Android logo, from bathroom signs to open source – how it’s made

October 13, 2013
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Android

The Android logo needs no introduction anymore, as Android is probably one of the easiest brands to recognize out there – at least to smartphone buyers – but not everybody knows its story.

That little green robot has been Android’s logo since the beginning – well, since Google acquired this particular startup and decided to turn it into what it is today, which is when it gave the logo design job to one of its employees, Irina Blok.

According to the New York Times, Blok received the Android logo job back in 2007 when she was working at Google.

The company wanted a logo for the mobile software platform that “consumers could easily identify.” Google also wanted the logo to “involve” a robot. So Blok researched robots by looking at toys and space movies, but ultimately she was inspired by public bathrooms:

[…]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.

Now that the design was finalized, Blok and her team decided that the logo should be open-sourced, just like the operating system it represented. That way, anyone interested in customizing it could do so whenever and however they wanted.

Android 4.4. KitKat

However, Blok, who no longer works at Google, is not as famous as the Android logo:

Blok can think of only one incident when she garnered the public’s attention for designing it. In 2010, she and her 6-year-old daughter were in a movie theater waiting for “Alice in Wonderland” to begin when an Android logo flashed on the screen. Her daughter, Blok recalls, suddenly stood up and yelled, “My mommy invented that!” Everyone in the row in front of them turned around to stare. Blok was so embarrassed, she says, that she sank down behind her tub of popcorn.

The rest, as they say, is history, as the Bugdroid quickly became a very famous Droid, and one that has seen many customizations since being designed. In fact, Google has just customized the green robot for its upcoming Android 4.4 KitKat release, in which the robot is made of KitKat chocolate.

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