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Google Has a New Logo and We All Have a Lot of Work to Do

Google has a new logo and it’s exhausting.

Not the logo itself, mind you. But I’ll get to that in a minute.

Google’s products — and the devices with which we use those products — have evolved drastically since 1998. It’s simply not the same company anymore. So it makes sense that they’d be ready to unveil a change like this:

google-logo-new-to-old

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the new and old logos:

google-logo-new-old

A lot has changed

The key difference here is that the type is now sans-serif, meaning that it doesn’t have the fancy flourishes at the ends of its strokes. Instead the strokes are uniform in weight, giving them a bolder, more modern feel — but more importantly to the Google marketing team, making them much easier to read on tiny screens. The four core Google colors got scrubbed, too, and they appear brighter than ever before. Check out the old red — it looks positively dingy in comparison!

A youthful appearance

The new Google logo reads youthful and playful; like something you might find written on a wall in a kindergarten classroom. Then again, the video Google briefly ran on their homepage that depicted a hand rubbing out the old logo and writing the new one in chalk didn’t exactly steer me away from that association. Here’s a screenshot of the animation:

google-logo-intro

Are schoolchildren Google’s new target market or what? Actually, on second thought, probably yes. Gotta start ’em early!

But going back to my original point, the design details aren’t what’s exhausting about the new logo. What’s exhausting is the sheer scope of the change.

Everything is new again

It’s not just the primary search screen that’s changing. It’s the logos and icons for all Google products and services across all browsers and apps. I mean, even the search results footer looks different:

search-results-footer

It’s quite a massive undertaking for Google to go through a rebranding like this. But here’s the thing: the rest of us need to pitch in and help out, too.

Google can do a lot, but it can’t update the icons on your website

No, Larry Page and Sergey Brin aren’t going to come to your office and tie you to a chair until you’ve refreshed every last Google badge on every last server in the world. But you know that Google+ icon in the social toolbar on your website? Or any Google-related share, follow, and sign-in buttons? All of those are technically outdated, now. And it’s on you to put up the new ones.

Here’s the new Google+ icon on the right, by the way:

google-plus-logo-new-to-old

Why should it matter whether you’re displaying an older version of a Google icon? You’ve got your own brand to worry about.

Well, here’s the thing. Having outdated icons or logos on your website does affect your own brand. Twitter unveiled their new logo over three years ago and I am still surprised to see the old iteration of the Twitter bird used around the ‘net.

It may seem silly to think that people actually notice these differences, however seemingly small. But all you have to do is scroll down to the comments on any number of news items circulating right now about Google’s new logo for proof that folks can get quite passionate about something as “small” as a type change from serif to sans!

But Google’s making it easy by putting their new icons in one place

Google just released their updated branding guidelines yesterday, so head on over to grab the new icons. Yes, it’s a bit of a pain to deal with the changes, especially when the future of Google+ is up in the air. For now, though, all systems are go. So do your own brand a favor and make sure your Google-related icons and buttons are up-to-date.

It’s a lot of work to keep up, but it says to your customers: I notice, and I care.

I’ll leave you with this fun video that shows the changes Google’s been through over the last 17 years. Enjoy!

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