4 min read

Google Changes Logo

Nine years ago, Google introduced its most substantial logo redesign since adopting the original four-color scheme in 1999.

Dan Bowen

Dan Bowen

Founder + CEO
Published: March 18, 2020
Last Updated: May 14, 2024
(Resources/Brand Identity)
Google changes logo

Coming on the tail end of the introduction of Alphabet, Google felt the timing was right to drastically update their look. Experts agree that this is the biggest logo update Google has gone through since they decided on the original four colors all the way back in 1999.

Google Logo 2024
Google Logo 2024

Google’s main objective for the logo change is scalability. Google noted in a blog post, how much technology has changed since the inception of its logo, and how users interact with Google on all of these devices and apps as technology has advanced. How the logo will be viewed on mobile and wearable devices is a large driving force behind the logo re-design. The new lettering is expected to scale better to smaller sizes, making the wordmark more distinct and easier to read on all devices. The latest logo is also supposed to be easier to display on low-bandwidth connections. It weighs in at about 305 bytes compared to the existing logo measured at 14,000 bytes. This plays right into new CEO Sundar Pichai’s plan to bring Google to areas of the globe that have never accessed it before.

Introducing Google Dots: The dynamic distillation of the logo will be used for interactive, assistive and transitional moments. Were used to the fun Google animations on a desktop Google search, but are now introduced to an active animated version of the logo that will be used throughout all google operations.

Four Color G: This new G will be replacing the lower case g with the blue background that we see in some of the icons that Google uses. Having this alternative logo of a single G is another indication that size was a large determining factor when this new logo was created. The colorless logo reappeared on several occasions: to mark the passing of George H. W. Bush on December 5, 2018; annually on Memorial Day starting from May 27, 2019; and following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, 2022. Additionally, a black version of the logo was featured during the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on September 19, 2022.

Colorless: A colorless version of the logo is occasionally adopted on local homepages to honor major tragedies. This tradition started in April 2010 when Google Poland muted its logo after the Smolensk air disaster, which tragically claimed the lives of several individuals, including Polish President Lech Kaczyński. Shortly afterward, the same somber logo appeared in China and Hong Kong, commemorating those lost in the 2010 Qinghai earthquake.

Colorless Google logo
Colorless Google Logo

We can look to Google to see where the future of the web is going. It couldn’t be more clear that Google knows that mobile scalability is everything. Take a page from Google’s book and make sure your logo is optimized for all devices.

In 2014, the logo made a much more subtle transformation. See if you can spot the change below:

Google old logo
Google new logo
Before & After

Can’t spot the difference? Well, if you look really closely, you will notice that the g and the l have been moved ever so slightly. This GIF image shows the difference a bit better:

Google old vs new logo
Old Vs New Comparison

Obviously, Google has one of the most recognized logos and brand image ever created, so why would they make such a small change? Believe it or not, just about every brand makes minor changes multiple times throughout the year. Google is no exception to this:

Google Logo History
The History of Google's Logo

Constant upgrade and redesign of logos doesn’t just apply to huge corporations though. Its crucial that small businesses keep up with changing design styles as well. Just because a logo looked good in 1995, doesn’t mean it will still look good in 2015. While smaller businesses may have the need or the resources to change their logo every year like larger businesses, it is critical for logos to be updated and enhanced (if not totally re-designed) at least every couple years. Just remember, the logo and brand image is often the first point of contact between a potential customer and a business. If the business’s logo is outdated, it communicates to their target audience that their business as a whole is outdated as well.

Share on:
Copied to clipboard!
Error occured! Please try again later
Digital Agency Expertise

Subscribe for Insights

Sign up to our newsletter to keep current with all things design and digital.

Read our Insights