That’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 conform to the same design scheme, with the Google colors taking center stage.

Sure, there are a few logos in the Google logo library that are just plain black, but most of them belong to companies that Google bought, like Waze. Most of Google’s own app icons now use the default color palette, except for the one we need to use the least: the Google Authenticator logo. There’s a good reason for this, even if it looks a little like something that wasn’t intentional (check out our guide to designing a logo for more inspiration).

The Google Authenticator logo looks like the lock on a safe (Image credit: Google)

You may never have given the Google Authenticator logo a second thought. At first glance it looks a bit drab as the Google G is rendered in dull gray tones rather than Google’s usual colours, but that’s actually an advantage as we’ve seen people complain about the logos of Google now all look the same, making it difficult to find the app you want.

The fact that the Authenticator logo, fortunately, looks a bit different than the other Google logos makes it easy to spot on a phone in a hurry – and let’s face it, we’re usually in a hurry when a website asks for verification ( it’s also very possible that Google is holding back on using its brand colors in the authenticator app because everyone hates it so much).

Google logos

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

Look a little closer and you’ll see that something clever is going on, too. The Authenticator logo takes the Google G (we’ve already seen the Google logo has a tiny imperfection) and makes it look like a lock on a vault, with the G’s horizontal bar representing the handle. The gray color helps make this clearer – it might be harder to spot if it were blue like the Google Admin logo, for example. The shadow also helps and adds depth to the design.

curling on ice

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

But over to Reddit (opens in new tab), someone pointed out that the logo also looks like a curling stone. Something Google certainly didn’t want. I don’t think it’s a resemblance I would have ever seen myself, but it’s hard now not to associate the logo with the Olympic Winter Games’ most exciting sport forever. Maybe Google could sponsor a team.

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