Alexa was developed by the American company Amazon in 2014. It serves as a virtual assistant, and its so-called “skills” go far beyond finding information, setting alarms, and playing music. This is an example of an emerging artificial intelligence integrating into smart home technology for remote control. Alexa now has over 90,000 features, from turning on the microwave to alerting you to severe weather.
Meaning and History
As the developers of Alexa admitted, their project is an attempt to recreate the speaking on-board system Enterprise from science fiction films and the Star Trek series. Moreover, Amazon employees focused not only on the technical component. They paid a lot of attention to branding, so both logos of the program (both old and new) contain its name, written in the corporate font.
The word “Alexa” itself was chosen because of its sound – primarily because of the hard consonant “x.” The virtual assistant’s creators wanted the name to be well recognized in everyday speech because it was supposed to become an activation phrase. Also, Alexa is reminiscent of the Alexandria Library, where thousands of useful information books are collected.
2015 – 2017
The virtual assistant, developed by Amazon, came along with the Echo smart speakers. His word mark consisted of two parts. The left side looked like the parent company logo known as Amazon Smile. He got this nickname because of the arrow that went from “a” to “z” and looked like a smile. This original element is the work of Turner Duckworth. It must be taken literally: the electronics manufacturer takes care of all customer requirements – “from A to Z.”
On the right was the lowercase inscription “Alexa.” The designers used a thinner font with straight lines for it. The letters were painted in several blue shades that went from light (top) to dark (bottom).
2017 – present
After the 2017 redesign, the famous arrow disappeared, and both words were spelled the same. The new version of the font is based on the old one, but they have only the outline of the characters in common. The details are different: for example, there are no short bends at the ends of the strokes, and the corners of the letter “e” are rounded. The lettering is completely gray and no longer divisible into two-color blocks. On the left is a blue ring with a white dialogue cloud inside.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The Alexa graphic has a double meaning. First, the dialogue cloud symbolizes the voice control function because the virtual assistant responds to the spoken commands. Secondly, the blue ring looks like the bright decorative strip running along the Echo smart speakers’ top edge. All together create a recognizable brand identity.
When choosing a font, designers were guided by one rule: it should be clear, understandable, simple, and readable. Therefore, the logo features a proprietary grotesque called Amazon Ember Display. This is the main typeface of the company, along with Bookerly for Hint.
The colors correspond to the official palette. White (#FFFFFF) was used for the background, Squid ink (# 232F3E) for the lettering, and the ring-shaped graphic symbol, an individual light shade of blue known as Alexa blue (# 00CAFF).