Jonathan Lee gives us insight into Google's rebranding

Google's rebranding is a step towards tackling the world's complex problems with simple, accessible design.

“We need to become simpler so that we can handle more complex problems,” says Jonathan Lee, creative director and member of Material Design at Google, detailing the motivation behind the multinational technology company’s recent rebranding.

When Google unveiled its rebranded design in early September this year it was met with mixed reviews. Some felt it didn’t make much of a difference while others went so far as to say the new font signifies a loss of innocence. With that said, there’s no denying the impact of Google on the industries of design, innovation and communication around the world. Their rebranding, according to Lee, is an effort to make their impact easier to access, simpler, and more useful.

The idea is that the everyday desktop computer is no longer the primary access point for Google’s services. “The rebrand was sparked by a need to communicate with users on mobile using Google,” says Lee, adding that the previous design had not incorporated all of the colours associated with the mammoth brand.

“The colours are like something that you inherit,” he adds. “Classic brands always have this classic colour steeped into the psyche of their users or their audience and we wanted to continue the primary, playful multicolours that the original Google logo had.”

Google released the new logo and an identity family tailored to suit a range of devices. The company added new elements like a colourful Google mic to help users identify and interact with Google whether they’re typing, talking or tapping. The designers also scrapped the previous little blue “g” icon and replaced it with a four-colour “G” that matches the new Sans-Serif logo.

“What we’re doing now is simplifying and saying okay it’s the same ‘G’ as the first letter, but it’s taking on those four colours,” says Lee. “So we’re really trying to evoke one system or each thing being a state of all the different pieces.”

Lee goes on to explain that the Google culture of holistically taking care of its employees and a design process carried forward by on-going conversations between vastly talented staff came together to make the rebranding a reality.