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Google Chrome Icon Update – First One in 8 Years

Leri Koen

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Since Friday, the internet has been buzzing when the news first started spreading on Twitter regarding a new Chrome icon update. This would be the first update to the Google Chrome icon in eight years. The designer, Elvin, explained some of the changes.

Since the Google Chrome browser first became available in 2008, it’s only gone through 4 major changes to the icon. The last change was eight years ago in 2014 and gave us the Chrome icon we’re all used to. However, it seems we’re finally getting a new icon; or are we?

Google Chrome Icon Update – First One in 8 Years

At first glance, there is barely any difference between the 2014 and 2022 Chrome browser icons. It’s only when you take a moment and compare the logos side by side that you start to notice the differences.

The logo is still flattened, but the developers have removed the shadows between the notorious red, yellow, and green outer ring. Upon closer inspection, this does make the colors more vibrant. They also refined the proportions of the outer ring, making the whole design appear crisper.

Despite using flat colors, Google did add a gradient to the main color following research that showed unpleasant color vibrations existing between certain shades of red and green. According to designer Elvin, this was changed to make the icon more accessible.

Google’s biggest goal with the new icon is to support OS-specific customizations. The brand wants the icon to feel recognizably Google while still being able to be customized for the different OS. For example, on Windows, the new Chrome icon looks more graduated to fit in with the other icons, whereas it appears almost 3D on macOS.

Wondering why Google didn’t go for a more extreme change? Google reported that they looked at more drastic changes, including ones using more negative space. In the end, they decided these were not as effective.

The new Google Chrome browser icon will start appearing today for users with Chrome Canary and should be coming to all users within the next few months, probably with the release of Chrome 100 scheduled for the end of March.

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