Where Did Google Get Their Logo Design
In only a few years, Google has managed to achieve a lot in branding, something that would normally take other companies decades of work with millions of dollars worth of resources. Their colorful logo is now a staple of the online experience that’s enjoyed by millions across the globe. But behind the beautiful logo that’s now the trademark and benchmark for online search experience, there is a rich history. It has undergone lots of transformations though the concept has never moved away from the typeface logo we see today. Here is a brief explanation detailing how Google came to have their current logo.
The story begins in 1996 at Stanford University where one of the co-founders, Larry Page was fledgling a research project code-names “Back Rub”. The project was later renamed Google, following a misspelled version of the word Googol. The idea was to demonstrate that Google had far much processing powers than any other search engine during that time.
The first Google Logo was designed by Sergey Brin, a co-founder in 1998 using the Gimp Software. This marked the beginning of the several iterations that were to follow under the supervision of Ruth Kendar, a professional designer hired by Google to oversee the development of a logo that would connect with their audiences and also match their marketing needs.
By 1999, Google’s success was already dwarfing the competition, and the Google logo was becoming more and more popular. It was at this point that the company brought in Ruth Kendar, a professional designer to continue with evolving the brand. Back then, Kendar had no idea how big the company would be, but she was happy to take up on the task and continue with the evolution of the brand.
Kendar’s first attempt at redesigning the Google logo was done with the Adobe Garamond as the typeface. Kendar’s idea with this first attempt was not to meddle up with the text since it would have interfered with the eligibility of the logo. She simply added her whimsy using two-dimensional O’s and primary colors. She then used a small pattern to join the Os together as a symbol of infinite connection. This design was liked by Brin and Page.
The second attempt by Kendar on the Google Logo saw her focus her attention mainly on the Os in the middle of Google. She introduced a further hint on the infinite pattern as well as a target to symbolize the search engine’s accuracy in helping people find what they are looking for on the internet. Her reason for doing was that the founders wanted to pass a message to the competing search engines that Google was a reliable search provider, and most importantly, it had an algorithmic complexity but an easy to use application.
The next redesign of the Google logo saw a modification of the layout and the typeface. The designer decided to use overlapping circles and ITC Leawood and joined them with a cross hair to show that the business was intertwined and had a global presence. But Kendar thought that her new design was more like an Olympics logo and not that of a leading search engine. This made her thinking on how to change the logo to remain within the context of the business.
In the later version, Kendar came across Catull, the typeface that is now synonymous to the Google logo. This typeface gave the logo more corporate looks while at the same time appearing to be slightly playful in the sizing of the letters. Though this was a step towards the right the direction, the overall design appeared to be busy, and it was difficult to mark out the final meaning from the Google logo.
With the feedback from the previous design, which featured a magnifying glass and a crosshair Kendar simplified the redesign, eliminating the crosshair but keeping the magnifying glass and adding on it a smile – to reflect on the great user experience of the now world’s largest search engine.
Slowly, Kendar realized that she was on her way back to her very initial iteration, and once again reverted to the Leawood font. She introduced a touch of dimension as well as some shading to the top of the Google logo. The reason for this was to make the Google logo appear to be floating on top of the white layout. At this point, Kendar was advised to try more simplified approaches that will make the Google logo simpler while retaining its corporate look.
Finally, Kendar got the design right after playing around with the colors and never deviating from the typeface. She ended up using primary colors, but rather than having the colors go in order, she used a secondary color on L, to illustrate the idea that Google doesn’t have to follow the rules at all times. That is the current logo you see each time you use the giant search engine.
The Google logo has stood the test of time and is now an iconic mark that has helped the company realize the immense success they have had in the past few years.
Learn how to design a basic logo here!