta-da mummy, see – she’s in there”.

I was trying to get everyone up and out so I could get to my office via dropping her to nursery on time, but couldn’t help being impressed how she seamlessly navigates through an iPad to get to what she wants.

Yesterday Google unveiled a new logo. This won’t mean anything to her, as she just expects things to work (she regularly jabs at my laptop screen and declares it “broken” when it doesn’t respond to her swipes and pinches). I doubt she’ll notice if and when things look different.

Logos are just one part of a brand’s identity. They are the way we instantly recognise and visually make the connection between what we’re seeing and the company it relates to. (Tweet this)

All Things IC logo When I launched All Things IC in 2013, I worked with the team at Sequel Group to create something that represents the vision I have for my consultancy.

I provided them with a visual moodboard reflecting all the colours, ideas and thoughts I had in mind. They then created me some options and I chose the one you can see on this page.

To me, effective communication is all about conversations, which is why my logo includes quotation marks.

Internal communicators are often the brand guardians inside organisations. I still get irked when I spot companies using the old Visa logo, and it’s eight years since I worked in-house there!

Do you experience that? I’d love to know your experiences of communicating new logos or branding guidelines and any stories you have to share on this topic, do please get in touch.

Google’s new look

In announcing their new logo for its core search services, Google has outlined what they are doing, why they are doing it and what it means for you.

This change is a month on from their major reorganisation and launch of Alphabet, which I blogged about. I imagine their comms team has been rather busy.

According to the Google Design blog, one key challenge for the designers, it said, was to refine “what makes us Googley”.

What was the thought process Google went through? What designs did they scrap and how did they decide what stayed? I recommend reading the Google Design blog for information like this and much more.

Google says: “In tandem with developing the logotype, we created a custom, geometric sans-serif typeface to complement the logo in product lockups and supporting identity materials. It’s called Product Sans”.

Further reading on my blog about being Googley: How Google recruits.

Google_GWhat do people think?
What’s struck me from the industry press I’ve read in the past 24 hours is how well the new look and feel has been received. I think it’s clean, fresh and makes sense. There are various options including the full company name, four dots in its iconic colours, plus a single capital G (pictured).

It is a far cry from Google’s original launch as “BackRub” 17 years ago, when it was being used as a search engine within Stanford University.

But what’s particularly notable about this change, is it recognises the way people interact with information has evolved. So they’ve designed it to work better on the different sized devices and screens we use to access Google (tap, type and talk) and its offerings.

You can watch its evolution below and online:

What Google say about the change

micWriting on the Google blog, Tamar Yehoshua, VP, Product Management & Bobby Nath, Director of User Experience state: “It doesn’t simply tell you that you’re using Google, but also shows you how Google is working for you. For example, new elements like a colourful Google mic (pictured) help you identify and interact with Google whether you’re talking, tapping or typing.

“Meanwhile, we’re bidding adieu to the little blue “g” icon and replacing it with a four-color “G” that matches the logo. This isn’t the first time we’ve changed our look and it probably won’t be the last, but we think today’s update is a great reflection of all the ways Google works for you across Search, Maps, Gmail, Chrome and many others.

“We think we’ve taken the best of Google (simple, uncluttered, colorful, friendly), and recast it not just for the Google of today, but for the Google of the future. You’ll see the new design roll out across our products soon. Hope you enjoy it!”

Want to read more about branding, logos and design?

See the following articles on my blog:marmite-300x300

Post author: Rachel Miller

First published on All Things IC blog 2 September 2015.

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2  responses on A Googley way to design a logo

  • DJ

  • 9 September 2015 at 4:22 pm

Hi Rachel

Nice post (and enjoy your commentary generally).

I think this is really *only* a really well executed piece of graphic design. It is far from a brand in any sense, with the exception of visual language. That’s important to note imho, as you have.

On your point “how should internal comms people communicate this kind of change”: given that there’s no change in brand essence, values, positioning or messaging, I’m keen to understand what you would recommend?

Yes, on one hand this is one of the world’s most important and influential organisations.

But on the other, it’s just a change of logo. And it’s clearly a better logo that works in the ways you would expect any recently branded modern customer facing company to work. I would expect only diehard Googlers (Larry & Sergey plus maybe an inner cabal perhaps) would care. So why make a big fuss?

In addition, I think G’s internal teams _look like_ they run their own PR – by writing and posting their own blogs and having those promoted via social and so on. I suppose the issue there is – what’s the role and value of the internal comms team when this is already happening in an organisation?

DJ

Thanks for taking the time to comment DJ. Glad to hear you enjoyed the article. Re: communicating the change, it has lots of practical implications – e.g. old designs on letterheads/presentations/merchandise. Typically, when a new logo is introduced, there’s a dedicated campaign around removing the old one and swapping for the new one. This can often be over a deliberately phased period, like Thomas Cook did when they unveiled their “sunny heart” logo – the change was immediate, but took months for the shop fronts etc to change.

Re: your points on the teams, my view is that effective internal communication is bigger than one person or team. The role of IC is changing, so it’s no longer purely about one person or team being accountable and in sole charge. The role (or purpose), as I see it, is to empower the wider organisation and facilitate its conversations. Rachel

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