A little backstory on the Android logo

android logos

The Android logo, in my opinion, deserves to go down in history as one of the greatest ever. I have never seen any other brand draw as much positivity as the little green robot does for the platform, and has certainly played it’s role in helping the operating system  grow to the point it has so far. Yet, until when I read this post on the New York Times, I realized I never really tried to find out who designed the logo and how did it come about.

There is one key passage from the post that I wanted to highlight here, regarding the inspiration and the vision that the team at Google had for the logo:

 The logo, she (Irina Blok, who created the logo) was told, should involve a robot, and so she studied sci-fi toys and space movies — anything that might help her create a character. In the end, she took inspiration from a distinctly human source: the pictograms of the universal man and woman that often appear on restroom doors. She drew a stripped-down robot with a tin-can-shaped torso and antennas on his head.

While Blok worked on her design, she and her colleagues agreed that the logo, like the software, should be open-sourced. “We decided it would be a collaborative logo that everybody in the world could customize,” she says. “That was pretty daring.” Most companies, of course, defend their trademark from copycats, and million-dollar lawsuits have been filed over the rights to corporate insignia. This one would remain free.

android restroom tshirtThe first paragraph made me think of the popular T-shirt to the right, one that I am now quite proud to own. That T-shirt now almost feels like a part of the history of Android.

However, it is the second paragraph that really strikes a chord: one of the major reasons regarding the positivity to the Android logo is the fact that we have seen it take innumerable forms over the past six years. We have seen Irina’s creation as pins that attendees at MWC would run around to collect, as portable speakers, collectible figurines and also our very own Phandroid mascot.

Allowing people such freedom has helped create a better community for fans. It has also added a sense of fluidity to the brand that nobody else can match.

If you would like to learn more about the history of the Android logo, I’d recommend reading this, this and this.

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TAGS: bugdroid



  • Jim Fullhouse
    • Jesse_Knight

      That’s just one person’s opinion. Sure it’s a great resemblance, but “the real backstory” can only be told by those sitting around the conference table during the design sessions.

    • Squeak

      I thought of that Engadget article when I saw this article.

    • Chris

      That article is such bullshit lmfao. Did you even read it? They found a picture of a robot from a 90’s game, and said it looked similar, so Google HAD to have copied it. They have no facts or proof or anything, they just think it’s similar. What idiots they are.

      • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

        Look at who wrote the story. The same apple tool bag running the verge.

      • Nick

        It’s Engadget. They’re on the same level as all the Gawker media sites IMO.

        • Chris

          True that man. I don’t read Engadget and I won’t lol.

    • master94

      yeah because it takes a genius to come up with a Apple for their logo right? So original. Plus that link has no facts, and the example they showed looks nothing like the Android bugdroid figure we all know and love.

    • Lou_Sasshole

      Go home Jim.

  • Anthony McKay

    Didn’t know that! For your health!

  • Anthony Rodriguez

    Link on where to get the shirt?

  • james ortiz

    there’s a nexus 5 video going around the internet and you guys haven’t posted it yet….get with the program. lol

  • John Smith

    cool story.

  • master94

    This is why I love the Android team. They aren’t thinking about making the quick buck, they actually care about the community and their users as a whole. Equal access to all. Got to love Android for that

  • Jared Meadows

    Thanks for the story @RaveeshBhalla ! I consider myself quite the android fan, secondly because of that, I usually try to know as mush as I can about it, but this story had until now missed my radar. THANKS! :D

  • ari_free

    And I have the best avatar

  • Mark Washington

    And this whole time I thought it was taken straight out of star wars!

  • discdoc

    Does anyone have a link to purchase that tee shirt?

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      It usually is available on the Google store (google-store.com) but doesn’t seem to be right now. The only other alternative that I know is to ask someone you know who works at Google to get it for you (I got mine from the Mountain View campus)

      • discdoc

        Thanks Raveesh… I’ll keep an eye out for it.