The Hugely Successful Development of Google’s Logo

Google started life as a brand name and has since become a verb in its own right. Every day, millions and millions of us ‘google’ information on the internet. This must be one of the most successful branding stories ever. If you’re a business owner, you probably already understand the importance of powerful branding in marketing. Logos are one of the most obvious branding tools and Google seems to have finally nailed it. There are not many people who wouldn’t know the Google logo. It hasn’t always been plain-sailing though.

Google is still a relatively young company, at only 21 years of age, but in that blink of an eye, the logo has seen many tweaks and redesigns. Starting life with the name ‘BackRub’ in 1996, the cofounders decided this was a little too nice with not enough pizzazz!

Officially taking shape in 1997, Google’s logo then would not be recognized for the colourful, simplistic design it is today. Stanford University was where it all began, with a rather dubious logo consisting of what appears to be something lifted straight from word art

1998 saw the logo become more refined, following ideas from founder Sergey Brin. He was assisted by the open source imaging suite called GIMP.

1999 saw the colours being adjusted and the addition of an exclamation mark. Yahoo also has an exclamation point and it may have been for this reason that Google’s use of the punctuation mark was thankfully short-lived. By the turn of the millennium, Google was already on the road to becoming the giant that we know today. Designer Ruth Kedar was hired to create a logo that was powerful enough to match its rising profile.

Several concepts were floated, the first using Adobe Garamond and the second using a serif font called Catull. The idea was to create a symbol of infinity, but also a sense of precision to highlight Google’s strength as being a search engine. For help with logo design and web development, contact a London SEO Agency like

Another concept was having interlocking ‘o’s’ but this was deemed too similar to the Olympic logo and was dropped. The logo then included cross hairs and a magnifying glass along with the Catull font that has become the trademark of Google’s logo. The founders though it too busy, so the crosshairs and magnifying glass were dropped in favour of a smiley face!

They wanted something even simpler though, so the happy smile was dropped, some shadow was added to the lettering to create some dimension and the logo was made to look like it was floating over an all-white background. Going simple was a smart move. By looking ahead to future ambitions, the founders knew that by keeping the logo simple, they could continue to use it as they expanded into other industries.

Between 2013 and 2015, the logo that we see every day when we fire up our computers and devices, was finalized. Dimensions were dropped and the decision to go ‘all flat’ was made. Some angles were softened, making the logo much easier to read when in smaller formats.

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