Google’s geometrically flawed logo is not, in fact, a design mistake – as this video explains. It’s a balancing and visual decision. Via DesignTaxi:
Google’s logo has become the topic of much discussion lately. After a Reddit thread comparing the original versus its geometrically perfect version surfaced, the subject quickly gained traction among Reddit users and graphic designers across the internet.
The side-by-side sparked design critiques about how geometric precision did not equate to visual appeal, amongst other thoughts and opinions.
Will Paterson—freelance graphic designer specialized in logo design and brand identity, who’s previously shared valuable tutorials such as the Illustrator pen tool hack that shaves hours off digitizing logotypes, and how to use the golden ratio in logo design—succinctly sums up why the original symbol is not a design mistake.
Paterson presents the Nintendo Switch logo as a relevant example, where optical balance was prioritized over geometric perfection. He visually demonstrates how an ideally circular ‘G’ would throw the entire logo off and why—despite being “mathematically wrong”—Google’s logo is “optically correct.”
Google itself provided an explanation for its rebranding philosophy a few years ago:
The web giant’s principal justification for its redesign was legibility, reinforcing a century-old assumption that sans serif fonts are intrinsically easier to read. The popularity of this connection has its genesis with the London Underground font, designed by Edward Johnston and Eric Gill and which they claimed drastically improved reading times.
In this respect, Google’s shift to a flat sans serif in a slightly muted palette continues the vogue for neomodern design in web services. It is an aesthetic perfectly suited to the current era, in which our lives are dominated by ubiquitous telephony and the proliferation of “smart” devices – from wristwatches to refrigerators. The gradual decline of drop shadows, textures, embellishments and photographic logos are all intended to reduce screen clutter and achieve one end: higher data entry speeds.