It seems like there's been a flurry of logo redesigns lately and Google is the latest to throw its hat into the ring.
The new logo, currently only in Chrome on Android, has had its bevels and drop shadow removed to embrace the flat look.
It's no secret that I personally don't consider flat design a trend, so much as a rejection of the earlier trend for drop shadows, glass buttons and gradients. In that sense, it's no wonder companies like Google are embracing a simpler, and perhaps more honest approach to design problems.
The Verge claims that 'a person familiar with Google's branding' has assured them that this logo will only be used where a bevel doesn't display well. Whilst it's certainly true that the new logo has yet to make its way onto the Google homepage, I would venture to suggest that a bevel doesn't display well anywhere.
Will this change for Google herald a whole new era of dominance? No, but it's the kind of small incremental update that means a brand doesn't wake up one morning with a logo that looks 20 years out of date. As my grandmother would say, "a stitch in time saves nine".
Update: rumors and counter-rumors have continued to circulate around this story. As we originally reported, The Verge believed the flat logo to be only for use when the 3D logo wouldn't perform well. In the last 24 hours, more voices have claimed that is the case. So, have Google simply been testing the water? Was the flat logo uploaded by mistake? Or were Google trying to steal some of Yahoo!'s thunder? We'll find out in the coming months.
Update 2: According to Google tech lead manager Eddie Kessler, the flat logo is indeed a full revision as we originally reported, and will be rolled out over the coming weeks across all of Google's platforms.
Should Google embrace flat design by removing the bevel from its logo? Should brands be consistent with their use of logos? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.