When logos go flat: search engine edition

Whether or not you like it, flat design is here. Regardless of the actual merits of flat design, it’s spreading across all digital platforms, most recently in iOS7, which everyone is raving about.

In an interesting development, three of the three biggest internet search engines have switched their logos to reflect an increased emphasis on flat design, marking a societal shift in web design. When the three biggest names on the web – Google, Microsoft and Yahoo – all change their design to reflect a certain aesthetic, you should probably pay attention.

The Google Tossup

Search giant Google has finally unveiled their new logo, and as you can see, the difference is just slight.

New Logo.

New Logo.

Old Logo.

Old Logo.

Google has finally gotten on the flat train! Granted, you can’t say this was a last-minute reaction to the flat design trend – Google has been using this logo internally for a while. The old logo will be phased out on the website over the next few weeks.

The reason for the change? To make the logo fit with the current design interface, as they told CreativeBloq.

And as luck would have it, a major competitor went flat in the same week.

Bing Gets a Facelift

Bing, Microsoft’s original search engine, hasn’t made a whole lot of waves in the digital world. Basically, it’s hard to compete with a search company so powerful their name has become a verb meaning “to web search.” Nice work Google.

Statistics be damned – Microsoft hasn’t given up yet. Behold the change from the old logo (bottom) to the new flat design (top.)

ea0055f7-512f-4dde-a571-0b41b178b9a6_BingOldNewIt reportedly took them a year to develop that logo. Riiiiight.

Yahoo Stumbles Again 

Oh Yahoo. You’re so funny. The technorati can’t take you seriously, even after Marissa Mayer signed on as CEO and started flipping stuff around. Even buying Tumblr isn’t going to make you hip.

And yet, you still come out with a new logo. Bonus points for trying, but… You didn’t get the flat design part right.

The top one is the new logo, and the bottom one is the old.


Wait.., you left from flat to something weirder? Come on! Even one of your interns designed a logo, and it kept closer to the world standard for design trends than what you chose!

In fact, the following creation, designed by Yahoo! intern Brad Ehney, was so popular people thought it was the actual logo. 


Here’s the bottom line: if the world’s biggest tech giants, who drive billions of hits of traffic everyday, are considering a graphical redesign, magazine publishers should as well. If the objective is to secure readers to a brand, then the brand needs to have a digital presence that looks, feels and operates similar to the user’s most-used applications.

Unequivocally, these apps are designed by Google, Microsoft and the like. So if magazines want to drive web traffic, they need to step up. Forget partnerships with Sony – get yourself some web devs from Google.

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