3 branding insights from Google’s logo change

The search engine giant redesigned its logo and received varying reactions. Here’s what brand managers can learn from it. 

A new era, a new logo.

Google, the company that has become the key to information’s front door, has changed its logo a few weeks after it introduced a major restructuring through their new parent company, Alphabet.

Google’s new font, known as “Product Sans,” is the same used for Alphabet. Here’s a link to the blog post announcing the change, and the video that accompanied it:

So, what can you learn by studying the most progressive company in the world?

It’s truly amazing to consider what Google has accomplished over the past 17 years. What began as a research project by two Stanford PhD candidates has evolved into a publicly traded company with over 50,000 employees.

But the sum is greater than its parts. Over the years, Google has transformed the world: It made encyclopedias obsolete, revolutionizing the fields of translation, communication, cartography, mobile technology and the Internet itself.

Here are three lessons you learn from Google’s redesign:

1. Don’t be satisfied with the status quo. Google is one of (if not the) most progressive companies on the planet. It’s constantly striving for better.

The reason for the redesign wasn’t just to achieve a more modern look.

As the mobile movement continues its rise, Google (and others) acknowledged that certain fonts, specifically serif fonts, are more difficult to read on smaller screens. Users can read Google’s new logo equally well on watch faces, mobile devices, laptops, or smart TVs.

It’s one more step in the staircase of progress.

Lesson: There’s always room for improvement. Schedule time to examine what you’re doing right, and analyze what you’re doing wrong. Then, work to better yourself.

Google doesn’t get complacent. You shouldn’t either.

2. Not everyone will like it. A quick look at the comment thread of Google’s official blog shows that not everyone likes the new design—but that doesn’t matter.

Consumers are extremely important, and their opinions should be respected. (You are designing for them, after all.)

But people, in general, are resistant to change. You must make decisions based on what’s important to you. Others will adapt.

Lesson: Respect your users, customers, team members, and colleagues.

But define your core values, and let those dictate your decisions. If you believe strongly that it’s time for a change, go for it. Don’t look back.

3. Simplify.

If you observe the evolution of the Google logo through the last 17 years, you’ll begin to notice something: It gets simpler.

That’s nothing new; the current logos of some of today’s most iconic brands—Nike, Starbucks and Apple—are simpler than the originals.

The great artist and inventor, Leonardo da Vinci, put it best (over 500 years ago): “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Anyone can take something simple and make it complex. The smart ones work on doing the opposite.

Lesson: This goes beyond the world of design: Whatever your line of work, look for ways to declutter, streamline and simplify. It will make life better for you, and those who work with you. Justin Bariso is an author, communications consultant and speaker. A version of this article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

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