It’s the end of an era for Gmail. The well-known red-and-white envelope logo for the service is finally being retired, to be replaced by a multi-color icon that brings Gmail in line with the rest of Google’s modern colorful logo designs. The new logo still has a vague callback to the old envelope, but now the most prominent characteristic is that it’s just an “M” on a white background.
There’s a similarly big change for Google Calendar, which gives up its flipping pages for a square aesthetic and was also one of the few apps that previously didn’t use the multicolor palette. Smaller refreshes are seen in Google Drive, Docs, and Meet.
Considering how poorly people react to changes like these — despite having zero effect on functionality — we expect a minor storm of complaints when app updates start arriving on webpages and phones. Although we have to say, Google’s latest iconography does make it difficult to distinguish one app from another at a glance on your phone’s home screen. Google hasn’t given a definitive timeline for where the full rollout will be on its way.
The icon rebrand comes as just part of a big branding change for Google on Tuesday. Its enterprise and education services product, previously known as G Suite, is being renamed Google Workspace — which, frankly, is a huge improvement. The service itself is changing as well, with Google claiming deeper integration between all of its apps to streamline your daily workflow between mail, calendar, chat, calling, documents, files, project management, and more.
This is, of course, Google’s latest attempt to take on Microsoft in the enterprise services space, while simultaneously doing battle with smaller players in specific areas like Slack, Zoom, AirTable, Asana, Monday.com, and so many others. While consumers who use free (or very inexpensive) Google products decry Google’s intertwining of its various services, a “one interface for everything” design is a feature enterprise customers care about.