Gmail Logo

Gmail logo

One of Google’s most popular products, the Gmail service has gone through more than one logotype since the introduction of its beta version around 15 years ago. In spite of their differences, all the logos have always been based on the same “Envelope M” theme.

Meaning and history Gmail Logo

Gmail Logo history

The project was developed by Google employee Paul Buchheit, who started working on it in 2001. He made the first version of the product in one day, as it was based on the code of his earlier creation, Google Groups.

Originally, the service was used within the company. By the time of the public release in 2004, around 12 people were working on it.

Old logo

Gmail Logo old

The original logo was created by Dennis Hwang, who made almost all of the Google doodles at the time. Interestingly enough, the logo of Gmail was developed literally the night before the launch of the service.

Symbol Gmail in 2004-2009

Symbol Gmail

The original logo for Gmail featured a combination of the Catull type (for the “G”) and the Myriad Pro type. Catull was chosen as it was the font of the main Google logo. Yet, the lowercase “a” in the typeface looks somewhat strange, so Hwang decided to choose a cleaner sans-serif type for all the other letters.

Emblem Gmail in 2010–2013

Emblem Gmail

It’s not that easy to spot the difference between the 2004 and the 2010 versions unless you compare them side by side. The 2010 emblem has the text “by Google” aligned to the right side, as well as somewhat different colors and proportions.

New Gmail logo

Gmail logo new

The 2014 logo made its debut on the mobile application version of Gmail. In line with contemporary logo design trends, it looks sleeker and more minimalistic than its predecessor. The “M” that appears as a little envelope is the distinctive feature of the design. While in the previous versions, the “Envelope M” was incorporated in the word “Gmail,” now it acquired the status of an independent symbol and can be used not only with the “Gmail” text but as a standalone icon, too. Even when it is a part of a larger logo, the “M” is no more incorporated into the name of the service but placed before it.

Font

While the typeface featured on the Gmail logo doesn’t look very unusual, it’s probably a custom work created from scratch specifically for the company. The most distinctive feature of the type used on the Gmail new logo is perhaps the “G” with a somewhat shorter than usual top end.

Color

Gmail logo color

While historically, the Gmail logo image was built of all the colors used in the logo of its parent company, today, it only includes red, grey, and white as the background color. Both red and grey have several shades, which is necessary for creating the 3D effect.

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