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Using the Android Logo and Copyright Information

It, he, she, is everywhere, the Little Green Robot, used as the symbol for Google’s Android™ operating system. The success of Android has seen the Android robot spread to all four corners of the world. Like most logos the robot is the result of human creativity and such creativity is protected by law. Therefore if you want to use the Little Green Robot in your product and services there are a few things to consider. Fortunately Google has liberally licensed the Android robot so the restrictions on its use are not onerous.

Mike Bugdroid the Android Logo

So here’s the Android Robot. Sometimes referred to as the Little Green Robot. The logo was created by designer Irina Blok for Google in 2007. It was made to represent the Android Operating System (OS) for the developer community but soon became the symbol for all things Android.

Surprisingly the logo was inspired by the signs for public toilets, as explained in the New York Times article Who Made That Android Logo.

Restroom Icon

Despite being referred to as the Little Green Robot it allegedly has a name, Mike. Does that make the robot male? Well robots are genderless so is male in name only.

Android Brand Guidelines

Using the Android logo robot in your product and services is made fairly clear on the Android Brand guidelines page. It also covers using the term Android, which is a trademark. There is another Brand guidelines page on the Android source code website that covers the same information but provides further details and examples, e.g. an Android robot making a peace sign cannot be used!

When the first version of this article was written the Android Brand guidelines included information on using the custom Android typeface, as seen on an earlier version of the Android Home Page:

Old Android logo

The custom Android typeface was also seen when older Android devices and AVDs booted:

Old Android typeface on an AVD

However, that typeface is no longer in use and the Android Home Page has a new logo and a new typeface:

New Android Logo

This custom Android typeface (and the new logo), although not as visible on devices as the previous versions, still cannot be used.

However, the little green robot can be freely used, and it is under a Creative Commons license which allows it to be adapted. As shown here for the AndroidCookbook.com web site.

Android Cookbook logo

Using the Android Logo and Name

Here is a summary on using the Android logo and the Android name:

  • The first occurrence of Android must be accompanied by the trademark symbol ™ as in Android™.
  • Android cannot be used in the name of a product or service but can come after the name. Therefore Android Chess is not allow but Chess for Android is allowed.
  • Android can appear before generic ideas or terms, e.g. Android devices.
  • Android must appear as Android and not android, ANDROID, Androids, ANDROIDS, androids, Android’s, android’s and ANDROID’S and similar variations, e.g. mixed case. Of course it doesn’t apply if you are referring to androids and not Android, e.g. writing a story about androids.
  • Abbreviating Android to just Droid is not allowed because it is a trademark of Lucasfilm, founded by George Lucas who created the Star Wars films.
  • The Android custom typeface cannot be used.
  • Using the Android logo, the little green robot, changing it and adapting it is allowed because of the Creative Commons Attribution license. This also prevents any modified logos from being registered as trademarks. (There is an exception for when it is making a two finger peace sign! Then it cannot be used.) However, the following statement must be accessible to the user, purchaser or viewer of a service, product or publication that uses the logo or images based on the logo:

The Android robot is reproduced or modified from work created and shared by Google and used according to terms described in the Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution License.

Note, the standard Android logo’s green hex color (colour) value is #A4C639.

Android SVG Image for the Little Green Robot

The Android robot graphic is available from the the Android Brand guidelines page as a 100×117 PNG, 200×237 PNG and Adobe Illustrator file. If you need an SVG version of the logo to use in vector programs, such as Inkscape, then use our android_robot_logo.svg file.

See Also

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