Gmail replaces its ‘inbox zero’ graphic to the relief of corporate art haters

In news about banal skeuomorphic depictions of email, Gmail has updated its art for people who achieving Inbox Zero. And if you’ve been invested in the discourse around minimalist — oversimplified, even — corporate revamps of brand identities like Discord and Firefox, well, you may think of this as a lateral move.

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This is what users saw only recently when they came across an empty inbox or folder in Gmail. It’s a piece of clipart that screams of Corporate Memphis and makes you question how a person without eyes can read a book.

So, what did Google replace this masterpiece with?

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Uh huh.

Those aren’t mailboxes. They aren’t even office out trays. They’re cubbyholes that wouldn’t look so out of place in a kindergarten, especially with that castle flag on top. Theo van Doesburg’s kids would be happy there, I bet.

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Sure, “saving” things with facsimiles of floppy disks might have been ill-adapted after 2005, but we still sort and store electronic mail in pretty much the same ways we fuss around with the stuff with stamps. There’s a case to be made for an envelope to be in this picture.

Now get off my lawn.

Thanks: Eduardo

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