Google "G" logo is wonky

6 years ago from , UI Director at Bletchley Park

Overall I'm a fan of Google's new logotype. But does it bug anyone else that the diagonal separating yellow and green on the "G" logo version is just, almost the same angle as the terminal of the G but not quite?

Google even inexplicably emphasizes this in their design case study by animating the grid lines used to construct the G, making it plainly clear that the two lines just don't quite match up:

Google G Logo

Any ideas why they wouldn't chop the counter at the same diagonal? They had to have known about and discussed this…

[update]: for fun, here's a comparison showing the current logo and two geometrically aligned options:

Google G Comparison


  • Kyle DeckerKyle Decker, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

    I think this quote is worth visiting, in the context of Google's new logo:

    Erik Spiekermann, on designing his font FF Meta:

    If you look at the data, it’s a mess. The thickness is all over the place, nothing is identical. But I’ve resisted any attempt to clean it up, because then it wouldn’t be Meta any more, it would be a mechanical clone. And that’s the challenge for all of us — to create warmth in a digital world. Not many people can do it. You see a lot of stuff that looks great but simply doesn’t turn you on. It’s like making a song on a synthesizer. To make a drum machine sound good is really difficult — you might as well play real drums. We’re still analogue beings. Our brains and eyes are analogue.

    43 points
    • Michael AleoMichael Aleo, 6 years ago

      I wish I could upvote you more than once.

      If you think they didn't do sentiment testing on 100 versions of the logo to figure out the subconscious reaction to subtle changes and tweaks to the thickness, alignment, etc you're crazy. This is Google, who has famously tested hundreds of shades of blue for a button (Doug Bowman has spoken at length about this).

      The Spiekermann bit on warmth is dead on.

      1 point
    • Daniel De LaneyDaniel De Laney, 6 years ago

      There are other elements of the logo that clearly demonstrate resistance to the kind of “correctness” that Toby is talking about:


      It’s intentionally whimsical, not a failed geometric experiment.

      7 points
    • Toby Keller, 6 years ago

      I'm sure you're right… still kinda odd that they then presented it with this grid animation that seems to want to show off the shape's geometrical precision.

      I guess that's still what bugs me about this: it's not unapologetically imperfect or organic (like FF Meta, or the tilted "e" in the logotype); instead, everything else about the "G" sort of promises or implies precision and symmetry, then delivers an almost geometrically perfect shape, then just this one single, subtle aspect is not symmetrical. The curve of the G maps to a perfect circle; the stroke is precisely the same width throughout, no variation; the crossbar is perfectly centered on the yellow segment… but then there's the just slightly mismatched diagonal.

      I dunno. Not a big deal in the grand scheme, just struck me as off for such an otherwise symmetrical shape.

      1 point
      • Kyle DeckerKyle Decker, 6 years ago

        Actually, the G isn't a perfect circle—it's been optically adjusted to account for "underbite".


        The logo may not be geometrically perfect, but the subtle changes were quite intentional. I appreciate the discussion, though. Design is so personal!

        1 point
  • Palash MukhopadhyayPalash Mukhopadhyay, 6 years ago

    Even the bar of the G, if you noticed, is not exactly aligned to the center of that angle formed by those diagonals. That's because they've separated the form from the decoration, the shape from the colors. In type, the form is often judged by eye and is not necessarily geometrically perfect. In fact, in most cases it isn't! It just appears to be and that's all that matters :)

    16 points
    • Toby Keller, 6 years ago

      All well and good, if it appears to be perfect. This absolutely doesn't. I noticed the discrepancy in angles the first time I looked at the G, and watched the animation afterward, which confirmed what I saw.

      Humans are pattern-recognition machines. In this logo, there is a pattern: the red/yellow division is mirrored in the blue/green division; it's only natural then to assume the yellow/green division will be likewise mirrored in the end of the red terminal (which would mark the red/blue division, were it a full circle). Giving all the indications of a pattern and then having the pattern be slightly off isn't the same as visual alignment or visual kerning.

      1 point
      • Palash MukhopadhyayPalash Mukhopadhyay, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

        I disagree that the colors are mirrored. In fact, the ratio of the colors are reminiscent of the original logo (though they do seem to have increased the amount of green!). In this configuration: + The yellow also kind of leads into the rest of the logo, drawing your eye from left to right. + Its brightness does not overpower the other colors. + If the colors were in the same ratio it would totally remind me of the Windows logo! + I do think the G works better with the original terminal angle. With the chopped one it looks incomplete, as if the cut is oblique to the stroke. + The G works in monochrome as well, as also in combination with the other letters.

        I like the last variant you posted, but the yellow and blue seem unbalanced. Something they totally nailed in the original.

        3 points
  • Some DesignerSome Designer, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

    There's a thing called "breaking the grid". Human eye is not working with pixels or metrics. That's where designers role begins. Breaking the grid for optical perfectness.

    If there's weren't such thing, our job was only to fill squares.

    12 points
  • Rick KhannaRick Khanna, 6 years ago

    They probably just wanted less yellow. ;) But honestly, when I see these circle grid lines all over the place after someone has designed an icon or logo is looks like mostly BS to me. Like something they added in after the fact to make it seem like a more complex process.

    6 points
  • Chase GiuntaChase Giunta, 6 years ago

    Because 99% of the population doesn't care.

    3 points
  • Ryan Snowden, 6 years ago

    Binary axis was used to set the angle, offset axis for the yellow. What is so hard to grasp?

    1 point
  • Geoff RogersGeoff Rogers, 6 years ago

    These kinds of diagrams that show all the alignments always just serve to illustrate the many ways in which a design doesn't line up. It's especially pointless in type design where optical perfection is never going to be geometric perfection. I don't know why designers keep trying to show off in this way.

    1 point
  • Jonathan KimseyJonathan Kimsey, 6 years ago

    I assume they did this because they're Google & they'll do what they want. Also, does it really matter? It's not like I'm gonna switch to Bing because of a new logo/mark that is not perfectly symmetrical.

    1 point
  • jiyin yiyongjiyin yiyong, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

    Someone mentioned this on Dribbble too: https://dribbble.com/shots/2224543-Simple-Google-Logo-Fix

    1 point
    • Kyle DeckerKyle Decker, 6 years ago

      The off-center yellow in the "fixed" version bothers me much more than the slight discrepancy in angles. Also, the red section now "cuts" through the crossbar of the G, which is a subtle (but IMO important) distinction.

      12 points
    • Hans van de BruggenHans van de Bruggen, 6 years ago

      The "fixed" version feels bottom-heavy.

      0 points
    • Taylor PoeTaylor Poe, 6 years ago

      In the original version the blue is satisfyingly shooting the yellow. In the "fixed", it's an erratic shot. There's more to balance than one slice of simple geometry.

      0 points
  • Jonathan Maloy, 6 years ago

    Image alt

    0 points
  • Kat ☺, 6 years ago

    Does everything have to be aligned and angled mathematically, though? I mean, at first when people started justifying their logo with a series of golden-rule circles and angles, we laughed at them. It was fluff. It was forced and trite. Now we require it?

    0 points
    • Toby Keller, 6 years ago

      They brought it up by including the grid line animation… I'm just responding to the incongruity of showing off the grid geometry of a shape that doesn't map to their own grid!

      0 points
      • Mike MaiMike Mai, 6 years ago

        Break the grid only if you know the grid. Basic fundamental of graphic design.

        1 point
  • Nordin O, 6 years ago

    The G looks a lot like the G from LG, and the E looks a lot like the E from Heineken to be honest..

    0 points
  • Pasquale D'SilvaPasquale D'Silva, 6 years ago

    It doesn't look whimsical, it looks like shitty color design, backed by non-emotional consideration. The blue and green oscillate a ton when butted up next to each other.

    0 points
  • Eric StevensEric Stevens, 6 years ago

    Google did not just design the G for static viewing. They have animations in mind. The top angle of the G deals with completing a whole circle - the colors and segments deal with legibility and movement. The yellow takes the least space due to yellow on anything being difficult to read. Look at it holistically!

    0 points
  • Ix TechauIx Techau, 6 years ago

    I assume it's because if it was the same angle, some green would have cut off a portion of the bar in the G. They had to move the centre point to avoid that.

    0 points
  • vadim mikhnovvadim mikhnov, 6 years ago

    It makes the opening of the letter look nice and balanced and not turn into a gaping hole breaking the form.

    0 points