Google Changes Smallest, But All-Pervasive, Element Of Brand Identity – The Favicon

The New Favicon, Enlarged

It’s such a small thing — only 16 pixels by 16 pixels — but, when folks are browsing along day-to-day, the favicon is how they find the browser tab that has Google.com open, or the favorite link to Google. And Google has changed this iconic image this week, for the first time since 2009.

The company has been testing a similar new image, all blue, since at least February. Now, they have adopted it for Google.com.  Each other Google property — Google+, Play, Gmail, etc. — has its own unique favicon.

The last time the company changed the image it was resigned in part via a design contest. That colorful favicon lasted from 2009 to 2012. The new one looks very much like the reverse of one that was used back in 2008 — while that one was blue on white, this one is white and blue. This time, the switch could be part of Google’s “simpler and more beautiful” interface initiative. I’ve got an inquiry out to Google and will update if they have anything to say about the change.

Here’s a peek at previous Google favicons:

And, in context, in reverse chronological order:

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: Logos & Doodles

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About The Author: is executive features editor of Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. She’s a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported on, written about and worked in digital media and marketing for more than 10 years. She is a previous managing editor of ClickZ and has worked on the other side of digital publishing, helping independent publishers monetize their sites in her work at Federated Media Publishing.

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  • PerspicacityGalena91
  • http://www.giuseppelanzetta.com/ Giuseppe Lanzetta
  • xxdesmus

    God I hope we just kill favicons soon. Bad for security and just generally useless. They are being slowly but surely removed in Chrome and Firefox as well.

  • Kim Deppe

    interesting. as favicons are (or should be) a reflection of the overall brand positioning, I have to consider what this means in terms of where Google is going with its brand. 

  • Pamela Parker Caird

    Sorry I’m just responding but the image you linked to has the “g” off to the left side (which seems to be one of the “tested” versions), whereas the one they eventually adopted has the “g” in the center.

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