The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Re-design It
This week one of the world’s most recognizable brands; Google, re-branded – and there’s plenty to admire about the exercise. Firstly, many brands rest on their laurels citing brand recognition and ‘nothing being broken’ as rationale for not updating their brand image in response to their ever changing market place, consumers and shifts in visual language that will eventually date all brands. Google not only talk the ‘innovative business’ talk, they walk the walk, constantly looking for new edges to sharpen and taking a leap into the future rather than sticking with the status quo. One of my favorite quotes is; “the best way to predict the future is to create it” and perhaps this thought provides the greatest insight into Googles ongoing dominance.
Old Google Brand Identity
Updated Google Brand Identity
New abbreviated G icon
Secondly I think they’ve hit a pretty good balance between evolution and revolution. Some brands (think Coke) evolve their brand constantly and to the extent that most consumers wouldn’t notice. This is a mindset we see regularly amongst our larger clients – I call it the ‘fear of rocking the boat’. If there’s a strong enough strategic imperative to make a change to brand identity in the first place, then the change should be substantial enough as to signal to the market that a shift has occurred and that as a business we are ‘all over it’.
Google’s refreshed brand identity is a bold step into the future (well at least a bold step into 2015), whilst keeping enough of the current brand personality and visual language to sit comfortably as a clear relation to the brand identity design it is replacing.
As Google states about the design update: “Our mission—to take the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful—continues to evolve. Last year we introduced Material Design to help designers and developers embrace an expanding, multi-device, multi-screen world. With those considerations in mind, we are excited to share a new brand identity that aims to make Google more accessible and useful to our users—wherever they may encounter it.”
Google enlisted designers from all across the company who convened in New York for an intense, week-long design brainstorm. They drafted a brief that identified four challenges they wished to address
1. The incorporation of dynamic, intelligent motion that responded to users at all stages of an interaction.
2. A systematic approach to branding in our products to provide consistency in people’s daily encounters with Google.
3. A refinement of what makes us Googley, combining the best of the brand our users know and love with thoughtful consideration for how their needs are changing.
For a full breakdown of the re-design you can check this article on the Google site: Evolving the Google Identity