The Gmail Logo Was Designed the Night Before Gmail Launched

More

Gmail_logo copy.jpg

Ever leave an assignment until the night before it was due? You're in good company. According to a post on Quora from former Google designer Kevin Fox, Googler Dennis Hwang was up late the night before Gmail launched, working on the email service's logo.

Fox recalls:

The logo was designed literally the night before the product launched. We were up very late and Sergey and I went down to his cube to watch him make it.

400px-CatullFontSample.svg.pngFox says that initially they had tried to make the Gmail logo in the same font as the Google logo, a font called Catull designed in 1983. But Catull has, as Fox calls it, a "very awkward" letter 'a' (see image at right), which made it unusable for "Gmail." Hwang opted to keep the "G" in Catull but to render the "ail" in a sans serif font, which Fox believes is Myriad Pro (looks right, to my untrained eye). The "m," of course, appears as a small envelope, the ubiquitous Gmail symbol we have come to know well.

I had never noticed before how the G of Gmail was such a different style than the rest of the logo, but now that I've focused on it, that G is always going to stick out, the serif-laden man among his serif-less friends.


Jump to comments
Presented by

Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In