Go Drops The Gopher - The End is in Sight
Written by Mike James   
Friday, 27 April 2018

You know a language is done for when it drops its long term mascot in favour of a glitzy makeover that is simply embarrassing.

Go is a gritty language with quite a few problems and a lot of devotees. I like the language, but not quite enough to use it for real. I an a distant, well not-that-distant, admirer. I have to also admit that initially I wasn't too fond of the Gopher, but over the time I have grown fonder.


Credit: Renee French


I knew there was going to be trouble when I read:

Go's New Brand

as the title of the latest Go Blog post.

Go has a brand?

It has an old brand that someone is going to replace?

This is the Go programming language we are talking about?

That can only mean the gopher gets it.

But it gets worse.

The nature of the rebranding is like something the the passengers on the B-Ark in the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy might have produced while they were putting off inventing the wheel because they couldn't decide what color it should be (and if you don't know what I'm talking about shame on you):

Our logo follows the brand’s core philosophy of simplicity over complexity. Using a modern, italicized sans-serif typeface combined with three simple motion lines forms a mark that resembles two wheels in rapid motion, communicating speed and efficiency. The circular shape of the letters hints at the eyes of the Go gopher, creating a familiar shape and allowing the mark and the mascot to pair well together.


There is no gopher there honest.

Not even the ghost of a gopher!




If anything it looks like the logo of a bike delivery company, or a fast food bar, or a fast food bike delivery company...

In the ultimate Golgafrinchan final touch, yes it's a HHGTTG reference again, they made a video of how they did it!



I have to say that as a programmer I am seriously disappointed that there isn't a video of how they made the video and so on...




There is also a "brand guide":

"The brand guide establishes the mission, values and voice for the Go project. In general terms, a brand guide is a reference tool for establishing a consistent brand identity. It is sometimes referred to as a “brand guidelines” or a “brand book”. It is a single document that serves as a guide and reference to designers, writers, and developers to create consistent, on-brand content."

Do they realize that this is a programming language, or am I the one missing something? OK the website is going to get an overhaul, but is that something that interests us?

I can't imagine what Rob Pike (one of the creators of Go) thinks about it. The Gopher was the creation of his wife, illustrator Renee French, who also produced the original logo: 




Remind you of anything?

So back in the day color was expensive and so black and white was the norm, but did someone really have to spend time to render the older logo as an Andy Warhol rip off...

To think they spent money on this when Go still lacks so many features. An extra programmer or two on the project would have been much more help.

I say keep the Gopher and ditch the brand.


Rob Pike has tweeted:

Hey everyone! Despite what people have been assuming, the Go gopher is not going anywhere. He's still the Go mascot, as he always was. The discussion has been about the logo, not the mascot. The gopher rules eternal.

So no change then - but doesn't that make the whole thing even more pointless and a waste of money.


More Information

Go's New Brand

The Go Gopher

Brand Book (pdf)

Go Logos (zip)

Go Slide Masters


Related Articles

Go At Eight

Why invent a new language? Go creator explains

A Programmer's Guide To Go

A Programmer's Guide To Go Part 2 - Objects And Interfaces

A Programmer's Guide To Go Part 3 - Goroutines And Concurrency


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Last Updated ( Saturday, 28 April 2018 )