Maybe you are using an Android device or are an “unabashed Android fanboy” like some of us. Even better you could be reading this from an Android device. Maybe not. You don’t own an Android device or bother to use one. Or hate Android with a passion. Maybe you have no idea even what Android is. However I am sure you have seen this:
That’s the universally recognized Android logo. That bugdroid that we’ve fondly come to know as the “green robot” represents the massive platform that is Google’s Android and is universally recognized as the official Android logo.
The New York Times recently ran a feature about the Android logo and there are some interesting things to note about it:
- It was designed by a woman. Inira Blok, formely a Google employee, was assigned back in 2007 to create a logo for the mobile operating system that the team she was in was working on. That was when Goole had just bought Android, a startup, and wanted it to pioneer its mobile efforts. She is hardly acknowledged but she is the brains behind that very famous green robot. And you know what inspired her to come up with the bugdroid?
- The restroom. Yes, the restroom. Blok, working with other designers internally were tasked with coming up with a logo that consumers and would-be Android users the world over could identify at first glance and could easily associate with the Android brand. They looked in various quarters for inspiration but what eventually inspired the Android logo as we know it today is the universal symbols used in restrooms for men and women. I know it is rare to draw inspiration from anything that is to be associated with the restroom but well, the green robot is an idea from there.
- The Android logo is open source. Just like the software they were creating for mobile devices itself, the designers (and ultimately their superiors) were in agreement that the Android logo should be open source so that users, enthusiasts, business partners and everyone else could modify it to their taste but still drive the Android gospel home. Today , there are various apps in the Play Store like Androidify that allow you to create all sorts of bugdroids in the fashion, size, colour and variation that you want. You are only limited by your creativity. For instance this KitKat stature at the Googleplex.
PS: I did not bring up the fact that the Android logo was designed by a woman for any sexist or chauvinist purposes. We have very capable women in tech and the design field, more talented than even men. Just that it is a fact that people overlook and Irina Blok is hardly given the credit she so deserves .