Tuesday, May 27, 2008

(Small) Rant about Google

So, some of you may have noticed that last Thursday (May 22), Google's logo looked very different - in fact, it looked bright and colorful, and as though stepping between those giant letters in the word "Google" one might find oneself in some mythical land:

The new logo was the work of an elementary school student, Grace Suryung Moon from a middle school in California. You can read about it here. She was the national winner in a Google-sponsored logo art contest, and she won for herself a $10,000 college scholarship and for her school a $25,000 technology grant. All of this is beautiful. My one small rant is this: why did Google show Grace Moon's work for only a single day? It was so colorful and vibrant, that now I find I miss it terribly, and my favorite search engine now looks a bit dull and metallic in its absence. I am confounded with the persistent suspicion that we have somehow been treated badly: shown a flash of sunrise or sunset glory, just long enough to be teased with it, before being dropped back into the mundane and everydayness of web surfing. The message of the artwork is clear enough: "We are creative and we will take you to new and magical places" - it is a good message for advertising a search engine. But bring it back! You can't transform your logo into a magical art piece by the alchemy of a child's prodigious imagination only to change the gold back into lead the next day. That's just horrible.

//end rant

Thursday, May 29 - Addendum:

Another beautiful logo-day at Google. Did someone read this post and decide to spice things up with a mountain-climbing experience? It's more likely coincidence. In the thoughtful comments our readers have made to this post, we've learned that Google does this sort of thing more often than we'd supposed.... Maybe it will work itself up to the point where the Google logo invites us to a new and marvelous place each day.

We can hope so! I admire the risks this firm takes and its support of artists. Someone reminded me today of just how many people see this logo. (He said a "bazillion," I believe. I don't know how much a bazillion is, but it is surely many millions.) Let's clamor for more of this. As a man with a love of rock-climbing, I especially like today's.


Anonymous said...

For several years now Google has been featuring one-day different takes of their logo depending on the holiday, person, or sentiment being featured. For Van Gogh's birthday it looked like Starry Night, for St. Pat's day 4 leaf clovers, etc. I don't think they were planning to change their logo all together. Just give her the one-day deal that they give to others. Sort of like the Empire State Building lighting up different colors for certain people, events, or holidays. It's a beautiful work of art she made, and would be lovely to have stick around.

Dante's Heart said...

I agree. It would wonderful to have her work here with us longer.

I am glad to hear that Google will have other one-day deals....

Anonymous said...

Yes they should have her work up longer, but you know what else?

I think all of the finalists should be randomly generated on the site as well, she could be the the one shown on the main page, but I also think the others should be shown as well, they all put in blood sweat and tears, I think the winner's artwork, as well as all of the finalist's artworks should be in a random generator shown on google until the next contest in 2009's doodle for google

Dante's Heart said...

That's not a bad idea. Also, from a commercial/branding perspective, I would argue that the recognizable "Google" logo doesn't consist of the colors of the letters, but rather their shape and the word itself (which has entered our dictionaries: "Did you google me?"), and so their brand would be maintained (and in fact enriched) even if they had a different look to their logo each day. Because it would still say "Google" - it would just challenge us to think about how creative and inventive and ready to innovate and ready to be both beautiful and useful Google actually is. So if I was on their marketing team, I would be doing a lot more of this. Their competitors aren't brave enough to juggle with their logo like that; it would be one more move that would set Google apart.

michaelejahn said...

Google always keeps it fresh, so one day, seen by a bazzilion people is quite an honor. Hardly anything to whine about - if you want to see that on your dashbord, use iGoogle for cryin' out loud and put it there, and that way you can see it 100 times a day whenever you search !!

With Google, you can have it YOUR WAY, you just need to do a little homework !


Dante's Heart said...

Hi Michael,

I hope you will take this post and its comments in the spirit of customer suggestions, and note the tone of Google-celebration that has emerged in the past several comments, rather than focus on the initial "whiny-ness" of the post. We love that Google supports young artists!

Thanks for the link & the information.

P.S. I'm loving the Mt. Everest ascent logo that's up today.