Murky Origins: An unoriginal work of satire about the origins of the Google Chrome Logo
The Google Chrome browser logo recently changed (March 2011). This set at least one inquiring mind (mine) to ruminating:
Hmmm… I wonder what the story behind the Chrome browser logo REALLY is?
The ThinkFree company’s ThinkFree Office 3 logo is a strong contender.
ThinkFree management was even rumored to be aggrieved over the flagrant misappropriation of their original design work. (I could find no substantiating evidence of such sentiments.)
Consider this side-by-side comparison on the left. The similarity is striking.
The ThinkFree Office 3 set up wizard offers an opportunity for closer inspection. Note that the logo is depicted here without the charcoal bezel shown in Exhibit A, increasing the resemblance to that other distinctive four-colored orb.
Let us refer to this theory as The Pokemon Possibility.
It is actually a hybrid sort of affair, combining elements of the real world, that Simon toy, with the animated sensation, Pokemon*.
*I don’t feel comfortable referring to Pokemon as a “virtual world”. Marvelous as it is, it isn’t quite WoW or Second Life.
Let us refer to this theory as The Multi-source Mashup.
Once again, observe the combination of the physical world with the bona fide virtual world. Physical world representation is provided by both the Simon game thing (present as a term of the equation in Theory 2) and a traditional web camera. The virtual world is represented by the round orb of the Firefox logo, and the tangible presence of Google in its most general case, namely, the corporate logo.
Pokemon has not dropped out of the equation, not by any means. The Pokeball has equal weighting with Simon, as both contribute strongly to the embedded orb within the Chrome design.
Theory 3, Lemma
The lemma to Theory 3 is a multi-source mashup sans Google itself. It contains unknown quantities which will be, of necessity**, left to the reader to investigate.
** Necessity is motivated by my inability to figure it out.
Theory 4 is almost certainly the most controversial of all, almost too unsettling for any rational mind to contemplate.
Could the progenitor be…. Windows Vista?
No definitive results were obvious. The ThinkFree design resemblance is the most suggestive in my opinion.
More conjecture is available from this pleasant 2008 era post The Inspiration Behind The Logo Design of Google Chrome from the highly acclaimed Digital Inspiration tech a la carte blog, founded by Amit Agarwal.