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AH Primetime: Google’s New Logos Come After Big Changes

September 3, 2015 - Written By Ricardo Trevizo

Google as a whole, has had a wild couple of weeks; all following the announcement of Alphabet, a company created by Larry Page and Sergey Brin to adopt every moonshot project that Google was in charge of. The reason behind Google’s latest and biggest restructuring in its whole history is to ensure a continuous innovation and avoid becoming stuck in its comfort zone. As Larry Page and Sergey Brin wrote when launching Google 17 years ago, “Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one”, this means that the internet giant as a whole, is in constant change; this includes the company’s logo. Yesterday, Google announced its first major step to mark the beginning of a new era as a subsidiary of Alphabet, a complete redesign of the company’s iconic logotype. Through its seventeen-year history, Google’s logo has changed at least 7 times; with every redesign expressing how the company’s vision has evolved and where the company might be headed next. Yesterday, Google showcased a new flat, sans-serif style which will translate into all of the company’s existing and upcoming services and products.

Google’s new logo separates a bit from all the previous concepts the company used, but it is still familiar enough so that anyone recognizes that although Google is changing, its original values and ideologies still remain the same. There have been many mixed feelings about Google’s latest logo, as many Google enthusiasts are against such a drastic change. But, just how much has Google’s logo changed over its whole history? Back when Google was created in 1996 by PhD students Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Stanford University, it was a humble research project. At this point, the search engine was still not released to the general public, and only had an interim logo, which set the guidelines to what were to become one of the world’s most popular and powerful companies.

Then, Google was officially founded as a company in September of 1998; and for the first time, the world saw the iconic Google logo. This original colorful concept has remained the base for all the next logotypes, as most have just built on top of this first concept. Over Google’s next years, only small incremental changes and retouches were made to the logo, expressing how the internet giant began to grow. In the year 1999, Google changed the color combination that the original concept used, this new palette introduced the well-known blue, red, yellow and green colors that have remained basically unchanged over the company’s history. Then in late 1998, Google adopted a Yahoo-like exclamation mark, fortunately it wasn’t too long before Google realized how the exclamation mark wasn’t as well received by the public. After ditching the Yahoo-esque concept in 1999, Google launched a logo design that remained essentially the same for over 11 years, when it was cleaned and brightened up to welcome a more modern era. Three years later, Google went flat; this followed the design trend set by most tech companies, where everything was mostly flat. This last design lasted two years without being touched. Until Google announced its completely redesigned “Product Sans” logo yesterday. Google will without a doubt continue to expand and evolve as a company as time passes, and its logo will definitely not remain the same, as its many alterations have functioned as a way for Google’s numerous users around the world to see how the company is still in constant change.