Google’s name is synonymous with the internet. That’s because it’s the number one search engine, the number one browser (Chrome), and is used by more people every day for their business tools, personal tools, and apps than any other online system.
Apple comes close and has millions of users as well, but they don’t have a search engine as popular or as powerful as Google. Google’s net worth was estimated around $498 billion, topping Apple’s $495 billion in May of 2016.
That being said, the history of Google is even more interesting than where Google is today. They started, like many multi-billion dollar corporations, in someone’s basement or garage. Google began as a graduate program Larry Paige and Sergey Brin, out to produce the world’s best search machine.
The company, as well as the logo, has grown since then into the Google we know today.
But let’s take a look at their logo beginnings.
August 1998: The Beginning
Everyone has to start somewhere. When Google first started, their logo was a stick man standing in the back with a bold “Google” sign over it. Some said people came to see that as a “Be Back Later!” sign. It was simple but bold and stood as the first official logo of the internet giant.
November 2001: Monet
Dennis Hwang, known as Google’s first official doodler, came up with an artistic “Monet-like” logo in 2001 to celebrate Claude Monet’s birthday. It features Impressionist painting with lily pads underneath the logo. A real artistic flair.
March 2003: E=MC2
On Albert Einstein’s birthday, Google created a tribute to the Physics genius that included an “O” that featured a sketch of Einstein’s face with messed up hair and mustache, along with “=MC2” at the end.
April 2003: The Double Helix
In April of 2003, Google honored the anniversary of the discovery of DNA with a colorful double helix design that wrapped around the distorted the middle letters. But you could, of course, still tell it was Google, even if it was a bit of genetic engineering!
April 13, 2003: Alfred Hitchcock
On this date, Google changed their logo to reflect the great English/American film director, Alfred Hitchcock. Capturing the way he presented himself on his shows, it was a simple silhouette of Hitchcock with a bird on his head from his famous “The Birds” film. The second “O” held the image of Alfred in honor of him.
March 2005: Van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh inspired this version of Google’s logo from “Starry Starry Night,” where the brushstrokes are predominant and waves of soft color emanate the logo.
January 2006: Braille
In January 2006, people must have thought Google’s fonts quit working when they saw this. It’s the “Google” logo in Braille. The letters are all arranged according to the Braille alphabet for the blind. The problem was though that you couldn’t feel them. So it just ended up being a bunch of colorful dots.
May 2006: Sherlock Holmes
One of the more artistic creations and derivative logos, Google created a stunning drawing of Sherlock Holmes from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective books, with mysterious footprints leading up to the logo and the “L” formed a street light, to add to the mystery.
April 2007: Frozen in Ice
To celebrate Earth Day in April 2007, Google created an iceberg image of its name half immersed in water.
January 2008: For the Love of Legos
Legos took center stage in the legos version of the Google logo, to celebrate
the invention of this popular toy and Lego’s 50th anniversary.
May 2008: Lasers
In this logo, Google used lasers as the central theme that crisscrossed logos over each other using the name.
January 2009: Martin Luther King, Jr.
In January 2009, this logo took center stage and focused on a mural of King and his contribution to society.
January 2009: Jackson Pollack
In this strange abstract painting of the Google logo, it’s hard to make out the name. But the Google staff felt it had to be done that way to illustrate the abstract art talents of the famed pop artist.
March 2009: Dr. Seuss
Google’s tribute to Dr. Seuss in this character collage of the famous Seuss characters from his books, is one of the most unique and creative ones yet.
April 2009: Morse Code
Morse code is the theme of this unique Google logo, and it gets the point across if you are a submarine captain who gets the internet.
May 2010: Pac-Man
Pac-Man was one of the most popular video games ever designed in the 70’s and 80’s. This Google logo celebrates that fact and is good enough to play!
May 2010: Swan Lake
Google got artistic when they asked the San Francisco Ballet to pose in the shape of the Google logo. They included many artistic elements of the scene design in this logo as well, and it is beautiful.
February 2011: The Wizard of Menlo Park
This logo celebrated the Wizard of Menlo Park’s birthday and featured a host of unique inventions the Park was known for, all intertwined together to form the lettering.
May 2011: The Phonograph
In May 2011, Google came up with this realistic-looking gramophone to honor the inventor of the gramophone (the first record-player), Emile Berliner. It’s real appearance, and 3-D look attracted lots of people to the creativeness of this logo. The two “O’s” are formed by two record albums.
From Then to Now: 2016
As you can see, Google has done well in following the trends, as well as the anniversaries and birthdays of famous inventors, artists, and others and including them within their logo design. This was a trend that they followed for over a decade as they made subtle changes to both their business and their branding.
Using their logo to recount historical events became a tradition with Google. Since then, however, they have decided that keeping their logo constant was important and now boast only a simple but colorful “Google” logo that so many are used to in the middle of a simple search page. For a look at all of Google’s previous logos, visit here.
They do still feature important events and commemorations, but this is done now with an animation that is featured below the logo. This move has been good for Google as it reminds people of who they are while showing their support for unique landmarks and inventors, as well as people and creators who have made the world what we know today.
What’s in a name?
When it comes to a logo, you can’t be too good. Your name is important and so is your branding. Your logo is a big part of that. To help shape your logo and make it better, you need help sometimes.
That’s what we do at logodesignteam.com.
Take a look at these Google logos and get inspired. Then see us. We can help you create a logo you’ll want to keep. And even if you change it, we’ll be there for that too.
Change is a part of business. But your logo should reflect who you are along the way.