If you’re a frequent Google user, you probably noticed the major change to the search engine’s logo at the start of the month.

No doubt inspired partly by the restructuring of Google under new parent company Alphabet Inc, the updated logo eliminates the serif font used since Google’s inception, along with the 3D embossed effect on the lettering.

The result is a streamlined, truly 21st century logo that retains Google’s strong colour theme (although these too have been tweaked slightly for a better overall aesthetic).

Critics have called the new logo childish – and if Alphabet Inc sounds like a made-up company from Sesame Street, then the new Google logo certainly looks the part.

But that’s the point; the basic logo itself is extremely scalable for small screens, so there’s no need to use a plain text equivalent on smartphones anymore, while four animated coloured dots have been introduced as an interstitial during loading times and other interactions.

A post on the Google Design blog sums up the new Google identity as a streamlined, cross-platform visual appearance inspired by schoolbook lettering.

Will it impact on search rankings? Perhaps not, although some design features – such as the circular favicon that is now used when you favourite or bookmark Google – are likely to get picked up by other webmasters who like to follow Google’s lead.

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