Chrome is changing its logo for the first time in eight years

Chrome is changing its logo for the first time since 2014, and if you squint really hard, you might be able to see what’s different. Google Chrome designer Elvin Hu offers a first look at the logo redesign in a Twitter thread, along with some of the thinking behind the still-subtle changes.

Instead of incorporating shadows on the borders between each color, essentially “elevating” them off the screen, red, yellow, and green are simply flat. And although not mentioned by Hu, the blue circle in the middle seems to be bigger and looks even more into your soul, but maybe that’s just my imagination.

The colors in the logo look more vibrant (probably because the design team got rid of the shadows), but there’s another change that I never would have noticed if I hadn’t read Hu’s Twitter thread . Apparently Google’s design team discovered that “placing certain shades of green and red next to each other created an unpleasant color vibe.” To fix this and make the icon “more accessible”, they decided to use very subtle gradients – which I’m sure the human eye can’t even see – to avoid any color vibration.

Chrome’s main logo (the one you click on from your dock/taskbar to access the web) will also not look the same on all systems. On ChromeOS, the logo will be more colorful to complement the other system icons, while on macOS the logo will have a small shadow, giving the impression that it “pops out” of the dock. Meanwhile, the Windows 10 and 11 version has a more dramatic gradient so that it fits in with the style of other Windows icons. Hu says you’ll start seeing the new icon now if you’re using Chrome Canary (the developer version of Chrome), but it will start rolling out to everyone over the next few months.

There are also new icons for the beta and developer versions of the Chrome logo, with the most dramatic change being a plane-style icon for the beta app on iOS. Hu also notes that the design team experimented with a white line that acts as a border between each color, but found that this made the overall icon smaller, potentially making it harder to recognize among other Google apps.

From 2008 to today, the Chrome logo has gradually become simpler. What started as a shiny three-dimensional emblem has been crushed into a 2D symbol of modernity. Maybe one day I’ll get my wish and see that almost tangible Chrome 2008 logo gracing my desktop again. But not today.


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