Google recently unveiled the rebrand of Android. This includes everything from an updated wordmark, modernised colours and even a new and improved logo (known locally as Bugdroid). The overarching theme appears to be a focus on delivering a more premium and grown-up approach to the brand, alongside improving accessibility to meet the needs of a much wider customer base.
Why does the Bugdroid still work?
Compared to competitors, the Bugdroid may have historically seemed a little juvenile or simply outdated, however, the new facelift has seen the non-denominational mascot transformed. With his head lopped off at the neck, the new logo works much more fluidly with the updated text. The text and symbol now both comprise the logo, whereas before they were used in a strange parallel which was disjointed and incohesive.
Although the droid may appear simple, the thought behind it is well-thought-out and maintains it’s original appearance of being inclusive and non-threatening. The droid is genderless, makes no cultural reference and has no discernable nationality. This means that it works effectively around the world.
And there’s more…
The new green of the Bugdroid is designed to include more blue tones. This was done to assist people with colour visual impairments as well as being more easily paired with other colours. The bug has also undergone somewhat of a facelift, with the eyes and antennas adjusted in position to improve the balance of the face and make it more expressive.
The accompanying typeface is more legible. The wordmark is thinner, modern and is more geometric in appearance, with Google’s lead for the brand and creative noting that the new wordmark itself mimics and reflects some of the curves seen on the robot.
The changes continue with the dropping of the dessert names. Google noted that this means that they are more easily pronounced around the world, with previous names such as Marshmallow, Lollipop or Nougat proving difficult to pronounce and understand across all of the different dialects, languages and accents. Instead, the software will adopt a simple, number-based system, akin to iOS. This is not only easier to understand but also isn’t subject to the need to be translated or mispronounced.
What can you learn from the Android rebrand?
Businesses, large or small, can take key learnings from the Android rebrand. The primary argument for the rebrand was to increase accessibility and be able to better compete with external competitors but also compete internally. There is a need for the brand image of the operating system to be on the same level of quality and maturity as other brands in their ecosystem.
For any brand, it’s important to ensure that all of your individual outputs or areas of business are branded to equal quality. This means that when customers view the company offering in its totality, they will be met with consistency and familiarity without duplication.
A rebrand of an area which may be outdated or may not appear to be as premium as the other areas of your business is a good move and one that can draw more customers to your brand from the competition. In this case, Android needs to be as professional and clean as it’s competition, such as Apple. Therefore, growing-up was absolutely necessary.
The removal of the dessert names, the simplification of the font and the logo adaptation are all signs of a more mature brand which results in an overall more aligned and cohesive appearance.
Furthermore, their focus on accessibility shows an understanding that their user-base is diverse and has a range of needs. Users have more flexibility with Android and therefore by increasing accessibility, they can better accommodate their growing user-base.
Not to mention that Android has to hold up against the Google updates which want to improve the experience all users have across all devices. Their new focus on creating improved usability for people through accessibility means that Android is now built for a more global audience.
Also published on Medium.