In case you haven’t noticed, Google has changed its favicon, the little box that shows up to the left of the address bar in Firefox and Safari (and somewhere in IE too, but I haven’t used it in so long, I forget where. . . . .).

For many people, this was quite a surprise, simply because Google isn’t in the habit of changing the design or layout of their pages or logos. They just don’t. Okay, so its just the little icon next to the adress bar. Its not that important in the grand scheme of things. So why the change?

From the official Google Blog :

You
may have noticed that Google has a new favicon, the small icon you see
in your browser next to the URL or in your bookmarks list. Some people
have wondered why we changed our favicon — after all, we hadn’t in 8.5
years(!). The reason is that we wanted to develop a set of icons that
would scale better to some new platforms like the iPhone and other
mobile devices. So the new favicon is one of those, but we’ve also
developed a group of logo-based icons that all hang together as a
unified set. Here’s the full set:”

And there it is. What I find really interesting is this block of favicons that didn’t make the cut, or were just ideas that were tried out. It’s no surprise to me how simple the final favicon is; Simple is quite often better, especially with such a small graphic.

Images and quote from the Official Google Blog,
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/06/one-fish-two-fish-red-fish-blue-fish.html

UPDATE : In some random browsing, I noticed that the Google “G” with the blue background is a lot like the Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/) favicon,

.

It was similar enough to make me wonder for a second why the page I was looking at was connected to Google. . . . Maybe Googles new favicon needs some more work after all? I also have to say that I wondered why the Google “g” was done in such a funny lower case font – compare it to the Guardian “g” and its backwards.

What I wonder is how favicons will be used in the future. I mean, on a iPhone screen, I’d think that favicons might soon be integrated in new bookmarks, so that you just look for the favicon instead of reading the text. I’m not sure what you’d do if a page didn’t have a favicon, or how you’d store them on the mobile device, but its a thought.

And now, if you’re still curious, here the Favicon for FLB (the little logo on the left before HTTP:// ) :

Its the small version of our homepage logo,