Since its launch in 2004, Gmail has been one of the key email services online. Although deeply imperfect and somewhat uncomfortable to use, Gmail has accumulated a large userbase and by 2021 surpassed most competitors. Its main upside is that the service can be integrated with many other Google products.
Gmail (stands for Google Mail) has entered development in the beginning of this century. The primary cause of introducing the new mailbox for Google was that all existing providers were no good for anything bigger than a reasonably-sized letter. If you wanted to attach a file, it just wouldn’t let you in most instances.
This logo version belonged to the beta of Gmail that was opened to the public in 2004. This exact design has been in use until 2013, in fact.
The logo is subject to the usual Google concept of casting colors onto various letters of the logo. The font is very similar to the one used in Google’s own logo, except for one difference. The letter ‘M’ is not there. Instead of it, the designers put in its place a white envelope with a letter in question marked in red across the lines of the envelope.
Beneath the main logo were two text elements. On the left, the grey text reminds you that Gmail is made ‘by Google’, and on the right another grey writing tells you it’s just a ‘beta’ version in uppercase.
When the mailbox left beta and was fully launched, the logo changed little. The ‘beta’ text vanished, and the characters of the main logo (including the ‘M’ replacement) were made wider. Google also added some lighting onto the letters, and that’s about it.
In 2010, the ‘by Google’ part moved right, and the logo as simultaneously given even more illumination. It particularly affected the envelope, whose seams almost disappeared. There were no other substantial changes.
In 2020, Google decided that users are familiar enough with the software, and they simply scrapped everything expect the envelope. They made sure it’s illuminated more appropriately, and also reduced the thickness of the red element.
If they absolutely needed the text to specify that it is indeed Gmail and to stand next to the icon, they would’ve just written it in plan grey text.
Following the general overhaul of their designs by Google, the company simply discarded the envelope and left the letter ‘M’ in roughly the same place where the red marking was before. By comparison, the new emblem is significantly wider and softer – the edges and angles are severely rounded.
But the most notable change is the color shift. Instead of the uniform scarlet the main colors are now blue, red, and green with yellow and burgundy on the corners.
Although the later designs have become the norm when it comes to addressing the Gmail, Google still uses the 2013 design a lot – especially when they need a tiny icon to specify the service. It’s shown on many pages related to the service – most prominently, on the front page of the mailbox itself.