Google on Tuesday unveiled a brand new visual identity in the first major redesign in 16 years. The redesigned logo comes a month after Google restructured and rebranded itself as Alphabet, marking a new era for the tech giant.

Announcing the new logo, Google wrote in a blogpost, “Google has changed a lot over the past 17 years—from the range of our products to the evolution of their look and feel. And today we’re changing things up once again."

So what’s new about the redesigned logo?

The new logo is a marked departure from the iconic serif font Catull BQ that has come to define Google since 1999, when it abandoned its Yahoo-like logo, with an apostrophe. The new logo has been updated with a custom, “geometric" sans-serif typeface called Product Sans.

Google designers Alex Cook, Jonathan Jarvis and Jonathan Lee explained in a post, “The typeface design takes cues from that same schoolbook letter-printing style, but adopts the neutral consistency we’ve all come to expect from a geometric sans serif. This allows us to maintain an appropriate level of distinction between the Google logotype and the product name."

Besides typeface, the other substantial change is the colour of the first letter of the word Google—earlier in blue, it now has all four colours of the Google logo.

The redesigned logo is in keeping with design trends, where tech companies opt for modern and more playful fonts as part of their visual identity.

The biggest hint about a new logo came last month, when Alphabet was announced. The Alphabet logo is also based on the newly-created Product Sans typeface.

The other significant aspect about Google’s new logo is that it is “no longer a static wordmark". Mark Wilson in this Fast CoDesign story, has the finer details. “Like many brands, they’ve shifted from a paper-first, static logo to a dynamic, animated figure that’s only possible on screens. When Google is called to action, the letters of ‘Google’ transform into a series of four dots that morph and orbit with life. So as you begin a voice search, the Google logo will morph from ‘Google’ into the dots, which undulate like water in anticipation of your query. As you talk, the dots will become an equalizer, reacting to the sound of your vocalizations. Then when you’re done talking, the waveform become dots again, which spin as Google looks up your results. Then once the results are presented, the dots return to good old ‘Google’ again."

What do these changes reflect?

The Google announcement added, “Today we’re introducing a new logo and identity family that reflects this reality and shows you when the Google magic is working for you, even on the tiniest screens. As you’ll see, we’ve taken the Google logo and branding, which were originally built for a single desktop browser page, and updated them for a world of seamless computing across an endless number of devices and different kinds of inputs (such as tap, type and talk)."

And, as Jason Kastrenakes notes in The Verge, Google “doesn’t really settle on a specific reason that a redesign was needed, but it says that this logo should better reflect the reality that Google is no longer a site you visit on a desktop computer—it’s a huge collection of sites, apps, and services that you visit on PCs, Chromebooks, smartphones, and anywhere you can find a web browser."

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