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Monday, January 14, 2008

Ruth Kedar On Designing the Google Logo

Ruth Kedar of designed the Google logo in the version that became famous around the world (the original tries at designing the logo were by Google co-founder Sergey Brin, reportedly, using the Gimp software). I asked Ruth how the Google logo design came about originally, and here’s her reply.

I was teaching design at Stanford University in 1999 when I was introduced to Larry Page and Sergei Brin by a mutual friend at Stanford. They were looking at designers to design their logo and website and I was asked to present them with some preliminary design ideas. They liked my approach and design style and I was hired to design both.

Google wanted to create a unique logo that would clearly differentiate them from the other search players at the time (Yahoo, Excite, HotBot, LookSmart and Lycos), as well as embody their unique vision.
These other players were commercial portals first, and search engines second. Google wanted to convey that it was as a search provider first and foremost. It offered fast, comprehensive, and above all trustworthy search results. It was innovative, algorithmically complex yet incredibly simple to use. Furthermore, Google as a brand should repudiate all things corporate, conventional or complacent.

Based on these guidelines there were many design iterations, and many directions were explored. At every meeting we managed to better reconcile the vision and its visual expression leading to the final design.

In the end this particular logo was selected because it reached its goal in many levels:

Google today is a much more complex entity – it has evolved and grown beyond our wildest imagination – who knew that it would become one of the most ubiquitous and recognized brands worldwide and that google would be a noun and a verb?
It gives me great pleasure that the design has transcended both its time and original needs, being as relevant today as it was then. Furthermore, it has become the canvas upon which Dennis Hwang’s Google Doodles can flourish. :)


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