Google presented their brand new logo in a google doodle recently. There’s probably been a ton of fanfare in the run-up to the unveiling, but I missed it. Like usual.
I’ve never fully understood the hoopla surrounding logos. I get the fact they’re brand identifiers; I know they’re a critical element in marketing and advertising; I’m aware they’re designed to create a specific impression. But once they’re established and recognized, who cares? Well, no one, unless it’s their logo. To them, it’s wondrous and sacred.
The logo for MTM Enterprises is my all-time favorite. The concept, the execution, the flexibility — brilliant. Based on MGM (Metro Goldwyn Mayer) and the roaring lion, the MTM (Mary Tyler Moore) logo had a kitten meowing. When it appeared in the credits at the end of The Bob Newhart Show, it was exactly the same except Newhart’s voice said ‘meow’ instead of the kitten. When it was on St. Elsewhere, the kitten wore a surgical mask. Best logo ever, as far as I’m concerned,
Google’s is meh. It was a yawn before and it’s a yawn now. The change is very subtle. They stuck with the primary colors, which was smart, and the same clean, simple appearance, which was really smart. The only change I noticed was an updated font. It went from a serif to a rounded sans serif. And that wasn’t a whim, I assure you.
The doodle showed an animated hand drawing the letters with different colors of chalk. It was, as always, very well done. You were charmed whether you wanted to be or not. And that’s the entire purpose behind the doodle and the new logo. To disarm us, make us feel good about google as a company. The font is more playful, less business-y; the hand was a kid’s; the colors are bright, cheerful, and as innocent as pre-school.
Google is eager for you and I to see them as fun, wide-eyed, happy little helpers. Not data miners harvesting and analyzing every scrap of personal information so readily available to them as we use their products. The harsh reality is: Google’s no different than the NSA, except for the fun, trippy logo.
Sorry, let me explain. I love advertising. I really do. It’s a fun business and the best occupation in the world. But twenty some years of creating it has made me a raging cynic. I see hidden agendas everywhere. I probably had leanings in that direction, anyway, but now? Whoa. So take my interpretation for what it’s worth: the wild ramblings of a suspicious mind.