Sunday, 27 April 2014

How Did the Google Logo Get It's Colours?

No matter where you go on the internet, the possibilities of you running into the Google logo are quite high. With a worldwide Alexa rank of one (meaning most visited on a daily basis,) and a whopping two trillion searches which were made in 2013, the silicon valley search giant's power is astonishing to the average person who uses it as an everyday tool. But how did the search giant choose it's colours and pick it's logo design?



The Heydays

In 1997, project BackRub (a.k.a project Google,) was given a go-ahead by Stanford University (a university which also provided a domain and hosting for the once miniscule search giant.) However, in little to no time, project BackRub was renamed and project Google was born. So, with little time to buy, it's first logo was hurriedly put together with an unknown program. However, after more time was found, Google's co-founder Sergey Brin designed a logo in GIMP in order to make the webpage look less horrid.


A New Overhaul

After getting serious about the Google logo, Page and Brin were introduced to a graphic design teacher named Ruth Kedar. "I was teaching design at Stanford University in 1999" he recalled fondly "when I was introduced to Larry Page and Sergei Brin by a mutual friend at Stanford. They were looking at designers to design their logo and website and I was asked to present them with some preliminary design ideas. They liked my approach and design style and I was hired to design both." So, with motivation under his belt, Kedar experimented with multiple logo designs, most of which failed.


After trying to experiment with multiple designs, Kedar settled on the Catull typeface as it was a mix between Sans-Serif and Times New Roman (two fonts which, according to Ruth, were popular for very different reasons.) When asked about the vivid, cheery colours of the logo, he said that they were chosen for the reason of "mimicking child's play." And so, the Google logo was born.


Despite it's plain story, it's still fascinating to learn about Google's humble beginnings. Plus, if you take into consideration the innovation needed in order to create a search engine, the everyday tool which most people take for granted soon becomes bigger and better than even before.

How The Oreo Got It's Name

Photo by Evan Amos, released under the CC0 license
No matter which supermarket you go to, the Oreo cookie is an all-American staple that pleases young and old (a staple which, unfortunately, is also ruined by the ridiculous amount of sugar which Nabisco insists on stuffing it with.) Merely a layer of crème-inspired icing sandwiched between two layers of chocolate wafers, it's simple design can be taken apart and consumed in so many different ways. But how did the Oreo get it's name, and why did it stick to begin with? While the answer may be unclear, there are so many different languages which could have given it the iconic name which many people have come to know and love today:


The First Theory:

During the early 1920s, the Nabisco cookie company tried to invent a cookie which had a layer of sugary icing in the middle and two cookies which held it together.  The result? A snack icon which was rounded at  the top and bottom. Because of it's funny design, legend states that the cookie giant (now owned by Mondelez,) coined the name Oreo as the word Oros stands for "mountain" or "hill" in Greek.


The Second Theory:

After perfecting the Oreo cookie and pushing it onto the market, Nabisco packaged the cookies in a golden box and sold them to vendors who awaited their arrival. Because of the colour of the container, many people have attempted to point fingers at the very first design and tie it in with the French word "Or,” meaning "golden."


The Third (and least plausible) Theory:

Nobody knows why, but legend has it that Oreos were named after the derived Greek word with the same spelling, which still stands for "beautiful." Although corny, most people are still led to believe that this name was thought of by Nabisco.


Even though an answer may not have been reached quite yet, it's still fascinating to see what people have come up with in order to find out the heritage of an iconic crowdpleaser. And, although the answer may remain a mystery, one thing is certain--it doesn't take a genius to linger on the fine taste of sugar and cocoa powder which simultaneously blend together in perfect harmony.