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Reports are lighting up the web that Google has a new favicon, those little icons associated with a website that show up in the web browser. I just reloaded my iGoogle homepage, and sure enough, there it is. Gone is the boring silver and blue “g,” now we get a more colorful “g.”

It was only this past June that Google last changed its favicon after not doing so for eight and half years previous to that. At the time, Google’s senior vice president of search product and user experience, Marissa Mayer, wrote a post on the Google Blog explaining the change and the difficult selection process:

We tried in total more than 300 permutations. It was much harder than we thought at first. We wanted something distinctive and noticeable, so we aimed toward transparency or semi-transparency, so the image would have a more distinctive noticeable shape than just a block. We wanted something that embraced the colorfulness of the logo, yet wouldn’t date itself.

She went on to note that, “By no means is the one you’re seeing our favicon final; it was a first step to a more unified set of icons.” It looks like they finally got the “colorfulness” they were looking for.

The new favicon appears to be slowly moving throughout all of Google sites right now, including Gmail.

No word yet on whether this means Google’s iPhone application will be getting a new icon as well. It’s currently a boring blue and white lowercase “g” logo, but consider it on death watch.

Update: Mayer has weighed in once again on the new favicon. As she notes, it was inspired by a student in Brazil:

André Resende, a computer science undergraduate student at the University of Campinas in Brazil, submitted the design that inspired our new favicon. His placement of a white ‘g’ on a color-blocked background was highly recognizable and attractive, while seeming to capture the essence of Google.

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