Unless you've been living in the wilderness for the past 24 hours, or for some reason exclusively use Ask.com, you'll have heard that Google has changed its logo. The new image is strikingly different, and arguably the biggest design change for the company since 1999. But why now? The suggested reasons range from technological, to practical, to just a bit conspiratorial!
The official line
When Google released the news of the logo change on its blog it made it clear that they see this as a change necessary for a modern multi-device world. The logo and brand were originally created, 17 years ago, to work within a desktop PC. Now that list also includes laptops, smartwatches, in-car entertainment, mobile phones and televisions. In their words:
"[Google's brand has been updated] for a world of seamless computing across an endless number of devices and different kinds of inputs (such as tap, type and talk)."
The trademark colours are now applied to the Microphone icon and a "G" icon. This means that with the new branding users can always tell when Google is doing the work - no matter what the size of the screen.
Alongside the announcement yesterday Google also released a video launching the new brand. Within it they show just how vast the company has become in terms of offerings.
This is close to the messaging Google used when announcing the creation of Alphabet - a new holding company that allows its experimental ventures to sit separately from its search engine.
As The Independent points out though, Alphabet has been showing off the new branding for weeks. The "G" block distinctly shows the new typeface.
Many have suggested that the rebrand was a necessary step to bring in the Alphabet era - to mark a new period for the company and align itself with a new larger image.
Lastly, The Guardian plays host to a rather peculiar opinion article suggesting a slightly more covert motive for the brand change.
"The gradual decline of drop shadows, textures, embellishments and photographic logos are all intended to reduce screen clutter and achieve one end: higher data entry speeds."
Rather than just being a move to make mobile design stronger, Jack Self suggests that Google's ultimate priority is speed. He notes that any disruption to a service reliant on mass user volume would be disastrous and thus Google is making this move from more of a business perspective.
Whatever the reason though, Google is hoping this update will stand the test of time, for now anyway. As Google put it: "This isn’t the first time we’ve changed our look and it probably won’t be the last."