Google is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Here’s a look back at the history of the company – and its logos

Google is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Here’s a look back at the history of the company – and its logos

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On Sept. 27, 1998, a tool that many people now rely on every day was created: Google. The company, which started out as a search engine and has branched out to various products and projects, is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a special Google Doodle. Here’s a look at Google – and its ever-changing logo – over the years.

When was Google created?

Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin met in 1995 at Stanford University when Brin was considering whether or not to attend for grad school there. Page was tasked with showing him around – and they disagreed about nearly everything, according to some.

But the next year, they formed a partnership that led to the creation of a search engine in their dorms. What was formerly called Backrub, a search engine that scoured the internet and ranked pages based on importance, was later named Google.

By August 1998, they had $100,000 from co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim and left the dorms for a garage in Menlo Park. Google Inc. got its official start.

Susan Wojcicki, who later went on to lead YouTube, which Google acquired, owned the garage and became Google’s 16th employee. 

Google’s initial public offering – when it became a publicly traded company – happened in 2004, and several more big business moves have been made since. The company created Gmail, the Android phone and acquired YouTube, to name a few. 

One thing that has been consistent with the ever-changing company: Google Doodles. The homepage logo has been turned into “doodles” since 1998, when Google marked the Burning Man Festival in Nevada with doodle that looked like the wooden man burned at the festival. 

Google Doodles

The Google Doodle on Sept. 27, 2023 – the company’s 25th anniversary – morphs from past Google logos, into the current logo, and then into a doodle that incorporates the number 25. There is also confetti on the top of the Google results page.

Since its first doodle, celebrating the Burning Man festival, the company has featured more than 5,000 Google Doodles. A team at Google chooses topics to feature in the doodles – mostly anniversaries or historic events  – and an illustration team called Doodlers creates them.

Google also holds a doodle contest for school kids. This year, Rebecca Wu won the sixth through seventh grade category and the overall contest. She was awarded a $30,000 college scholarship and received a $50,000 technology award for her school.

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One of the 5,000 unique Google Doodles featured on Google’s homepage since the company was created.

Google


Some Google Doodles are interactive – such as a 2017 doodle that allowed you to play a game of cricket with cartoon crickets, or a 2018 doodle that marked Maya Angelou’s 90th birthday with a video featuring quotes from the author and poet. 

To mark the 25th anniversary, there is also a “Google surprise spinner” – a virtual wheel that spins and selects a game at random. The short video games are created by Google and the spinner is accessed by Googling, of course. 

Google logo

The Google logo has changed several times over its 25-year history.

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Google’s first logo from 1998. Larry Page and Sergey Brin use this logo for their Stanford University graduate project

Google


The original logo was created in 1998 when the search engine was just Brin and Page’s project for grad school.

The first time the logo changed, it was to make it a doodle marking Burning Man on Aug. 30, 1998, before Google was even incorporated on Sept. 27 of that year, becoming an official company.

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“The team heads to Burning Man and creates the first Doodle as an out-of-office message,” reads the description on Google.

Google


The logo changed on Sept. 27 to include the word “beta.” 

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In Sept. 1998, Google moved to google.com and shared its beta release with the world.

Google


In 1999, Google got a sleeker look with Catull typeface.

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Google’s logo in 1999.

Google


The logo’s shadow was reduced and colors brightened in 2010, the same year Google revealed its first phone, the Nexus One. Between the previous logo and this one, Google launched Gmail in 2004 and acquired YouTube in 2006.

In 2016, Google replaced its Nexus brand with Google Pixel phones.

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Google logo from 2010.

Google


The logo got a slight update in 2013.

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Google logo from 2013.

Google


In 2015, the logo got a new font. That same year, Page announced Alphabet would become Google’s holding company. Google remained the search engine, and Alphabet is the parent of all the company’s ventures, such as Waymo, the self-driving car company.

Page became CEO of Alphabet while Sundar Pichai was named CEO of Google. In 2019, Pichai also became CEO of Alphabet when Page stepped down as CEO and Brin stepped down as president.

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“The logo becomes part of a new family that includes the Google dots and ‘G’ icon,” the description on Google reads.

Google


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