Google Does It Again

By Mash Bonigala

We write a lot about Google’s special event logos, but they really seem to outdo themselves every time. The company has moved from making simple, celebratory holiday logos to creating interactive designs that show the full range of Google’s creativity. The latest, Les Paul logo, will surely go down as one of the company’s most interesting, especially to music lovers around the world.

The Google Les Paul logo design interprets the Google logo as a guitar. That is interesting in itself, but the real magic lies in the interactive features of the logo. In honor of what would be the famous musician’s 96th birthday (Paul died two years ago this August), the guitar logo could actually be played with a computer mouse. Users could record songs of thirty seconds, play them back and share them with others via a unique URL for each song. Because Les Paul is considered the inventor of the electric guitar, this is not just creative but highly relevant to the event as well. It will go down in internet history as one of the more interesting Google logos, joining their John Lennon and Charlie Chaplin logos.

Because the Les Paul special edition logo design was so popular, Google extended the run and allowed it to be on the home search page for two days. However, this is not the first time that a special edition Google logo has been successful. In fact, the company seems to create so many holiday logos and other event logos that we only occasionally see the original Google logo anymore. The Google logo seems to lend itself especially well to variations. This is probably due to its simple, logotype design, it’s recognizable shape, and its distinctive elementary school color palette.

Each of the elements of the Google logo are recognizable on their own. However, most brands and logo designs are not so flexible. Many small business owners may see the success of special edition Google logos and wonder whether they should work on a few of their own. Unfortunately, variations on a logo rarely work. Google may be a notable exception to this rule, but it is nonetheless an exception. In most cases, switching up you logo will only create confusion and make your brand less recognizable to your customer base.

If you are wondering whether your logo is versatile enough to withstand routine ‘special editions’ and holiday varietals, you should talk to a logo designer. Even Google’s logos are professionally designed and programmed. Google may be willing to play with their brand, but they are very strict about protecting it by only allowing the most professional work to hit the public website. This attention to detail and branding is one of the factors that have built the Google brand to its current place as the top search engine on the globe. Your business deserves no less.