Google’s new favicon: the end of an era (poll)

There are times when a company decides to change its logo. And there are times when it decides to change its favicon.
Either way, it has a huge effect on the consumer, because he/she has to adapt to the change.

Ambrosia Software did this recently, to illustrate, and it showed that “ASW” was letting go of its “sketched” look to go towards a new “modern” look.

And now, Google is doing the same thing.

I noticed it this Friday at noon.
New Google favicon
And it has a special gradient on it, too:
New Google favicon gradient

So, good or bad?

In my oh-so-humble opinion, it was probably time they changed it. Google has had that favicon for years now, and it did start to look “strange” among all those fancy new designs sprouting up all over the web. And in the new Firefox 3 (not yet officially released, still in “Release Candidate” testing stage):
Old Google favicon

But it marks the end of an era.
The old “G” was recognisable a mile away. It was a capital letter referring to a company that was becoming capital.
Now, Google is by far the “web search” industry leader for consumers in their everyday web experience, and it probably doesn’t need to make itself known much more.

But why a lower-case “g”?
I guess we’ll have to wait to hear from Google to find out.

While I like the simplicity of the favicon design, it doesn’t stand out anymore.
Plus, as you can see in the second screenshot (Safari) and the one below (Firefox 3), it doesn’t stand out at all when you hover over it on Mac browsers (no idea how it looks on a PC):
New Google favicon gradient

Perhaps they could have done away with that “fancy” gradient, and made the outline more defined.
Then again, it is much less bulky than the old one had become.

Will this lead Google to redesign its oh-so-convenient website?

Small update: it’s all over the web now. It seems most people prefer the old favicon, but many of the opinions voiced here and there tend to show that people either hate it or like it a lot. Funny how when Google sneezes, the internet shivers.

Update 2: poll added:

[poll id=”2″]

Update 3: it seems that Google has published a small explanation of their choice. Interesting read, though it doesn’t convince me: it seems they are accepting new designs, if you have any ideas!

Update 4, 11th of January 2009: well, they’ve re-designed it again.

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