Amazon Rolls Back Icon That Was a Little Too, Uh, Below the Nose

Amazon’s now rolled-back iOS app logo introduced in January 2021; background is a photo of an Amazon warehouse in Bretigny-sur-Orge on May 19, 2020.
Amazon’s now rolled-back iOS app logo introduced in January 2021; background is a photo of an Amazon warehouse in Bretigny-sur-Orge on May 19, 2020.
Photo: Eric Piermont/AFP (Getty Images)

Amazon has quietly edited its app icon, possibly because users noticed that it resembled a smiling, err, uh... we’ll go with Charlie Chaplin, but we don’t really mean Charlie Chaplin.

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Amazon updated the logo of its iOS mobile app in January to look like a smiling Prime delivery box as seen above, complete with the blue tape that is used to seal those orders. It may have been intended to also anthropomorphize an Amazon box as a face with blue hair—the company’s advertising has sometimes leveraged its swooping arrow motif as a mouth—perhaps in the manner as our artist’s impression below:

ARTIST’S IMPRESSION
ARTIST’S IMPRESSION
Graphic: Amazon/Gizmodo

As noted by the Verge on Monday, at some point between late January and late February, Amazon changed the logo and replaced it with one in which the tape was instead edited to be flipped up at an angle. That might be because the original version could also, in theory, be interpreted as actually being part of a anthropomorphized face that looks more like this:

ARTIST’S IMPRESSION
ARTIST’S IMPRESSION
Graphic: Amazon/Gizmodo

The toothbrush mustache was once a popular style and graced the faces of early 20th-century celebrities like actors Charlie Chaplin and Oliver Hardy, though for some reason it fell out of style around 3:15 p.m. Central European Time on April 30th, 1945 or so. Despite the cyclical nature of fashion, the toothbrush mustache’s popularity has never recovered since. In fact, that specific type of mustache is considered a major faux pas and something that should go away forever.

An Amazon spokesperson told The Verge that the logo was redesigned following feedback from customers, though the company didn’t specify what issue they brought up. The redesigned version of the logo is apparently intended to look like a box in the process of being opened and doesn’t resemble a mustache at all.

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“Amazon is always exploring new ways to delight our customers,” Amazon told the Verge. “We designed the new icon to spark anticipation, excitement, and joy when customers start their shopping journey on their phone, just as they do when they see our boxes on their door step.

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We’ll chalk up this whole thing to an unfortunate coincidence, though perhaps a more innocuous one than certain other recent historical overlaps.

"... An upperclassman who had been researching terrorist groups online." - Washington Post

DISCUSSION

Holy fuck that’s a lot of baseless assumptions and far reaches. It’s fucking BLUE tape! This is a clear and obvious Hanlon’s razor situation.

Ultimately this is the most minor, insignificant thing. No big deal if it was changed or stayed the same. It’s just fucking weird anyone cared in the first place.