Top Logo Stories – The Story Behind Google’s Logo

Few logos have greater brand recognition than the one that adorns our phones, tablets, and web browsers. Google has become synonymous with web search, and with that development, its logo has turned into an icon.

The transformation of the Google logo over the years symbolizes the search engine’s increasing corner of the market — and its growing impact on our lives. Since its inception as a backlink crawler, Google has refined its brand and made its logo a cultural phenomenon.

The Early Days

In 1996, Google was called BackRub, so named because it identified and crawled backlinks to web content. Within the year, creators Larry Page and Sergey Brin choose Google, a misspelling of “googol,” as their rebranded name. “Googol” means 10 to the 100th power and was meant to represent the number of search results that the engine could return.

It’s unclear whether Page or Brin designed the logo for the new name, but it was a rather unassuming wordmark that read “Google!” rendered in primary colors. Graphic designer Ruth Kedar added the secondary color (green) for the “l,” which she says indicates that Google does not follow the rules. Still, the wordmark retained its classic look, bolstered by drop shadows and prominent serifs.

The Evolution

1999: Google’s design team began to experiment with new looks to match its new prominence as the world’s leading search engine. After a brief foray into a more stylized concept, the designers settled on a classic serif font with deep drop shadows and slightly darker colors that retained the original palette.

2010: Google began to evolve along with design standards. As drop shadows fell out of favor, Google’s design team began to “lighten up” their logo. They made the typeface flatter and more lightweight. They also boosted the colors to give it a more vibrant look.

2013: As the shift toward mobile devices continued, Google opted to remove the bevels in the typeface and flatten the design for a cleaner look. This change also helped the logo look better on small screens.

2015: Google finally abandoned its classic serif typeface for a fresh sans serif one. The new typeface, Product Sans, gave the word- mark a friendlier look and feel. The design team also drew upon Product Sans to create a simplified letter mark: a “G” featuring the wordmark’s classic colors. This new logo allowed Google to better cement its presence on mobile devices and gave it an icon with which to label its various products.

The Famous Doodle

Throughout the years, Google has debuted special illustrations for holidays, commemorative days, or famous anniversaries. These limited-edition wordmarks became known as the Google Doodles.

Sometimes animated, sometimes not, the Doodles became more elaborate and unique over the years. Often, they tapped into specific historical or current events, and eventually they were common enough that any trending topic or cultural phenomenon warranted a new Doodle. By 2015, Google had created more than 2,000 Doodles. They continue to welcome proposals for new ideas.

Wrapping Up

Google quickly established itself as a leader in internet technology, and its logo has showcased its evolution from a nascent search engine into a comprehensive digital provider. Now encompassing search, collaboration software, analytics, ads, and much more, Google is the frontier of the Internet. And it did it all with a simple logo that perfectly captured its brand promise: To be something a little bit different.

McDonald’s Harnesses The Power Of Minimalistic Ad Design

McDonald’s may be one of the most iconic brands throughout the entire world. When you see the golden arches peeking over a hillside, you know exactly what awaits inside. We know the jingles, the one-of-a-kind taste, the yellow and red accents that we all recognize from anywhere in the world. Plus, their signs say it all: BILLIONS SERVED.

It’s no question that McDonald’s holds a special power that reaches far into the minds of people around the globe. It’s this same omnipresent, pop-culture grasp that makes their newest ad campaign possible. McDonald’s recently teamed up with the Leo Burnett agency out of London and Minnesota-based designer, David Schwem. The group collaborated on a unique ad design that relies on the power of imagination and memory.

The idea was strikingly simple and started with one simple question: Are McDonald’s products so well-known that you can recognize them without being told who the ad is from?

The answer is a resounding yes.

The name for the campaign is Iconic Stacks and that’s exactly what the ads are. McDonald’s most-loved items – Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish and Sausage & Egg McMuffin – were recreated using one simple font and a handful of unassuming colors. The design paints a picture in a person’s mind without using any pictures at all. Simple elements like the layering of words coupled with the individual colors introduce values associated with food without making it obvious.

Each ingredient was vertically listed in the order that they appear in each item. A basic Helvetica font was used and each word was colored so that it matched the color of the item in real life. Even the unforgettable special sauce found a place in the Big Mac stack. The specific layering coupled with the colors give viewers just enough information to create their own visualization of each product.

“The minimalist approach developed from the needs of the communication. Simplicity. Nothing should distract. Everything is a ‘slave’ to the idea,” said creative director Pete Heyes.

It’s such an unbelievably simple design but its impact is huge. There aren’t too many brands who could be recognized globally by such a minimalistic design, but it’s perfect for a brand with a fan base as massive as McDonald’s. The campaign was partially inspired by a project that David Schwem did nearly a decade ago. It was simply titled Type Sandwiches and it listed various well-known sandwiches by their ingredients only.

Iconic Stacks has already done what it set out to do. People are already talking about the creativity and power behind the campaign. Its playful design and memorable-effect are exactly what any great design team strives to achieve.

The implications and reach of such a simple advertising campaign speaks to the power and depth of branding. The McDonald’s brand goes far beyond clown shoes and golden arches. Just the specific combination of ingredients proves to be enough to recognize the McDonald’s brand worldwide. Most importantly, the campaign highlights the significance of color and placement in advertisements. It is also proof that simple ad designs sometimes hold the greatest power.

How Artificial Intelligence is Revolutionizing Graphic Design

Artificial Intelligence has taken the retail and medical industries by storm over the last few decades. Defined as a computer system able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, Artificial Intelligence can come in many forms. Most of us naturally think of AI as the voice that responds on our phone or home device. In recent years, developers have also been working to integrate AI into website design. What does AI look like in web design – and what does it mean for the role of graphic designers?

The Promise of Artificial Intelligence

Many companies have worked to develop AI systems to aid the less trained user in creating quality web designs. These technologies include Firedrop’s chatbot Sacha, Adobe’s Sensei program, The Grid’s Molly system, Wix’s Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI), and DesignScape from the University of Toronto. The goal of these systems is to make graphic design a more intuitive, user friendly process. Some of these companies originally made huge promises alongside their technology, such as:

●  Little to no work for users

●  Unique web designs

●  Utilization of audience trends to influence site structure

●  Replication of graphic designer logic

Many of these promises could have meant that graphic designers would be on the hunt for new jobs, which was the fear of some speculative content creators. The possibility of businesses being able to create their own original site designs had the potential to disrupt the current industry. Instead, the presently available AI systems have so far fallen somewhat short of their high expectations. The Graphic Designer’s Role in AI Web Design As it turns out, graphic designers are still in high need, even with Artificial Intelligence systems in web design. Many users of AI systems found that their site felt unoriginal. The created site designs were closer to a drag-and-drop template than a uniquely tailored experience. Some of the less than positive reviews from early users included:

  • Look alike sites
  • Limited creative freedom
  • Requirement of hands-on human use
  • High prices with finite results

Conclusion

Overall, the feedback from users pointed to AI as an enhanced web design tool, not quite the game changing technology it was marketed as. Although this wasn’t the best news for the developers in charge of the AI systems, it did leave a very specific niche for graphic designers within web design. Graphic designers can often feel overrun by the tedious details of site design. With its ability to predict audience trends and provide aesthetically pleasing color palettes, AI has optimized the process of web design to be much quicker.

Now graphic designers can take a step back and focus on curating the ideal site for their clients. This change from creation to curation gives designers more opportunity for out-of-the box thinking and problem solving.

The Future of AI in Web Design Since all of the current AI programs still require a human user to achieve an ideal web design, graphic designers have more of a partnership with these systems than a competition. With the future development of more adaptive AI, designers are able to flex their creative skills beyond the basic site details that previously consumed the majority of their time.

This freedom to step beyond their ordinary design work can potentially spark more ingenuity and user-friendly content. Over the last 40 years we have witnessed graphic design develop from a hands-on, paper and pencil process to a digitalized, interactive experience. As AI continues to grow, program developers and graphic designers alike hope to improve web design to meet all user needs with intuitive and unique solutions.

What’s Trending in 2020 for Creative Hires

Creative hiring is important for so many people! Many say that finding the right professional is difficult in this sector. The trends are in for 2020, and people are planning to add both full-time team members and freelancers to fill creative roles at their companies.

Most of the roles are in things like web design and user experience. With tech-related jobs leading the way, better salaries and freelance rates can be expected.

Creative development and web production round out the creative roles that managers are looking to fill out this year.

People are looking for those with skills in relationship-building, with content marketing and strategy as well as social media and digital strategy topping the list of in-demand skills.

Vacancies also exist in AI, machine learning, data analysis, A/B testing, and UI design. It seems that everyone wants an excellent web experience, and companies are here to deliver!

Creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving skills are the most needed soft skills within creative fields.

These skills contribute to a lot of things in the workforce, but likely they are wanted because of the sheer volume of content and advertising needed online.

These skills help people create massive amounts of content that really differentiate companies as they try to appeal to consumers.

It’s a candidate’s market this year, and that means perks for senior employees and those with in-demand skills.

Some areas employers are seeking to improve are with employee wellness, flex options, and signing bonuses. While wages haven’t risen much in the U.S. for the last few years, it could be the year that trend discontinues if the field remains a candidate’s market for long.

Image is everything, as they say, and that remains true for online. This is the year companies are seeking to elevate their online offerings and presence. Candidates who help them stand out in this area will find themselves with more competitive packages than others.

You might be surprised to find data analysis and AI listed in the creative category. But these jobs, while not related to content and branding as much as some other creative jobs, require some creativity as well as a sense of numbers.

Without information, companies don’t have much to go on when it comes to the creative materials and agenda needed. So these newer fields of AI and data analysis are integral to companies who want their creative departments to make informed decisions about direction.

In addition to skills and experience, employers are still looking for the old stand-by’s: collaboration, adaptability, business acumen, curiosity, and a killer portfolio.

5 Ways To Give Your Logo A Facelift

Your logo is essentially the face of your brand. It’s the eye-catching, memory-evoking nugget of gold that keeps your brand in the forefront of everyone’s mind. Just like anything else in life, logos need to be updated periodically. Trends change constantly which is why it’s important to make sure your brand’s logo doesn’t get stale like an 80’s power mullet.

K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simply Stylish

Nowadays, many people are convinced that less is more. This isn’t always the case with logos but if your logo is packed full of details, then it may be time to simplify things. Get rid of excess details and focus on simple, clean lines.

The simplistic logo options aren’t a fit for every brand. For example, if you are an antique dealer then a modern and sleek logo probably doesn’t line up with your brand’s identity. But, you can still give your logo a quick revamp by swapping out image or text elements for fresh, new options.

Update The Colors

Colors go out of style, right? There aren’t too many people picking out pink shag carpet and orange wallpaper for their living room anymore. Colors are one of the fastest changing trends in all aspects of design.

Keep your logo relevant by updating the color palette. This doesn’t necessarily mean changing all of your colors entirely. You can achieve an entirely new look by eliminating one or two out of date colors or by increasing the visual presence of one color that is still trendy. Navy blue, greys and greens are all really popular colors currently.

Embrace A New Image

If your logo has an image element then it may be time to spruce it up. Technology and graphics have advanced over the years. Depending upon when your logo was created, it may quickly be showing signs of aging. Think of the quality of cartoons when you were a kid compared to the quality of animations now. That’s how far digital design has come!

You can either work with a graphic designer to make your current image more relevant or opt for a new image entirely. Or, if you really want to take a leap, forget the image all together. Logos that are text only can be just as visually appealing and thought provoking as their image-laced counterparts.

Try A New Font

A new font for a logo is like sending your logo for a day at the spa and having it re-emerge as a new person. You’ve heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, so is a font! There are different types of fonts for everything and each one creates an entirely different feeling. 

Pairing fonts together is another easy way to give a logo an additional boost. If you want to try your hand at pairing a couple new fonts, you want to be sure to choose fonts that contrast and yet still complement one another. A script style usually pairs well with a serif. You can also manipulate the look and feel by using all capital letters or making one of the fonts bold.

Play With Ratios And Positioning

If you’ve ever repositioned your furniture in your home, then you know what a little repositioning can do. Feng shui goes a long way! Moving your couch to a different wall can make your living room feel entirely different. It’s the same thing for a logo.

If your logo has a combination of text and an image, play with the scale and positioning of each. What if you moved the text below the image or reduced the text size and placed it vertically? There are so many possibilities when you start thinking outside the box of conventional placement and positioning.

A little bit of imagination and a lot of trial and error will set you on the right path to a killer new logo in no time!