Google had four design choices but picked THIS favicon? WHY?

When I first saw Google’s new favicon, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe the ugliness of the re-design. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I thought of various scenarios. Maybe it’s color blind friendly? Or Marissa Mayer was on vacation? Or perhaps it was uploaded by mistake.

After reading this post on Google’s official blog, I was even more confused. You see, Google encouraged users to submit their designs while incorporating their (Google’s) vision in June of 2008. Seven-ish or so months later, they revealed the new favicon (unannounced). Then the Google team showcased some of the contenders.


These designs are easy on the eyes – soft, subtle colors, unobtrusive “G” logo. It’s almost… dreamy. -sigh- Can you blame me for being so confused at Google’s heinous choice? Look at this:

Even the original design looks better than their final design.
Still giving Google the benefit of the doubt, I looked for the author. If Marissa Mayer’s name isn’t included, there could be some hope – right?

Sigh. Guess not.

I really dislike the distracting favicon. So much so, I asked the FriendFeed and Twitter communities for an alternative search engine. If interested, there’s TONS of great feedback here.

This particluar solution: “Dude, just adblock that bitch. – Leather Donut !” made me LOL but as PJ and many others said, GreaseMonkey scripts for Firefox seems the most feasible option. That or finding a new search engine. -double sigh-

Do you guys like the new favicon? If not, are you blocking it? Do you even care?

14 thoughts on “Google had four design choices but picked THIS favicon? WHY?

  1. I know it seems like a little thing, but it’s distracting. I am one of those people who are borderline OCD, so for me, I keep focusing on that little, ugly icon on the upper-left hand corner of the screen. Why didn’t they go with the second one? I’m thinking they wanted a design that was bolder and colorful than the ones on top, but for a favicon? I’m glad someone feels my pain.

  2. For a company that couldn’t find space on the front page for a link to the privacy statement, it seems strange they would move from such a minimalist favicon to such a cluttered one. Yeah, fail. But honestly, I can’t see anyone really switching. I’ve tried using or Yahoo but I find myself inevitably back at Google. I do like Mahalo, but it has a different purpose.

  3. I really had no clue when I first saw it. My wife got it on a blank page on IE in Vista and I quickly said”close the browser!”. I thought was like malware or something,lol! So it’s Google new favicon? Yikes, I guess all of the contractors let go were from the Art Dept…

  4. But it’s more than just the ugliness factor – WHY they would choose such a busy, distracting one with bold colors is seriously beyond me. People are saying they’re getting the old one, so hopefully this ugliness isn’t permanent. :(

  5. Strange choice, given the alternatives. Favicons are a big deal to me, because I often use them to navigate from the favorite toolbar. It’s better than no favicon at all. That really drives me crazy!How come bookmarklets never have a favicon? It’s hard to tell them apart sometimes.

  6. I think Google knew exactly what they were doing when they chose this… the ugliest of all favicons. Sometimes you just have to get people’s attention to get them talking about something. And even bad attention is attention. So now we’re all talking about it… what’s Google trying to get us to REALLY see though? It’s a mystery… but I honestly think there’s something to this. Google as a collective whole is way too smart to just throw up some hideous favicon without a reason behind it.

  7. I actually really like the new favicon. Sorry guys, you’re not getting any hate from me. I think it’s quite modern and clean looking, and eyecatching.

  8. Until your explanation, I didn’t even see the letter g in the new design. I saw it as a splotch of colors. I guess they were trying to be creatively indirect by pushing the letter far to the left. Seeing the original design makes me wish that it had remained explicitly centered.

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