The Secret History of the Google Logo

December 23 2020

Google has been with us for more than 23 years. Google is considered one of the biggest search engines in the world. The Google company is one of the Big 5 technological companies in the US’s information technology industry. Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1996 and in late 1998 Larry Page came up with the logo of Google using Gimp, which is a graphics program. Before Google had an original logo made by one of the founders, Google used to be known as BackRub. The logo can be visualised as below:

The name Google came from the Latin word “googol” which means 10 to the 100th power. The founders wanted the logo to represent the idea that it’s made to be a search engine that can quickly process and return a massive number of results. They also added an exclamation mark to the logo in 1998, arguably inspired by Yahoo. However, that exclamation mark was removed a year later.

Modernizing the Logo

Modernizing The Logo

In 1999 an assistant professor at Stanford, Ruth Kedar designed prototype logos for Google on the request of a friend of the founders. The first few prototypes changed the colour of the alphabets and the majority of the alphabets of Google were mainly black. She made a handful of prototypes some made by using Catull typeface. The more prototypes she made the more the colours of the alphabets she kept changing. First, the two O’s of Google were changed from Black and in her next design, she changed the colours of all the alphabets. But the colours were not the ones used as of now and she couldn’t really agree on what to do with the O’s, she made one into a magnifying glass, made one higher than the other. One of her designs portrayed the symbol as 3d which was used as the official logo from 1999-2010.

Recent Years

Recent Years

In the next five years, the logo kept becoming more and more 2d and vibrant. The logo hasn’t changed much, in fact from 1999-2015 some minor touches were only done to the logo. On September 1, 2015, the logo’s font was changed to Serif typeface. In most applications associated with google, you might have seen only the alphabet G used instead of the whole word Google. The G has been made into an alphabet with 4 colours Red, Orange, Green, Blue.


Mostly it is referred to as the rainbow G which represents the smartphone app and the favicon for Google websites, and a microphone for voice search. The new voice search of Google on most phones and devices now portrays a dynamic logo of Google which shows some of the dots bouncing and moving around.


In short, the Google logo has seen many changes done to the font, colours, and pattern of the alphabets but as time has gone by the logo keeps on getting better and more vibrant. We are eager to see what the logo will look like in the future if Google decides to change its logo again.

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