Last year we skipped April Fools as it landed on a Sunday and the four years before that we had done fake redesigns (Ford, Verizon, Dunkin Donuts, and Home Depot) so doing another one was simply not an option. Too repetitive and expected. What to do though? At least through the first couple of weeks of March I still had no idea. I had noticed Chrome’s broken image icon earlier in the year, I filed it on my brain, and as I was trying to think of ideas it hit me that it would be funny to do a full-on design justification/presentation of the icon as a corporate identity logo. The fact that the icon was a real thing provided a new twist on our April Fools, so I didn’t have to “prove” that it was real — the Quora question I referred to also helped cement this as fully plausible. Then it was just a matter of presenting it like any good brand consultancy would.
Other than the icon on a grid and the icon on the magazine I had no idea what I was going to do, but as soon as I started recreating the icon in Illustrator I started getting the ideas of doing the time-aware and location-aware versions. I’ve always loved the parallel between pixels and cross-stitch and that’s when I asked Bryony if she could do cross-stitch and she so crafty so she did. It now hangs in our kitchen. The image of the pins/badges came courtesy of Mike Rigby of Interbrand in Sydney, who always make some excellent pins for their own clients. The whole project took a good 16 to 20 hours — hey, you try making a convincing Christ the Redeemer statue in less than 8 pixels — but it was worth it, especially seeing tweets of people convinced this was real.
2014 seems daunting now.