Designing a Google team logo
Of the four types of icon representation, Google leans towards Example and Symbolic icons. So when I was assigned the design of the Sales, Marketing, and Support logo, the first order of business was to narrow what the team represents.
SMS builds internal enterprise tools, focused on supporting all Google products. So the earliest concepts were around structure and support.
A GOOD CONSTRAINT
I created a great many concepts, and it was clear that a solid constraint was needed to reign them in. We equated the function of SMS to that of gears within the engine of Google, which led me to narrow the design towards a symbolic form.
It also helped that the team had a number of avid cyclists, so there was some personality to build upon.
gear concept 1
gear concept 2
gear concept 3
NARROWING THE PALETTE
Next came the application of rigor towards uncovering what would be the best symbol for the team. I went through virtually the entire Material Design palette, addressing some of the contexts in which the logo would be used.
REFINING THE FORM
Successful Material Design icons require a balance of layered planes, clever manipulation of the paper analogy, and spot color. The SMS logo also had to succeed within the context it was most going to be seen – jackets and laptops.
I also designed a black-on-black version of the SMS logo. This treatment is quite unusual for Google, and the jackets that we ordered with it have turned out to be a highly sought after bit of swag.