Here's why the Google Authenticator logo is different from all the others

Among all the Google logos for the tech giant's many products, there's one design that doesn't quite fit. Most Google logos have been updated in recent years to fit the same design scheme, with the Google colours very much at the forefront. 

Sure there are a few logos in the Google logo library that are just plain black, but most of them belong to businesses that Google bought, like Waze. Most of Google's own app icons now use its standard colour palette, with the exception of the one we most loathe having to use: the Google Authenticator logo. There's a good reason for that, even if it does look a little like something that wasn't intended (see our guide to how to design a logo for more inspiration).

Goole Authenticator logo

The Google Authenticator logo is designed to look like the lock on a vault (Image credit: Google)

You might never have given the Google Authenticator logo a second thought. At first, it looks a bit drab, rendering the Google G in dull grey tones rather than Google's usual colours, but that's actually an advantage, because we've seen people complain about how Google's logos now all look the same, making it hard to find the app you want. 

The fact that, thankfully, the Authenticator logo looks a bit different from the other Google logos makes it easy to find on a phone in a hurry – and let's be honest, we usually are in a hurry when a website demands verification (it's also very possible that Google's held off using its branded colours on the Authenticator app because everyone hates using it so much).

Google logos

Most Google logos use the brands' main colours (Image credit: Google)

Look a little closer and you see there's something clever going on too. The Authenticator logo takes the Google G (we've previously seen how the Google logo has a tiny imperfection) and makes it look like a lock on a vault, with the horizontal bar of the G representing the handle. The grey colour helps make this clearer – it might be more difficult to see were it, say, blue like the Google Admin logo. The shadow also helps, giving depth to the design.

Curling on ice

Curling, the Winter Olympics' most exciting sport (Image credit: Matthew Fassnacht via Unsplash)

But over on Reddit, someone's pointed out that the logo also looks like a curling stone. Something that Google surely wasn't going for. I don't think it's a resemblance I would have ever seen myself, but it is hard now not to forever connect the logo with the Winter Olympics' most exciting sport. Perhaps Google could sponsor a team.

Of course, there are plenty of logos around that resemble other things. Just look at the Tesla logo, for a start. We also saw some unfortunate examples in our pick of the worst logo fails of 2022.

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.