Art/Design, Tech

What Google Chrome’s new logo teaches us about design

8 years later.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Mar 11, 2022

Chrome is altering its logo for the first time since 2014, and if you look closely enough, you might see a difference. In a thread on Twitter, Elvin Hu, a Google Chrome designer, gives a first look at the new logo, as well as some of the thoughts behind the tiny modifications.


The red, yellow, and green are merely flat, with no shadows on the borders between each color, thus “lifting” them off the screen. While Hu does not mention it, the blue circle in the middle appears to be larger than it was in the past—but that may be an optical illusion.


The colors in the logo definitely appear to be more bright (because of the design team’s removal of the shadows), but there’s another difference that we could have easily missed if we hadn’t read Hu’s Twitter thread: “Placing specific shades of green and red close to each other caused an uncomfortable color vibration,” according to Google’s design team. They decided to rectify this and make the icon “more approachable” by using very faint gradients— which the human eye probably can’t even notice—to prevent any color vibration.


The primary Chrome logo (the one you click to access the web from your dock/taskbar) will not appear the same on all platforms. The logo will be more colorful on ChromeOS to match the other system icons, and it will have a little shadow on macOS to make it appear as though it’s “bursting out” of the dock. The Windows 10 and 11 versions, on the other hand, have a more dramatic gradient to match the aesthetic of other Windows icons. If you’re using Chrome Canary (the developer version of Chrome), you’ll notice the new icon right away, but it will take a few months for everyone else.


There are also several new icons for the Chrome logo’s beta and developer versions, the most notable of which is a blueprint-style symbol for the beta app on iOS. Hu also mentions that the design team tried a white line as a border between each hue, but discovered that it made the entire icon smaller, potentially making it difficult to distinguish from other Google apps.


From 2008 to the present, the Chrome logo has become increasingly minimalistic. What began as a gleaming three-dimensional sign has been reduced to a two-dimensional icon of modernity.


The Google Chrome logo isn’t the only one that’s undergone change recently. See how the Punisher logo changed.


Photo via Twitter/Elvin Hu