Convergent Evolution in Design

Convergent Evolution occurs in nature when two species evolve along similar paths because it’s the most practical solution to survival. One of many examples is the aye-aye lemur and the striped possum which both have one elongated finger used to get insects from trees, despite being different species living in entirely different parts of the world.

We just spotted a similar convergent evolution in the logo design for a company.

Way back in the mists of time, one of the founders of Narrative, Alec East, was a designer for feature films (and we occasionally still do it). Amongst other things, he designed the logo for a James Bond villain, Gustav Graves in Die Another Day (2002), whose front company traded in diamonds. The logo design was simple: a diamond comprised of the villain’s initials: G. G.

After the usual trademark checks, the final logo was featured in the film and quite visible across henchmen’s uniforms, on massive video walls and even a huge rotating ice sculpture.

Several years after the film was released, and with no connection whatsoever, a company called the Genuine Gemstone Company started trading and it deals in precious stones, selling them through TV shows in numerous countries. Purely by coincidence, convergent evolution seems to have occurred and they have a very similar logo.

Below you can compare them: The Gustav Graves logo is on the left, with the The Genuine Gemstone Company on the right.

logo design for film

We have no idea who designed their logo and there is no reason to suspect the design was, in any way, influenced by the Gustav Graves version in Die Another Day – in fact it’s far more likely that the similarity is due to a similar creative thought process that reached the same results because they were the best design solution. Both names featured two of of the letter G, offering the opportunity for symmetry to create a diamond shape and two different designers in different situations reached the same design through creative problem solving.

There are two way to take this convergent evolution: you might say the idea was so obvious that anyone could have come up with it…. but we prefer to think it shows a concept from 2002 was solid enough to come through for someone else over a decade later.

Just for fun, here’s an old reel of the screen graphics that one of our founders designed for Die Another Day between 2001-2002.