Is Google pulling a Yahoo and getting a logo redesign?

On last week’s Breaking Bad, Walt Jr. asked Skyler why they had to say “Have an A-1 day!” to each customer at the car wash. 

“It reinforces the brand,” she says, looking at her son like he slept through Marketing 101. And she’s right. Doing things like repeating a catchphrase ad nauseum keeps customers ever-aware of which service they’ve chosen. Another brand enforcer: having a consistent, easily recognizable logo. And that’s why changing a logo is a big deal for branding, and it’s why people paid a lot of attention to Yahoo’s “big” switch-up

So logo changes are big news. And the biggest name in tech has been playing around with changing its logo. 

Eagle eyes at Ars Technica spotted what looks like Google’s new logo in the software development kit for the Chrome for Android Beta, and although the flatter, more subtly colored logo has since been pulled, there are plenty of screenshots we can analyze. The Google logo you’ll see if you look at the homepage now has minor faux 3-D shading, but the new logo will be completely flat and devoid of shading. 

Fast Company pointed out that Google’s logo has been inching toward flatness for years now, since 1999. Each change since then has removed some element of shading or fluff — at one point, Google had an exclamation point at the end, just like Yahoo. The redesign makes sense because Google made the Chrome symbol flat in recent years, so this makes its branding look more consistent. 

And aside from consistency, the logo is simpler without looking childish, and it looks cleaner and more modern. Plus, it’s such a small deviation from the old logo that Google won’t risk damaging the cultural cachet its logo has built up over the years. 

Overall, it’s a strong redesign — now we just have to see if they actually roll it out. According to The Verge, a source close to Google says this new logo will not replace the old logo, it will just be used when the shading of the standard logo does not display well. 

That’s too bad, because the flatter logo is more aesthetically pleasing and consistent with Google’s brand. Maybe all of this media attention will help nudge Google into a more widespread update. 

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