As a graduation project of Stanford University, Larry Page and Sergey Brin created Google after two years of research. The first official logo is created in GIMP and uses the Baskerville Bold font. Although the logo would certainly not have won a prize for its design at the time, we can already recognize some principles of the current logo already in place, including the use of colors.
A little later in the year, with the introduction of Google Beta, they add an exclamation mark at the end of the logo, an inspiration from Yahoo!
Once Google is well established, Page and Brin call on the designer Ruth Kedar to redesign the logo. After several proposals from Kedar, they opt to change the font for Catull Typeface, to provide a more sophisticated look. Then, the exclamation point is taken out.
After removing the logo's drop shadow in 2010, Google continues its transition to a more up-to-date logo. In 2013, to follow the rise of the flat design trend, some changes are made to the logo to use only flat colors for letters. Some typographical adjustments are also made.
2015 marks the most drastic change in Google’s branding since the introduction of the Catull font in 1999. With the advent of the mobile context, the logo needs to be flexible and adaptive, which the old font with serifs did not allow. Therefore, there’s a massive change for the brand; we are witnessing the introduction of a new brand identity. The previous logo is changed to a modern linear font custom-made by Google (Product Sans), as well as several variations of the logo. For example, the rainbow G used as a favicon or for the app icon, or the four points which are used on several occasions, especially in transitions.
Some criticize Google's decision to use a sans serif font and accuse it of removing personality from the brand, in addition to having a childish logo. Others say that with a mark of the magnitude of Google, it is no longer necessary to try to stand out through its logo. Ultimately, all that is necessary is to have an understandable, but particularly adaptive and dynamic identity, something that Google does handily while maintaining the simple and friendly side of the brand.
What is your opinion of Google's new identity?