Google Stadia logo gets roasted for '90s retro look

Atari vibes. Electric cars. Crayon scribbles. A paper cup. Wi-Fi. Stadia's logo sure conjures up a lot of funny things.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read
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Google's Stadia logo is the subject of a lot of scrutiny.

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

There's a famous waxed paper cup pattern called "Jazz." It first appeared in the early '90s and is a jaunty time capsule of its period. It also happens to look a bit like the logo for Google's new Stadia streaming video game service.

Twitter user helixD pointed out the resemblance shortly after Google unveiled Stadia on Tuesday. The tweet is just one of many poking fun at the zigzag logo that looks like a stylized Wi-Fi connection symbol.

Some Twitter users, including YouTube game reviewer Shane Luis, think Stadia looks like it should be a Tesla competitor. 

Video game fan Willie Aguilar noticed a kinship between Stadia and a bunch of Crayola crayon scribbles. 

Stadia's logo look has also drawn comparisons to some famous now-retro gaming platforms, including Sega Dreamcast and Atari.

Google isn't the only company to opt for an "S" logo that looks like it was painted with a broad brush. Specialized Bicycles has a more vertical version of the concept.

Swedish death metal singer Mikael Stanne says he recognized the Google logo from somewhere else: the logo for Focal, an audio gear maker. The similarity is pretty striking, though Stadia is more truncated.

Not everyone came down hard on the logo. Some tweets called it "rad" and "awesome," both terms that would've been flung around quite a bit in the '90s.

Perhaps the harshest critique came from a Twitter user by the name of Dante. By turning the logo upside-down and adding a visual cue, it becomes the popular poop emoji. 

So is Stadia's logo retro cool, or is it lazy? That's all in the eye of the beholder. The logo ribbing will likely be forgotten if Google really does deliver the "future of gaming." Until then, you can either revel in its bright bodacious boldness or retch at its dull derivative weirdness.

Watch this: Google Stadia is a play-anywhere streaming game platform of the future