Sunday, September 6, 2015

Google This

Google recently made headlines when it changed its logo from the word “Google” to the word “Google” in a slightly different font. Personally, I think it’s better to let font changes go unnoticed. The only way I got through college was by adjusting my papers from 12-point Times New Roman to 18-point Courier New. That subtle tweak helped me hit the required page count by making each letter visible from space. I hear the cosmonauts enjoyed my insights on Madame Bovary.

Google went a different route. Instead of treating a last-minute font change as an obvious attempt to phone it in, its public relations staff praised the change as an Internet revolution. Maybe they’re right. After all, I have an English degree, and they work at Google. The value of their free haircuts alone is worth more than I make in a year. If Google thinks changing the font is a big deal, I’m sure they have the data to back it up. The company doesn’t do anything without consulting statisticians, behavioral scientists, and diverse focus groups representing everyone from inner city youths to the albino cave people of upper Montana. They don’t like to come above the surface, but they’ll do it for a free Google haircut.
The former Google logo screams “We’re an outdated search engine from the early days of the Internet.”
The new Google logo says, “We’re an outdated search engine with slightly rounder letters.”

This redesign plan came at a critical time for Google. The company needed a way to turn its massive profits into obscenely massive profits, and it had nowhere to go but down. Since virtually 100 percent of people on the Internet already use Google, the company was fighting to hang on to its existing territory against a mob of increasingly brazen competitors. Bing recently had its highest traffic day ever with six simultaneous users, only five of whom live in Bill Gates’ house. And rumor has it a senior citizen in Connecticut accidentally used Yahoo, making him that site’s first search since 1996. If Google was going to increase its market share and stay on top, it had to seek out untapped demographics like the Amish and bridge-dwelling trolls. But what could draw in an assortment of monsters and smelly, bearded men who literally have a religious conviction not to use the Internet? A new logo, of course.

This early logo prototype was rejected for having the wrong penis-to-letter ratio.

That wasn’t the engineering team’s first choice. It wanted to use Wi-Fi-equipped weather balloons to block out the sun for all who resisted, but the statisticians vetoed that. Studies show that people who starve to death due to wholesale crop failures stop using the Internet. Plus plunging the earth into eternal darkness didn’t fit into the company’s five-year plan, mostly because it had been moved to the 10-year one.

The graphic design department had a different idea: Change the logo ever so slightly. There’s no telling how many users abandon the Internet altogether because they don’t like the curve on that uppercase G. The designers backed up that conclusion with hard data, all of which was fake. The truth was they hadn’t had anything to design for at least 10 years and were desperately afraid someone at Google would finally find out. The only things on the entire Google homepage are the words “Google,” “Google Search,” and “I’m Feeling Lucky.” Those last two are clickable buttons, which are outside the jurisdiction of artists. They’re forbidden from touching anything that actually has a purpose.

The graphic designers convinced the Google executive team to go with their plan using logical arguments supplemented by blackmail, sexual favors, and more than a few kidnappings. Dozens of artists then sequestered themselves inside Google’s massive headquarters for months, sustained only by the unlimited ice cream bar, the indoor roller coaster, and their absurdly high wages. It took thousands of man hours to change the font on a six-letter word, and for that they will go down in history as legends. For their next project, God willing, they’ll change the background on the search page to a different shade of white. But that will take several more months of doggedly eating hot fudge sundaes on a roller coaster.

It takes a trained eye to appreciate the nuances of the new logo. In the old banner, all the vowels were slanted to the left, a sure sign of Google’s political leanings. It was the brainchild of their original investor, the mummified corpse of Vladimir Lenin. In the new logo, the letters don’t lean in either direction since Google now controls both sides of the political spectrum. If Democratic and Republican candidates don’t pay massive bribes to Google, all Google searches for their names lead straight to dick pics and bestiality websites. It’s not your fault, Anthony Weiner.

Another change many people overlooked was to Google’s smaller secondary logo, which is now a multi-colored letter G. Getting the copyright for it was a massive undertaking, but Google now officially controls 1/26th of the alphabet. Any time anyone uses a word with a G in it, they owe the search engine $1. That’s why as soon as I finish this article about Google, I’m going to file for bankruptcy.

Other things Google holds the copyright to include ampersands, pregnant pauses, and smiling.

While the new design is perfect in every way, it might not attract any new customers. The Amish and trolls under bridges never actually look at logos, and neither does anyone else. I’m not a busy man, but I am a lazy one. If I can save half a second by not reading those six letters at the top of the page, I’ll take that shortcut every single time. I just assume I’m on the right page, which I admit is dangerous. I dread the day I accidentally end up on a fake, knockoff search engine like Gooble or

If Google hadn’t made a big announcement about the new font, even people who look at the logo on purpose wouldn’t have noticed it. Google only uses its default logo about four days a year. The rest of the time it’s replaced by specialty banners commemorating made-up celebrations like National Pharmacist Day, National Pi Day, and Christmas. The main purpose of these holidays is to make people Google them to see if they’re real. This pads the stats for Google searches and helps the company afford those ice cream sundae roller coaster rides to which they are hopelessly addicted. The only question about Google’s future now is whether everyone there will die from diabetes or ice cream headaches. It’s a delicious way to go.