Irina Blok may have drawn one of the most recognized logos in the world, but her association with the green Android has not made her famous. 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 Android logo was born three years earlier, when Blok worked as a designer at Google. As Google prepared to endorse the Android software platform for mobile devices, Blok and her design-team colleagues were told to create a look for the software — something that consumers could easily identify. The logo, she 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.
In the years since, the Android logo has been dressed up as a ninja, given skis and skateboards and even transformed into a limited-edition Kit-Kat bar. Blok (who is now creative director at Edmodo, a social network for students and teachers) says that creating the logo was like raising a child: “You give a life to this individual, and then they have a life of their own.”
DESIGN ELEMENTS OF ANDROID LOGO
Shape of the Android Logo:
The popular Android wordmark was created along with the Droid font family by Chicago-based type foundry Ascender Corporation. The Android robot is a prime example of a playful logo, yet made of fairly simple shapes.
Color of the Android Logo:
“Android Green” is the color of the Android Robot that depicts the Android operating system. The green color stands for growth, freshness and prosperity.
Font of the Android Logo:
The Android logo features the custom typeface called Norad.