By Kelly Gerrish
You be forgiven for thinking your eyes were playing up when you looked at Google’s homepage last week. But no, they’ve just changed their logo.
While not a monumental change, the new typeface offers up a subtle variation to the logo the search giant had been using for the last five years.
The new sans-serif design is a bid to reflect the changes in the company over the past 17 years – “from the range of products to the evolution of their look and feel.”
In layman’s terms, serifs are the “little tails” on letters in some typefaces. Google’s new logo has done away with serifs in a bid to appear “simple, uncluttered, colourful and friendly”. But some critics have suggested the simplicity has gone too far, with the new typeface looking “infantilised”. In fact, there’s more than a little flavour of the much maligned Comic Sans …
When Google first came on the scene in 1998, it was generally accessed from a desktop computer. Today’s digital age presents a new challenge – to be scalable on a multitude of platforms, devices and apps which didn’t previously exist.
It’s not unusual for companies to change their typeface. This could range from a small refinement to a complete redesign. But why go to the effort and expense? Maybe an old logo no longer fits with a new business strategy or companies just want an updated identity to reflect the ever changing digital landscape.
As one of the world’s most innovative companies, it could be argued that the previous serif style was never really the right fit, particularly considering the young age of the business. Serif typefaces are generally better suited to traditional companies with a lot of history and heritage. So maybe it makes sense for Google to be identified by a more contemporary look.
Google is hoping this update will stand the test of time. If you’re interested in redesigns which haven’t survived, funnily enough, there’s a place you can search for that…