From a website design point of view we love Google. It’s the king of search engines, making the web work the way people want it too.

The term “Let me just Google it” is becoming more and more the phrase to use especially when desperately seeking knowledge on new subjects. For instance you may have found our site by typing in Website design Suffolk, you were given a whole range of results, and wisely you have clicked on us!

Google tickles designers especially because given the companies size it has ordained a brand that really goes against all the design “rules and regulations” for creating a cohesive logo. The use of colour, drop shadow and even the font over the years aren’t all elements which create a “modern” identity for a digital age. But that’s what makes this logo special, it ignores all the current design trends and just does its own thing.

Google-Logo

Or does it?

Does it ignore all the current website design trends, or is it succumbing a little to the pressures of modern business? I mean every website and every brand needs updating someday, we can’t all be stuck at day dot. Some may say, if its not broke why fix it? Indeed, its not broken, Google functions fine without a “strong” brand, it always has done, it doesn’t need a modern up to date logo per sae, but it definitely helps. This is whats so fun about the Google brand. It doesn’t conform, but does what it does, and it’s accepted as unique by the public. It amuses designers. Well, it amuses me anyway.

Or maybe its the nature of the business, its a search engine, it doesn’t need to be pretty, its just a bar you type in to, to get what you want to get to. Its of no consequence, almost abused and ignored. Interesting.

With the new Google logo seen here we can see that it has taken on board current website design trends and applied them to their roguish logo which simply will not conform. Its been tickled a fettled a little, spruced up and brought into 2013. Which I like.

Lets get into the details.

Simple Gradients

Simply, a milder gradient has been used. Simple. If you look at the 1997 version you can see, that the gradient is achieving this almost embossed feel, raising the logo above the white background. In current website design trends we are seeing amidst our research that designers are using flatter colours, pastel colours. Slight gradients are used too, blending lighter tints with darker tones, but its very subtle. As designers we are always on the quest to find simplicity, but mix simplicity with information and find the correct balance. Rule one is that you don’t want to confuse people, you want to deliver the information in an attractive, simple and concise way. As the web becomes a more accessible tool, people don’t want to be confronted with reams of text and image, it’s often the case that simple facts are implemented in an attractive way. Bitesize chunks of information are more likely to attract the eye and get your message across. Simple gradients are key to this, almost keeping the colour flat. Its almost texturised, and tactile. The web is now something we can now “Touch” via phone and tablet devices, it makes sense to texturise call to action buttons, and include subtler more tactile gradients doesn’t it?

Drop the Drop Shadow

We are using subtler drop shadows to pull text and image away from backgrounds. Just look at what Google looked like in 1997! What is that drop shadow doing there! But now we’ve all calmed down, simpler, subtler uses of a drop shadows are being seen. If you look at the 2010-2013 version of the Google logo you can see a feint drop shadow behind each bright character, in the new version a drop shadow doesn’t appear at all.

We see the same crisp, simple gradient use in Google’s supporting icons for their many web services, using the same flat gradient styles. The same techniques can also be seen in the Google Chrome Logo. This is all about keeping the brand consistent, making sure that the same styles are applied across all iconography. Consistency is very important in Website design, it keeps the website uniform and improves the user journey throughout each page of the site.

From a website design point of view its always good to keep an eye out for these new trends, keeping ideas fresh and interesting, website design changes with the times. Its funny to think that such a small subtle change could actually have quite an impact.

So there we have it, Google have a new logo, interesting to the designer, but I guess to the untrained eye a jumble of brightly coloured words.

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