Google updating Chrome icon for each OS & to be mostly flat

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The Google Chrome icon is in the process of being updated and modernized for the first time in eight years. This is meant to better “align with Google’s more modern brand expression,” with the company now optimizing the logo for each operating system.

In 2011, the original 2008 logo was greatly flattened and no longer explicitly three-dimensional. Google modernized the logo three years later to further that trend, and is going all the way in 2022

The company has removed the shadows between the red, yellow, and green in the outer ring, while also “refining the proportions and brightening the colors.” While using “flat colors,” Google did add a “subtle gradient to the main icon to mitigate” how an “unpleasant color vibration” exists between green and red.

Google’s other big aim with this icon is to support “OS-specific customizations.” Designer Elvin on Twitter explains that Google “want[s] the icons to feel recognizably Chrome, but also well crafted for each OS.”

You might ask, “why bother with sth. so subtle?” We tailor Chrome’s experience to each OS, with features like Native Window Occlusion on Windows, day-one M1 support on macOS, Widgets on iOS/Android, and Material You on Android. We want our brand to convey the same level of care.

  • For example, on Windows, the icons take on an obviously gradated look, appearing at home on Windows 10 & 11.
  • On macOS, they look 3D. For Beta and Dev, we applied colorful ribbons to them.
  • On ChromeOS, they use brighter colors without gradients to match the looks of the rest of system icons.

Meanwhile, the non-stable icons are changing with a new “Beta” and “Dev” banner in the top-left corner, while the iOS version is adopting a “blueprint-like” design that mimics TestFlight.

Google also trialed more radical redesigns with the use of negative space, but ultimately rejected that idea.

These new Google Chrome icons are starting to appear in today’s Canary update and will become available across all platforms and inside the browser’s various features “in the next few months.” The wider launch will coincide with Chrome (version) 100 at the end of March.

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