The little green Android mascot is ubiquitous with Google’s mobile OS—a chunk of Android’s identity. He’s enshrined on Google’s Mountain View campus lawn, playfully hiding right there on Google Play, and there are even little toy figures you can buy for your very own. But he didn’t always looks like an ancient Chinese relic. At a certain point, Google entertained a completely deranged design that looks like 90s clip art gone bad.
Google’s Dan Morrill shared a series of images that were supposedly early design considerations for Android. Swirly eyes, claw hands, trash receptacle body shape. Morrill explains that the designs were put together for an early presentation that introduced Android APIs, but obviously the final product was revamped before hitting consumer eyes.
“They had a brief flurry of minor popularity amongst the team — enough to pick up the nickname “Dandroids,” anyway,” Morrill shared. Irina Block wound up designing the Android mascot we know now, but not before these proposed drawings were on the table.
It’s funny to look back at something only internal Google employees knew. The way a mascot looks says a lot about a product and company. The first proposed designs were a little too cartoony and wacko—that red one looks downright evil—but it’s still neat to see.