You may have heard that Google recently re-designed their iconic wordmark; they'd been using that standard serif-style "Google" for almost 16 years (with slight variations prior to that), and they decided it was time for a change.

google logos.JPG

In addition to updating the logo to a more contemporary vibe, the Google design team decided to engineer the crap out of this project.

When you think about how many times Google has to pump their logo out to people on a daily basis (every time you go to, or do a search there, or use gmail, etc), the amount of data used, or bandwidth, reaches staggeringly high numbers. A larger logo also increases load time, a crucial factor for google, whose users demand and expect near-instantaneous results. What Google decided to do, then, was to minimize the size of their own logo, thereby reducing their bandwidth and loading time considerably.

Take a look at how many points were required to construct the old logo (a basic understanding of vector graphics is handy here):

google old 1.JPG

There are ovals, serifs, distinct arcs, diagonal lines, all of which, combined, require 100 anchor points, and gives them a file that's 6K in size. Not large by any stretch, but here's where really smart design meets efficient engineering:

By combining perfect circles and stroke effects, there are 4 (maybe 5) portions of this logo that can be created using only 2 anchor points. That, plus using simple lines and boxes to add or block components, you've got a logo that (when rendered as a vector-based SVG) adds up to a mere 305 bytes, compressed. This might not seem like a big deal, but it could mean big differences to people who are using outdated or slow mobile networks, for example.

Head over to Google's design blog for more information about their decision making process about the logomark. It's a pretty good read for design nerds like us!