Google Chrome’s new icon could have been very different from the one you know today

Google Chrome’s Icon Completely Changed Just A Few Months Ago, But It Could Have Been Very Different

20/07/2022 11:06

Chrome version 100, released in early 2022, introduced a handful of major changes to the browser, including a new app icon. The icon change was a particularly significant moment for Google, as it was the first time Chrome had changed its image in nearly a decade.

And, of course, before opting for the new image, Google carried out various tests and made dozens of sketches, until finally choosing the definitive icon that we can see today on the screen of home to millions of people around the world.

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Now the company wanted to tell us more about the design process for this new icon, indicating that Chrome could have had a very different icon than what you know.

The new Chrome icon

The new Google Chrome icon, on the right, with new colors and no shadows.

The goal was to create a fully responsive Chrome icon

While developing the new browser icon, Google decided to make the new version more responsive and make the icon “native” regardless of device or operating system.

In the end, Google settled on an icon with subtle changes from the previous version, removing shadows, refining proportions and making colors more striking, to align with Google’s current style lines.

We also found that placing certain shades of green and red next to each other created an unpleasant “glow” between the two colors, so we introduced a very subtle gradient to the main icon to make it look nicer for the eyes compared to the use of color plates. We then create OS-specific customizations. We wanted the icons to be recognized for Chrome, but also well designed for each operating system.

Google Chrome 103 is now available to everyone with all these changes

However, during the design process there was also room for innovation. Thomas Messenger, a designer on the Google team, says all sorts of ideas have been experimented with, from softening the pieces, trying out different geometries, or adding color separation. Google itself shows us some of the options offered by members of the design team:

Possible Google Chrome icons

Some icons that Google experimented with before choosing the one we all know today

In the end, the company decided not to stray too far from the familiar proportions, shapes, and colors, instead opting for an icon that introduced some very subtle changes from the previous version. However, Google is not closing the door on the possibility of adding, in the future, the possibility of using the original Chrome icon.

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