Chrome
The new Chrome logo with prior variants.

Chrome is altering its logo for the first time since 2014, and if you squint extremely hard, you might notice something different. In a thread on Twitter, Elvin Hu, a designer for Google Chrome, shares a first look at the logo’s revamp, as well as some of the thought behind the ever-so-subtle modifications.

Instead of using shadows to “raise” the borders between each hue of the screen, the red, yellow, and green are just flat. And, while Hu doesn’t say it, the blue circle in the middle appears to be larger and staring even deeper into your soul, but it could just be my imagination.

The colors in the logo are more bright (due to the design team removing the shadows), but there’s another difference that I wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t read Hu’s Twitter thread. Google’s design team observed that “putting certain colors of green and red next to each other caused an unpleasant color vibration.” To correct this and make the icon “more approachable,” they opted to employ very tiny gradients — which I’m confident the human eye can’t even notice — to prevent color vibration.

THE MAIN CHROME LOGO WILL NOT APPEAR THE SAME ON ALL SYSTEMS

The primary Chrome logo (the one you click on from your dock/taskbar to access the web) will also differ depending on the OS. On ChromeOS, the logo will be more colorful to match the other system icons, however on macOS, the logo will have a slight shadow, giving the impression that it is “popping out” of the dock. Meanwhile, the Windows 10 and 11 versions have a more dramatic gradient to match the rest of the Windows icons. Hu says the new icon will be visible immediately if you use Chrome Canary (the developer version of Chrome), but it will be available to everyone else in the coming months.

There are also new icons for the Chrome logo’s beta and developer versions, with the most noticeable change being a blueprint-style image for the beta app for iOS. He also mentions that the design team tried a white line as a border between each hue, but this made the overall icon smaller, potentially making it difficult to spot among other Google products.

From 2008 to the present, the Chrome logo has become increasingly simplified. What began as a gleaming three-dimensional insignia has been reduced to a two-dimensional icon of modernity. Maybe one day I’ll realize my wish and see that almost palpable 2008 Chrome logo again on my desktop. However, not today.

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Last Updated on June 20, 2022 by Alex Burma