Google Chrome updates its icon design for the first time in 8 years

Elvin Hu, a designer for Google Chrome, has announced that the company has updated the icon design of their popular browser for the first time in 8 years.

The old and new Google Chrome icons

As can be seen from the image above, the new icon follows the progression over the years, which has tended toward flatter and flatter design.

Google simplified the main brand icon by removing the shadows, refining the proportions and brightening the colours, to align with Google’s more modern brand expression.

Despite generally being flatter, the design does include subtle gradients to make the icon more accessible.

Google had considered more radical changes, such as a version that introduced more negative spaces.

Alternate Chrome icon designs

Google however found that the white required a stroke that shrunk the icon overall, and made it more difficult to recognize, especially next to other Google apps.

OS customizations

Google has also customized the icon for each of the major operating systems.

Chrome on Windows 11

On Windows, the icons take on an obviously gradated look, appearing at home on Windows 10 & 11.

Chrome on ChromeOS

On ChromeOS, they use brighter colours without gradients to match the looks of the rest of the system icons.

Chrome on MacOS

On macOS, the icons look 3D. For Beta and Dev, Google applied colourful ribbons to them.

Chrome beta icons on MacOS

The ribbons include many details when viewed at large sizes but transform into simple badges at small sizes, maintaining their legibility. The letter “B” and “D” representing “Beta” and “Dev” are manually hinted, so they look crisp even at a very small size.

Chrome on iOS

On iOS, the Chrome Beta app will start using a blueprint-like design, as a nod to Appleā€™s developer-focused apps, and the Stable app icon will have new proportions on the tile.

Rollout

The new icon is currently available in the Canary version of Google Chrome and will start showing up in new version of Google’s apps and website over the next few months.