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February 14, 2007


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Mike Empuria

The chocolate covered strawberry is the G and its green stem is the L so Google didn't make a mistake. Perhaps they could be guilty of over subtlety?


Hi Mike — If the green stem is indeed the "L," a proofreader should have caught this that it doesn't read as an "L." As a proofreader, I'll make suggestions on text graphics/logos if I find these elements don't communicate well.

I guess that's the larger issue here: this logo doesn't read as "Google." It reads as "Googe" even if the stem is the "missing L."

If that's the case and someone approved this, that person was too close to the project and had probably seen it too many times. Bringing in an outside person — even from a different department in the same company — would have brought that objectivity needed to give the Valentine's logo a clean evaluation.

Your question brings up a central question in design communication: when readability is sacrificed to design, does it work? I think the answer is always no, even though everyone knew that it was still the Google logo. I don't think anyone asked themselves, "Hey! What's the new company GOOGE doing at the Google address?"

The next question is: How far does Google want to push the power — and flexibility — of their incredibly recognizable logo?

Maryam in Marrakesh

I saw this, too. But there is just no way that Google made a typo. I mean I just can't believe that....


Hi Maryam — Yes, it belies believability for them to have done that. I tend to agree with you.

I found a site that has posted a memo from Google about this brouhaha, and Google's official line is: The green stem is the "L," as the "L" in the regular Google logo is ALWAYS green. This subtlety is intentional as part of an edgy new design.

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  • My name is Kristin Gorski. I recently earned my doctorate (EdD) in instructional technology and media. My research focuses on technology and literacies, writing in digital spaces, and how media literacy may support academic literacy (among other incredibly interesting topics). On occasion, I’m also a freelance writer and editor. “Write now is good.” is my personal blog about writing, creativity and inspiration (with healthy doses of technology in relevant places). I started it in blogging's heyday (2006) and still post to it, time permitting. If you'd like to collaborate on a project, have writing/technology/creativity info to share, or want to say, "Hi," contact me at kgwritenow (at) yahoo dot com. To read more about me, click on the "ABOUT" link below.


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