“It’s not just about a square becoming a circle,” Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun said of the new logo (right). Image: Xiaomi
Chinese phone maker Xiaomi spent more than three years developing a new logo, and it turned out to look almost the same as the original one. Xiaomi, the largest smartphone maker after Apple and Samsung, has attracted much mockery after it unveiled the new logo on Tuesday, with the only noticeable difference being the round-edge frame.
Its CEO Lei Jun is aware of the similarity. “Is everyone a bit disappointed by this logo, that we just turned it from a square to a circle?” Lei said as he presented the new logo on Tuesday, when he also announced the company’s entry into electric-vehicle making.
“The designer told me it’s not just about a square becoming a circle. It’s about the brand having a massive change in its inner spirits and personality.”
Lei said the company had been looking for designers to work on a new logo since 2017. It eventually settled on the work of Japanese designer Kenya Hara, a renowned graphic designer and author who also serves as art director at MUJI. Hara explained the concept “alive” behind this new logo and the designing process in a video released by Xiaomi. He said his team studied “circles and squares” extensively with the help of a mathematical equation. They developed at least 24 shapes that sit somewhere between a circle and a square, and picked one that “strikes the perfect balance” and “best represents the core aspect of ‘alive.’”The curve on the letter M has also been changed slightly to fit the frame. Besides the logo, Hara also suggested adding black and silver to compliment the company’s theme orange color to “convey a sense of energy and mystery.”
Tech companies often attach sophisticated meanings behind their new logos. When Google introduced its current logo in 2015, it said the logotype is a combination of “the mathematical purity of geometric forms with the childlike simplicity of schoolbook letter printing.” When Facebook was facing antitrust investigations in 2019, it adopted a new logo using shifting colors from the apps it owned. The companies said the logo could better communicate its ownership structure. The antitrust case is still continuing.Follow Viola Zhou on Twitter.