Meet Cid, CyanogenMod’s new (evil looking) mascot, marking the group’s “maturity”

April 6, 2012
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I think that everyone around here is the least a bit familiar with CyanogenMod, so I guess I’m going to skip over the usual introduction. Oh, all right, for those of you who have been living in a cave for a while now, CM is, in a few words, a replacement firmware for smartphone and tablet PCs, based on Android and developed as free and open source software.

The CM team has been growing gradually over the past months or so, and, according to their stats, no less than 1.8 million active installs of different CyanogenMod software versions were recorded as of last week.

To “celebrate” CM’s steady growth and its “distinct identity”, the independent mobile development team has just unveiled its new mascot. The mascot is called Cid and its name is an approximate acronym for CyanogenMod ID, the common thread that all CM users share right now.

Cid’s name also has roots in the “id” concept, a part of the psychic apparatus defined in Sigmund Freud’s structural model of the psyche. The “id” is the unorganized part of the personality structure which contains the basic drives, like the libido, and that acts according to the “pleasure principle”, seeking to avoid pain or displeasure aroused by increases in instinctual tension.

That sounds deep and complex enough to give me a serious headache, but come to think of it, I can get the connection. I mean, the “id” is chaotic, unorganized (both in good ways, though) and seeks pleasure and nothing else, whereas CM, at a different level, is pretty much the same, driving devices at the most basic level and trying to redefine technological borders as we know them.

Cid’s design is somehow based on Google’s original  design, but CM’s new logo still looks pretty distinguishable, as far as I’m concerned. Intended to be “cute, modern and extremely flexible”, Cid’s final look is not exactly cute, if you ask me (I would more likely say that the mascot looks evil rather than cute), but it’s distinctive enough to make an impression from the first time you lay your eyes on it.

While CM was initially planning to make the mascot’s hands wrench-like, in order to make you think of software tweaking, the final design is more conventional, with subtler rounded hands and an overall cleaner look. The mascot’s big eyes are certainly one of Cid’s most distinctive features and should give it some attitude and the ability to convey emotions. The colors were a very easy choice (cyan and grey were almost irreplaceable), while Cid’s size should make us understand that CyanogenMod is now a more mature and organized project, with personality and purpose.

I’m eager to hear your opinions on CM’s new mascot, as I personally have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I always welcome a change and admire people who have the courage to tweak things a bit from time to time, but on the other hand I’m not sure that this is such an inspired shift. I mean Cid has a nice ring to it and the design is certainly original, but I find the mascot a tad creepy and overall just not very Android-like.

So, what do you think, do you like Cid? Would you start a conversation if you bumped into him (?) on the street or would you run for your life?

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