After much kerfuffle, the world has finally got used to the new Google logo. Well, almost. My eye is continually caught by the poor contrast of the yellow “O” against its background.
Take a look…
This is Google’s default logo on its regular grey background.
The contrast ratio between the yellow and grey is 1.50. That fails to meet current accessibility guidelines.
This is just awful – I find it quite hard to read, especially for long passages. The text seems to shimmer about the background.
The logo is also often found on a pure white background with similarly poor results.
Against white, it is somewhat more readable – but it’s nowhere near to a suitable contrast ratio
According to Google’s own guidelines:
Text should maintain a minimum contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 (calculated based on luminance values) for legibility. A ratio of 7:1 is preferred.
Material Design – Typography
Don’t get me wrong, it could be a lot worse! But it really is unfortunate that their logo contains a central character which is so out of kilter with the background that it becomes a distraction.
The realization of the new identity required the collective work and diligence of hundreds of Googlers, in different roles, spanning the entire organization.
Evolving the Google Identity
Sadly, it would seem, none from the accessibility department.