GoDaddy reveals new logo

Wed, 15th January 2020, 20:57

Earlier this week, GoDaddy revealed a new logo, finally replacing their well-known “Daddy” logo that was dropped in 2018 during a company rebrand.

Affectionately dubbed “the GO,” the company said on its blog that the new logo was made in an effort to capture “the essence of the entrepreneurial spirit.” “The GO’s swooping arcs represent the indomitable spirit of everyday entrepreneurs,” the post continued. “And the word “go” itself is GoDaddy’s rallying cry for folks to take the first or next step in their entrepreneurial journey.”

The logo itself is a rounded heart shape with interior lines to make it appear as if the letter G is formed inside of the heart. The remaining space of the heart is supposed to represent the letter O to spell “go,” but the curved lines also bear a resemblance to the letter D. From a certain point of view, it could easily be interpreted as a “GD” for GoDaddy.

However, GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani sees something slightly different. In an interview with FastCompany about the new logo, Bhutani described it as “[a] young girl who’s a little bit of a bandit—with a ponytail and a patch over her eye—who wants to grow up and be somebody.”

The new logo is a part of a continued rebranding of the Arizona based company, which was founded in 1997. As part of the early days of the internet, GoDaddy became the “go to service for webhosting and domain registration. For years, it was known for its bright green and black branding, its quirky redheaded logo, and the racy Super Bowl ads that ran in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

However, the company has slowly been cleaning up its image over the past decade. After its acquisition by private equity firms KKR and Silver Lake Partners in 2011, GoDaddy began to shift away from the theatrics that made it infamous and began to focus branding more on the customer base it had cultivated, which currently sits at 19 million customers with 77 million domain names registered. This continued in 2015 when the company went public and by 2018, the iconic “Daddy” logo had been dropped to continue with the more streamlined look the company had adopted to compete with Wix and Squarespace.

While change is inevitable, there is some concern that the logo change is a part of the continued “flattening” of the internet. In an article about the new logo, Dami Lee of The Verge wrote, “...[W]hat’s most upsetting about this change is that it’s yet another example of the way tech companies are becoming homogenized in their design. Without the hot dog-haired Daddy mascot who exudes a reassuring sense of chill, there’s not much to distinguish the new GoDaddy logo from the sterile, generic logos among the likes of Google, Spotify, and Pinterest.”

The old logo was definitely a long remaining vestige of the early days of the internet before its retirement, but GoDaddy chief brand officer Cameron Scott claims there wasn’t much sentimentality over it. “[T]here wasn’t nearly as much emotional attachment to the head as I would’ve liked, for how long that we’d had it.”

David Airey, a graphic designer based in Northern Ireland and author of the books Identity Designed: The Definitive Guide to Visual Branding and Logo Design Love: A Guide To Creating Iconic Brand Identities, agreed that there was a need for a change in the GoDaddy logo. “While it’d been there since the company’s formation in the 90s, and therefore had a lot of equity behind it, the design seemed cheap for a firm that now has offices around the world and millions of customers,” he explained. 

However, Airey believes that perhaps the GO was “over-explained” and that GoDaddy can stand well enough alone without it. “Some areas of the main GoDaddy website show the wordmark without the “Go” symbol alongside. That should be the primary logo, because there’s a visual imbalance in the current lockup, and because the name is distinctive and memorable enough to stand alone.”

Whether you love or hate the new logo, GoDaddy has made it clear that it sees the GO as an extension of their current brand aimed at “Everyday Entrepreneurs.” “It’s meant to remind entrepreneurs that no matter who they are, where they come from or what stage they’re at with their venture, GoDaddy is here to relentlessly cheer them on.”