Google’s new Icon



One site I miss from years back is It was a compendium of “swoop” based logos, showing the design trend (or lack of originality if you’re less generous) pioneered by the Nike logo.

Maybe it’s time to do the same with four colour quadrant-based logos. I admit, I used this motif in a logo about four years ago. Maybe that’s a sign. When part-time hacks like me start using a motif, it’s time to put it to bed.

Yet this past week, Google introduced a new four-colour, quadrant based “favicon”. And… and… and it just plain sucks. Not only is it a stunning example of trailing-edge design, it features limited readability. On my system, the outlined lowercase “g”, which bleeds into the background, is lost in either the default brownish grey of the default theme, or completely obliterated by the black background of my alternative theme. If you can’t control the background, don’t use bleed. Isn’t that Design 101?

Two revisions back, Google’s icon was an elegant representation of the uppercase G on their full logo. I have no idea why they moved away from that, but each successive revision has been worse.

So here’s some advice for aspiring designers: get past the four colour quadrant motif. Come up with something new and original, or at least rip off something that’s less tired. Please.