Gmail, Google Drive, Google Meet and other former G Suite products now bear a new logo and visual interface.
The way we work has changed in unprecedented ways. Keeping this in mind, Google has redesigned its G Suite offering. It is now called Google Workspace, and includes all the productivity apps you know and love — Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet, and many more.
According to an official Google blog post, with Google Workspace, the company is introducing two major things:
1) A new, deeply integrated user experience that helps teams collaborate more effectively, frontline workers stay connected, and businesses power new digital customer experiences.
2) A new brand identity that reflects its product vision and the way its products work together.
At Next OnAir in July, Google announced a better home for work. One that brings together core tools for communication and collaboration — like chat, email, voice and video calling, and content management and collaboration — into a single, unified experience to ensure that employees have access to everything they need in one place. This integrated experience is available to all paying customers of Google Workspace.
Ten years ago, when many of Google products were first developed, they were created as individual apps that solved distinct challenges — like a better email with Gmail, or a new way for individuals to collaborate together with Docs.
In a blog post, Google mentions that the new brand reflects a more connected, helpful and flexible experience, and the icons will reflect the same.
Prasanna Sankhe, co-founder and CCO at design and branding agency Hyphen, says that he did notice the changes in the logos before afaqs! approached him to voice his opinions on the design change.
"I noticed them because of the striking colours from mother brand search logo. The new logos are both visually striking and functionally super easy to relate to."
Sankhe explains that Google, as a company, has had one of the best material palettes that a large corporate, in digital or physical space, can have.
"Its design journey, in all its evolution, has been very meticulously planned, and always worked towards adding to the overall brand appeal or functionality."
Sankhe opines that the new logos are executed very minimally, yet in a highly functional space. "They are making the identification of the five segments in visual terms even better then what it used to be. The beauty about doing something this simple is that the mastery of the graphic design shines through."
Sankhe says that sometimes, a lack of control can make a simple logo seem too pedestrian, but in this case, the understanding of the intended result has made the simple graphic symbols very relatable and refreshed (the brand) Google again.
"It's a great evolutionary step in Google's brand design journey. It's perfectly calculated and takes the four colours of Google into an even easier and relatable iconography space."
Sankhe contemplates and says that it's possible that all Google consumers will have a highly positive response to these new visual logos. "It's another feather in the cap of the Google brand design and material palette story," he concludes.
Neha Tulsian, founder and creative director at NH1 Design agrees that 2020 has made us re-imagine how we think about work. She explains that this is applicable across different business types; from solo-preneurs to Fortune 500 companies. Businesses are depending on various online tools for collaborations and meetings.
“Rebranding G-suite to Google Workspace was accordingly to me, a fantastic strategic move. From being positioned as a suite of products, to now enabling a virtual workspace; it allows businesses/users to collaborate better, work from anywhere, exchange securely and use multiple productivity apps. The name workspaces communicates the products better than “G-Suite",” she opines.
Tulsian adds that it makes complete sense to change the product icons and unify them under one visual umbrella. “All the google products - maps, drive, website, chat, meet etc, now follow the same material guidelines. It helps users easily identify the products from the Google family. Thus, enhancing the brand equity,” she says.
She explains that right now many new products are coming up solving problems in the virtual working and productivity space, so a monolithic visual architecture (for all Google Workspace apps) helps create more brand recall and even differentiation.
To drive home the importance of brand recall, she recalls a cover design by Time magazine - where the name of the magazine was missing and replaced with the word ‘vote’. “Yet, everyone could recognise the brand. This is what great visual consistency can do to the brand,” she signs off.