As a company changes and grows, so will the design it uses to identify itself. When two of the world's most recognizable companies began to implement changes to their logos, millions of people took notice.
Simple as ABC
It's hard for Google to make changes and have them go unnoticed. The entire tech world sat up and paid attention when founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin announced the creation of a holding company named Alphabet. And with the creation of this new company came immediate reaction to its logo.
The logo was regarded by some as a sign of the 16-year-old company’s maturity. "Their [Larry and Sergey's] design sensibility may have just matured with them," says Natasha Jen of Pentagram. "That’s radically simplified and nuanced from the original Google identity design. There’s an elegance in it that comes with maturity. And I see that elegance in the Alphabet logo." But the design was also criticized as looking unfinished. "I keep getting drawn back to this lowercase 'a', which lacks the subtlety of the other forms, like it missed a week of letterform school," says typographer Tobias Frerer-Jones. "On the whole, I think it’s a well-made mark that could have borne some more polishing." What impact that new company and its logo have on users remains to be seen.
Something to Tweet About
When Twitter altered the background image for its users' home pages, the backlash was immediate: its membership stalled, and the company lost ground to contemporaries like Snapchat and Pinterest. Many in the tech world are pointing to the company’s design scheme as the chief reason why Twitter isn’t as prominent as it was just a few years ago.
Image via Wired.
Besides tweaking background images, Twitter has made some subtle changes that only longtime users have noticed. One such change—replacing the "Favorite Tweet" star with a red heart—has already gotten a mixed reaction. "The concern is misguided for a few reasons," says Wired design writer Brian Barrett. "Hearts are intrinsically different from stars, sure, but they’re also much clearer in what they represent. A star can be a superlative, yes, but also a bookmark or a brush-off. A heart carries no such ambiguities." The heart is just the first in a series of planned changes suggested by CEO Jack Dorsey. As he said, "Our goal is to show more meaningful tweets and conversations faster, whether that's logged in or out of Twitter." The micro-blog company has occasionally been accused of trying to emulate the look of Facebook.
Perhaps neither of these companies will owe their success or failure to their designs, so much as to the experiences they create for their users. Still, it's the first impression that is undeniably the most important. What do you think of the new logos? Tell us in the comments!