Admit it—you look forward to seeing what today’s Google logo looks like. From Romania Day to the birthday of American sculptor Ruth Asawa, Google always finds a reason to pique your curiosity and celebrate something interesting.
We know these changing logos as “Google doodles,” but they are actually called dynamic logos. Unlike their static counterparts, dynamics are designed to change and adapt to different contexts and surroundings. And you can argue that in our fast-changing world, it makes perfect sense that a logo that reflects an organization should also change. But here’s a secret: what makes a good dynamic logo is, oddly, consistency. For a dynamic logo to work, the framework of the identity needs to remain recognizable. How? You keep the elemental components of the company’s logo in place, and where it’s expected to be seen, then make changes to the color palette, patterns, letter shapes and hierarchy, etc. to achieve a new message and look.
Dynamic logos are becoming increasingly common because they get us to stop and pay attention to… the logo itself! Examples include the FedEx logo, which never changes its font, but used to change colors, depending on which shipping service you were using. It might also be showcased in pink for a breast cancer awareness event. Nickelodeon’s shape is an iconic “splat” that can morph into anything from a rocket ship to a guitar, but it always features the same, bright orange color around the company’s playful font.
Dynamic logos are extra-memorable, versatile, innovative and inherently adaptable sending an inferred message that … so is the company. Plus, they’re just plain fun.
Is a dynamic logo for everyone? Of course not. First, it’s best if your brand is well established within your markets so plays on the logo, font, and mark don’t confuse your customer base. If the change isn’t meaningful and just gimmicky, they are a distraction rather than an asset. Note, they are expensive to make and more complicated and pricier to maintain. Of the 130 Google Doodles so far in 2019, how many of those do you remember? What you probably take away is that they’re mostly interesting, and spark curiosity – directly tied to information, which is the essence of Google business.
So carefully consider the advantages and risks associated with a dynamic logo. What feels right for your company’s culture, and will the logo-play send the right message? Dynamically.