Google launched a new logo yesterday, its first refresh in two years.
While the Google logo has evolved over its seventeen-year history, it has largely stayed faithful to the original concept. However, yesterday saw Google go sans-serif, though it kept the same “flat” look it took on back in 2013.
For all you youngsters out there, or for those who’d like a trip down memory lane, here’s how the Internet giant’s iconic marking has evolved.
In the beginning…
Initially nicknamed “BackRub,” Google began as a research project out of Stanford University by PhD students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, in 1996.
This was the first proper Google logo, used internally at Stanford.
Google is born…
Google was officially founded in September of 1998, and this was its first official logo as a company, which it ran with for a couple of months.
The constituent letters sported different colors from those you recognize today.
In late 1998, Google switched its logo to the familiar color combination that it has stuck with ever since — however, it added a Yahoo-style exclamation mark to the mix. Not cool.
This logo didn’t last long, however.
From around mid-1999 all the way through to 2010, this is how Google looked.
The letters aren’t quite as fat as previously, and the color accents are different. But for most people, this was a prettier logo, which is perhaps why it lasted as long as it did.
A brighter logo…
After more than a decade, Google introduced a new design for its logo in 2010, one which lasted all of three years.
The colors were brighter, and there was less shadowing around the letters. It wasn’t a huge overhaul, but it did bring cleaner signage to the brand.
Google goes flat…
This is the logo you’ve likely seen every single day for the past two years.
Google removed the shadows, creating a “flat” look — entirely in keeping with what seemed to be the design craze at the time. Indeed, Apple adopted a new “flat” look for iOS that same year.
Google, without “serifs”
This is the Google logo you’ll see from now on, though in its announcement yesterday the company admitted that “it probably won’t be the last” time it changes its look.
This design, along with a bunch of new icons and animations, is what you’ll see for the forseeable future. It’s flat, as before, but the letters are more rounded, and for the first time there isn’t a single serif in sight.
While opinions typically lean towards the negative end of the spectrum whenever a big brand unveils a new logo (it all comes down to familiarity) — in a few months’ time, most people will likely have forgotten the logo was ever any other way.