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The History behind the Colorful Google Logo History



Nowadays Google is number one search engine and second technology brand in the world. Google’s brand Value of year 2018 is $132.1 billion and brand is revenue is $97.2 billion. It was founded in 1998 by two P.H.D students Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Stanford University in California. Now Google is 20 years old with continuous growth of popularity. It may take a lot to reach there, but Google’s journey road to success lasted for a few years. Google’s work, creativity and brand persistence has taken it to this level. Every brand has a logo, Google’s colorful logo is one the most recognizable pieces of brand on the internet. But at the time of beginning it was not colorful and attractive as compared to present. It has gone through some big changes over the last two decades to reach this level of attraction. There is a history behind this colorful and attractive logo. We are going to discuss Google logo history below.

Humble Beginnings

The very first version of Google’s logo was not an award winning logo. It is reminder of ugliness of the early internet. This was a simple piece of design. But in its defense, this logo was created while the search engine was still a research project carried out by its founders in Stanford University.

first version of Google’s logo

In 1998 Sergey Brin designed a new logo by himself using most popular open source image editing package called GIMP. The color order is written below.

1998 Sergey Brin

In 1999 the logo was updated. As you can see, next version is almost similar to previous one but there is small change in color order and exclamation is added at the end. I think this logo was created by the inspiration of yahoo logo at that time.

1999 the logo was update

Google’s success was dwarfing the competition by this point. The people who had usually used Mamamia, Hotbot, AltaVista and countless other services began to flock Google because of its superior searching capabilities. Google hired designer Ruth Kedar to continue to evolve the brand. At that time Ruth kedar had no idea that how huge the company would become. But she was happy to crank out a few designs for the company.

Intelligent Design

Google hired designer Ruth Kedar

She did her first attempt using Adobe Garamond as the type face. She added a bit her own whimsy using two dimensional O’S and primary colors. Small pattern which was joining them together, supposed to symbolize an infinite connection. According to Ruth Kedar, Larry Page and Sergey Brin liked this because it looks a bit like a Chinese finger trap.

Chinese finger trap

In this version she decided to focus on one of the O’S. She added a hint of that previous version, but also added target aspect to the one O in order to hit the precision, which made the search engine so successful. Ruth kedar says “Brin and page wanted to clearly differentiate Google from competing search engines and convey that the service was a search provider and foremost, with an algorithmically complex but yet simple to use application.

Olympics logo for her hiking

The next version featured a shift in layout and typeface. She selected ITC and overlapping circles joined with a target to establish the globally targeted nature of the business. Ruth kedar felt that this logo was a bit too close to the Olympics logo for her hiking.

Kedar simplified

Kedar stumbles upon Catull in this, which is the type face that we have all grown for the association with the brand. The flatness of the rendering gives a more corporate feel to the logo, but in the sizing of the letters the play fullness is still evident. Because it was the step in right direction so this design proved to be a bit busy in making the final cut. The magnifying glass and the cross hairs were liked by the founders, but not all at once.

Kedar stumbles upon Catull

Kedar simplified the previous version while working off the feedback from the founders, keeping the magnifying glass with a smile on it, eliminated the chair cross hairs. To reflect the positive user experience, her attempt was that search giant could offer. Her way of illustrating the unexpected twists and turns of the search experience, was the deviation of that second O from the baseline, a concept which many of us are quite familiar today.


Once again Kedar busts out the Lea wood font while returning a bit to her first iterations. A touch of dimensions and shading to the logo, this time around she adds the idea that the founder had planned, was to have the logo floating on top of the pure white layout. More of a conversation on the colors and their respective order was also started by this version.

Olympics logo

In this phase, it was told to kedar to explore a more simplified approach. The idea was of elimination of any recognizable icons and to have the brand truly stand on its own as a word mark. On the basis of concepts, the company was also liberated from a niche search market, to open the door for them to expand into other industries. Despite of paring down, in the position of letters there is still playful factor, a un-convention and fun company is that which is showing Google.


Finally, after making many experiments with color, Kedar nailed the final design. Kedar says that there were a lot of different iterations, which we needed up with primary color on the L, instead to have the pattern going order, which brought back the point that Google does not follow the rules. For over a decade this logo stood as the test of time which the company grew exponential rate. But their whimsical approach to brooding was never lost by Google. In the form of Google Doodles their logo would receive as many as 1500 face lifts.

Jitender Sharma is an entrepreneur and internet marketer with over 5 years of experience in Search Engine Optimization, Creative Writer and Digital Marketing Consultant.

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