How long do you spend on your Logomyway entries?
You want to make sure that they’re well designed and likely to triumph over a strong field of competitors, so I’m sure that you likely spend a decent amount of time considering the needs of the client, brainstorming ideas, maybe sketching a few rough ideas before settling down in front of Illustrator to do some work.
How about cramming it like a midterm exam back in college?
No? Well that’s how one logo that 350 million users by the last count see every day was designed.
Google tend to not plan many things: they’re a go with the flow kind of company. And nowhere is this more true than in logo design. Former Googler Kevin Fox (who was a designer from 2003-2008 for the company) explained in a recent Quora post the not so salubrious history of the Gmail logo:
Dennis Hwang designed the Gmail logo. At the time, Dennis designed virtually all of the Google doodles and he did a lot of the new logo work as well.
The logo was designed literally the night before the product launched. We were up very late and Sergey and I went down to his cube to watch him make it.
The initial version used the same font as the Google logo (Catull), but Catull has a very awkward ‘a’, so Dennis decided to use Catull for the ‘G’ to tie the brand to Google, then cast the others in a cleaner sans-serif (Myriad Pro, if I recall correctly).
Google’s logos have never been cutting edge (in fact, some would say that they’re a bit homespun, with the simply, childish looking fonts and the toybox colors) but even we think this is cutting it a bit fine.
The thing is though, did you notice? Does anyone notice? I’ve personally used Gmail daily almost since it was launched in April 2004, which makes it nearly 8 years. I’ve thought that the logo’s not great, but I’ve not thought that it looked like a rush job.
Additionally, I never properly noticed that the G is in a different font to the “ail” (though I did notice the “M” making an envelope). Am I the only one? How would you improve the logo? It’s been eight years, after all: maybe it’s time for a redesign?