This is one of the oldest icons I’ve made at SAPO. It was originally drawn for the public forums and it appeared on the portal homepage in a monochromatic green-toned version.
Its second incarnation was in the instant messenger client, SAPO Messenger, as a bold, thick-outlined icon. I gave it a blue and gray palette and used the thick lines to improve readability at small sizes.
As I started to work on version 5.0 of the IM client, a new look was needed to add some visual novelty for the users, but without departing too much from the current look, so as not to create total confusion.
This is the current version: it doesn’t have outlines, just color and value, and it uses a stylized projected shadow to increase depth.
I’m still studying the possibilities with this kind of illustration for the application interface since there are still readability issues.