Trying to Second-Guess the Color of the Google Logo from Existing Data

One of the favorite games of SEO’s is to figure out what Google is thinking based on the data available.  We create tests, analyze patterns, and even carefully review Matt Cutts’ videos backwards, seeking hidden messages.  In that tradition, DragonSearch has embarked on a study of the colors in the Google logo to determine what color would come next if there was another letter in the Google name.

As we are moving into the world of plus one with everything, and in the spirit of helping the graphic designers at Google, we think this question should be answered.

Google logo and sequence of colors

The Sequence of the Google Logo Colors

The Google logo colors are all primary and secondary colors: Blue, Red, Yellow, and Green. Green is the only instance of a secondary color.

The first sequence of three and the second sequence of three follow the same pattern: (1st color, 2nd color, Complement of combination of 1st color and 2nd color).

The third sequence does not follow that pattern, but is: (1st color, 2nd color, combination of 1st color and 2nd color).

What can be inferred from the fourth sequence: (Blue, Green, Red)?

Green is a secondary color made up of Blue and Yellow. Since Blue already exists in the sequence – and in no previous sequence does any color go twice, we can remove Blue from the Green, resulting in Yellow. That would leave a sequence of (Blue, Yellow, Complement of combination of 1st color and 2nd color).

The apparent rule being that the 3rd color in any sequence is always the result of mixing the first two colors, or the complement of the first two colors.

For the fourth sequence: Assuming we have removed the Blue from the Green leaving yellow, we have either (Yellow, Red, and the combination of 1st color and 2nd color, which is Orange) or (Yellow, Red, and the complement of the combination of 1st color and 2nd color, which is Blue).

Thus, the next color, if Google had another color in its logo, would be Blue or Orange.

Interestingly, in the one instance where Google put a letter before “Google,” in iGoogle, they used Green. Orange or Purple is never used, thus there is a greater likelihood that the next Google logo color would be Blue.


iGoogle logo

The iGoogle logo shows a pattern that would suggest that Blue would NOT be the next color. It is well known that colors are considered to be warm or cold. Blue and Green are considered cold, while Red and Yellow are considered warm.  In iGoogle, the pattern would be:

(Cold, Cold)(Warm, Warm)(Cold, Cold), (Warm…)

This would suggest that the next color should be Yellow. Orange is not used in the Google palette, you would remove the Red from the Orange (since Red was already in the sequence), resulting in Yellow.  Blue, however, would support the (Blue, Color, Color) pattern that also exists.

Google & the Use of Hyperreals

Google loves to embed math jokes into their brands.  The latest is Google Plus. Every time someone clicks a “Plus 1” they are adding one to a very large number. After all, “Google” was a bastardization of “googol,” which is the large number comprised of a one followed by 100 zeros. Of course, that’s not exactly close to infinity , although it was often used by Edward Kasner (the mathematician whose nephew coined the word “googol”) to contrast an unimaginably large number with the whole idea of infinity.

If you add one (plus 1!) to infinity, you have what’s called a hyperreal number.  It’s possible that Larry and Sergey had buyer’s remorse about having chosen “Google” as their name – perhaps they woke up one day and felt that its finiteness was just too constricting. So they added one.


This entry was posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 and is filed under Digital Advertising, Integrated Digital Marketing.

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