August 12, 2015

Why Did Google Choose Such a Simple Business Logo for Alphabet?

The logo for Google's parent company, Alphabet.

By Justin H.

Google has flipped the entire tech industry on its head with its announcement of the new parent company Alphabet, which will allow Google to reorganize and properly assign different projects and endeavors to their respective companies. Google will now become a more streamlined version of its former self while operating under the almighty Alphabet. Surely there are many questions left to be answered, but one in particular is very interesting.

Why does the Alphabet logo look like it was designed in ten seconds?

If you head to the new company's website--which is adorably located at the URL since is already owned by BMW--you will see its plain logo tucked away in the top left corner of the site.

The logo sports a surprisingly generic font, much like Google. It is also uniform red, the polar opposite of Google's colorful scheme. Reasons as to why they went this route are pure speculation at this point, but Alphabet's simplistic approach makes a lot of sense for a number of reasons.

Why Red?

This infographic from details many different aspects of color when it comes to company logos. That decision goes far beyond choosing whatever colors the owner is fond of. Each color evokes a different emotion, and choosing the wrong one could actually doom your business from the start.

An astonishing 84.7% of consumers cite color as the primary reason they bought a particular product. The color red often stimulates people to take risks, and arouses feelings of power and energy. Business powerhouses such as CNN, Coca-Cola, Toyota, TIME and Heinz are just a few that have done just fine sporting a traditional red logo.

A snippet of an Infographic, featuring the various effects of the color red on emotions.
Going with one basic color will ironically allow Alphabet to be as diverse as it wants to be. A logo that is open to so much interpretation does not confine them to a single service.

Take a look at this old Hotwire logo below. It has since been changed to become more simplistic. The subtle airplane in the "o" was an ode to their service of travel booking. The logo itself gives you a strong idea of what the company does, which isn't such a good thing if the business wants to wear as many different hats as Google and Alphabet does. Keep that in mind when it comes to designing your company logo!
The logo for the company Hotwire.

 Why So Simple?

These photos from Business Insider tell the whole story on where company logos are headed, particularly in the tech industry. Over the years, you'll notice each one has gradually become less  complicated

It just goes to show that once you establish a brand, with that brand comes a certain credibility and image that needs to be upheld. Graphic design tools also allow much sleeker designs than past days, but nearly every company goes with a classier and simpler design over time.

The evolution of the Yahoo logo over the years.
Yahoo became less cartoonish over time, and now goes with a simple purple font just like Alphabet.

The various changes made to the Google Logo over time.
Google's font also got progressively more professional, although they spice things up with bright colors.

The various changes made to the Microsoft company logo.
Perhaps the most extreme example of this idea, Microsoft's logo became much easier on the eyes.
Big companies have big reputations to withhold, and it is interesting how each one changes right along with the times. Alphabet is establishing itself in 2015 as arguably the most powerful company in the industry with the most basic logo of them all.

If you are starting a business, or have already created one, it is imperative to have a look at other businesses in your respective industry. It's a copycat era, but there is plenty of room for individuality despite logos becoming increasingly more generic. As a business, it is better to sell products or services based on the actual value of what you provide, as opposed to making a quick buck by catching someone's eye with an egregious logo like 1975 Microsoft.

Does your company logo stand out in the right way? Why do you think the industry is veering more towards simplicity? Feel free to let us know in the comment section!


  1. Hi Tech / Justin,

    This is the first time I know that logo of alphabet is so simple. Well, I'm not too concern about this news. But, my Facebook wall is filled by it, like it or not, I have to know about it.

    Alphabet may intentionally use the simplicity that is easy to remember. Since they are big and well-known companies, I think they do not need to create a logo that is difficult to remember. At first, they are already well known, right?

    Also, I agree with what was said by Sunday! :)

    Thanks for sharing. Thanks for contributing in my learning curve as well.


    1. Hi Nanda,

      It's definitely true that we live in a day and age where the bigger your company is, the simpler your logo often is. It's an interesting change of events from past times. Glad you enjoyed the article and we able to learn a thing or two! Thanks for commenting.

  2. Hello Justin,

    Interesting points!

    Though Alphabet is in speculating phase these days, I want to add my speculation as well.

    What I think is as they are marching towards big scene in the internet world, worrying too much on a logo is a time-wasting and hence the time has come where simplicity is the beauty. Despite we have revolutionized era of designing, I am seeing too many people/businesses are switching to normal designs.

    But anyhow, good luck to Alphabet on its future endeavors!

    ~ Adeel

    1. Hi Adeel,

      Thank you for commenting! You are definitely right about the beauty of simplicity. You risk compromising your integrity as a business if you go too crazy with logo design these days. That is an interesting theory that they simply didn't want to waste time on it, and you certainly could be right! Hopefully we find out a little more on the issue soon.