Google is now among both the most widely used search engines and the most powerful brands in the world. It may take a lot to get there, but Google’s road to success lasted for a few years. It now has around 20 years of existence and a continuously growing popularity. What does it take to get there? Work, creativity and brand persistence.
Google has now managed to separate its search engine product from its corporate brand by even using a different name for the company. Alphabet has its own culture, tagline, mission, and vision. Google may lack a tagline but compensates through its playfulness. Its portfolio includes plenty of brand extension products that ease the process of customer Internet surfing. The company acquired other visible brands on the market. However, it didn’t need to leave its print on them. That’s one reason why YouTube remained YouTube.
The search engine’s case study is inspiring for other startups or growing brands. Yet, the Google logo evolution includes some mind-blowing facts that no graphic designer or brand might think about. These happened since 1997 to nowadays. Here are the most impressive, outstanding and surprising facts which took place throughout the Google logo evolution.
1. Before Google Beta, there was the logo.
The Google search engine began as a school project of two Ph.D. students in 1996. Since their academic work was successful, the two decided to take it to the next level and introduce the product to the world.
So, Google Beta appeared in 1998. However, before that, the school project needed to have a supporting visual. That’s when a highly colored logo, with a strong 90s vibe, appeared. The first Google logo had an entirely different scheme than the one we know today. It featured the below:
- G:- Light red.
- O:- Dark red.
- O:- Blue
- G:- Green
- L:- Yellow
- E:- Light red.
2. Google made a 3D mistake.
Google changed the color scheme once more in 1998 and another time the next year. So, the brand used a Blue – red – yellow – blue - green – red – blue. Back then, the logo also included an exclamation mark in response to Yahoo!’s logo. That same reason eliminated the exclamation mark a little later.
The text was rounded and had shadows that built a 3D effect. This effect was due to disappear in the next years. However, at the time it followed the year’s trends to stand out and promote the technology.
3. The Google Logo went through an official change.
Even though the 3D effect totally disappeared by 2013, Google decided to officially unveil its adjustment in 2015. According to the company reps, the logo you see today mixes the mathematical purity of geometric forms with a childlike visual simplicity. The biggest adjustment is on the letter e, which is now rotated. Lenovo company decided to find inspiration in Google’s approach to this letter.
Furthermore, Google also considered sizes. The latest logo typeface only has 305 bytes, away from the giant 14,000 bytes that the previous logo had.
4. Google’s idea: personalize everything
This is the seventh Google logo. The brand designers decided to personalize all the elements that come up in the customer journey map on their platform. They gave birth to a G-colored favicon, loading colored circles and a black-and-white version that supports its Doodles.
The Google by-products also feature elements from the Google logo, such as colors or fonts. Gmail, Google+, Google Maps, Google Drive and Google Wallet are just some of the most recognizable ones.
5. The Google logo became interactive and digital.
When their 1998 out-of-office message became popular as a Doodle, the brand decided to sacrifice its logo during international and national holidays, together with high-importance events. The Google logo is now occasionally replaced by interactive and artistic Doodles. There are even some stories behind them. The Halloween Doodle always features a game that includes some of the characters they’ve used before.
Google Doodles are unpredictable as they don’t always refer to the topic of discussion. Last year’s Valentine’s Day Doodle raised awareness about the pangolin, an extinct mammal. As many didn’t know the term, they went on the same engine to search for it.
The Google Doodles have a wide impact on the world because they usually come together with a press release and some marketing. They usually make the news. The logo changes are also there as experts notice any slight adjustment and discuss it. Branding has worked for Google and gained even more for the Google logo.
At the time when Google was released, Yahoo! was already famous. The search engine managed to mimic its logo, remove the similar element and then continue its way to stardom. If dreaming big is sometimes not enough to your brand, add a bit of creativity and decide to do things your way. It worked for Google.