GOOGLE has a new owner: a holding company called Alphabet, run by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Alphabet owns a few other things, too: Namely, every company ever created or acquired under the tech giant’s many-tentacled purview.
You could say Google got a rebranding of the highest magnitude, but that’s not quite accurate. Alphabet is a holding company, and Google is just one child held within its new parent’s staggeringly powerful arms. Their purposes are different, their corporate structures different. And their logos? Those are different, too.
Given the confusion surrounding the announcement, Alphabet’s visual identity plays a vital role helping people understand the differences between the two companies. Whereas Google’s goofy logo reflected a not-quite-mature web, Alphabet’s rational, bright red wordmark signals a growing-up phase. If Google’s logo reflects a campus with multi-story slides and themed conference rooms, Alphabet’s says, “I have a lobby full of Knoll furniture.”
We asked asked leading designers around the world what they think of the new Alphabet logo and they (mostly) love it.
The new name could give Google new-found flexibility …
Howard Belk, chief creative officer of Siegel+Gale: The Google brand and name is synonymous with “the Internet.” This new name is a signal Google has plans to keep expanding in whatever directions it sees fit. Whether the implications of this move are financial, such distinguishing the ROI on various ventures, and allowing investors to participate in a more targeted manner, or managing brand creation, choosing to put Google under an umbrella company shows that the company has plans for many more ventures.
… Or it could just confuse users.
Paul Munkholm, director of strategy, digital agency Kettle: As a business move, it can be really smart to decouple large, meaty businesses. [However,] there are a few watch-outs. First is the name Alphabet. There’s not a clear branding or verbal link to Google or to the other entities. Unlike Virgin, which is clearly a parent brand to businesses like Virgin Air and Virgin Mobile, Alphabet doesn’t have that same connection. The risk here is that for a while, people won’t know how to talk about Google. Google has become such a household name, but should people now talk about Alphabet when they mean Google?