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MediaWiki logo experiments
As MediaWiki 2.0 is slowly moving closer, I think we should consider
replacing the current logo. The problems I have with it (and I say
that as its co-designer) are that the colors feel washed out, the
flower is asymmetrical, and the square brackets look just a tad bit
too square and ordinary.

I found a very nice flower photograph on Commons, and decided to
experiment with it a bit. The result can be found at:
http://scireview.de/wiki/logos/

The flower used here looks more like something airbrushed than a
straight crop of a photo (even though it is the latter), which I think
is an advantage for a logo. I do like the notion of using a complex
flower rather than a purely stylized one; I think that this is
allowable in the context of an entirely web-based product.

I think the colors/brightness and the brackets could use some
tweaking. I'm also not sure if I prefer the version with a shadow
behind the flower or the one without (the two people who have sent me
feedback so far prefer the one with, I have a slight preference for
without). If you want to play with it, there's an XCF link for editing
in the GIMP; all the elements of the picture are represented there as
layers.

For favicon size, we probably want to draw something from scratch
rather than resizing the logo. In the "Powered by" button size, it
could use some tweaking (perhaps some pre-processing before scaling
down).

I'd appreciate your comments on these experiments. Perhaps we should
start an open logo process when MediaWiki 2.0 comes within grasp.

Erik
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
On 6/16/06, Erik Moeller <eloquence@gmail.com> wrote:
> As MediaWiki 2.0 is slowly moving closer, I think we should consider
> replacing the current logo. The problems I have with it (and I say
> that as its co-designer) are that the colors feel washed out, the
> flower is asymmetrical, and the square brackets look just a tad bit
> too square and ordinary.

Are the brackets necessary? Both "before" and "after" they're not
particularly, uh, elegant.

Steve
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
On 6/16/06, Steve Bennett <stevage@gmail.com> wrote:

> Are the brackets necessary? Both "before" and "after" they're not
> particularly, uh, elegant.

I think they're important lest we be confused with a gardening store.
The allusion to the wiki syntax has always worked for me, and I've
seen quite a few wikis create derivative works with something else
between the brackets. (This is one reason why I insist that the logo
should be free content.)

Erik
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
On 6/16/06, Erik Moeller <eloquence@gmail.com> wrote:
> I think they're important lest we be confused with a gardening store.
> The allusion to the wiki syntax has always worked for me, and I've
> seen quite a few wikis create derivative works with something else
> between the brackets. (This is one reason why I insist that the logo
> should be free content.)

Are they they only way this can be done? Is [[image]] the only
arrangement incorporating MediaWiki syntax with an image? Is MediaWiki
the only wiki package that uses double square brackets? If we're
discussing a new logo for the next version, it would seem worthwhile
re-examining the entire thing from scratch?

I know I'm sounding negative here, but I'm not particularly taken with
the new flower - always sort of liked the old one, asymmetry and all.
:) Would like to hear what others think.

Steve
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
Steve Bennett wrote:
> On 6/16/06, Erik Moeller <eloquence@gmail.com> wrote:
>> I think they're important lest we be confused with a gardening store.
>> The allusion to the wiki syntax has always worked for me, and I've
>> seen quite a few wikis create derivative works with something else
>> between the brackets. (This is one reason why I insist that the logo
>> should be free content.)
>
> Are they they only way this can be done? Is [[image]] the only
> arrangement incorporating MediaWiki syntax with an image?

How about:

{{sofixit}}

No wait, that's the Wikipedia logo... ;)

> I know I'm sounding negative here, but I'm not particularly taken with
> the new flower - always sort of liked the old one, asymmetry and all.
> :) Would like to hear what others think.

The old flower has a real, organic look to it which I like, though it could do
with more contrast. The new one looks very fake, despite being real. :)

-- brion vibber (brion @ pobox.com)
Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
On 6/16/06, Steve Bennett <stevage@gmail.com> wrote:
> Are they they only way this can be done? Is [[image]] the only
> arrangement incorporating MediaWiki syntax with an image?

No, but I can't think of a more recognizable syntax element, and links
are of course one of the most fundamental features of a wiki.

> Is MediaWiki
> the only wiki package that uses double square brackets?

Historically, I believe the double square bracket syntax was first
created for Wikipedia by Clifford Adams, originally as a patch to
UsemodWiki. MediaWiki (or "phase II" and "phase III" of the software
as they were then known) copied this syntax. Since then, some others
have copied it as well. I believe it's very historically important for
the success of Wikipedia, and as such have always seen it as an
adequate symbol for the software as well.

> If we're discussing a new logo for the next version, it would seem worthwhile
> re-examining the entire thing from scratch?

Maybe. Continuity has its advantages, too.

Erik
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
On 6/16/06, Brion Vibber <brion@pobox.com> wrote:
> The old flower has a real, organic look to it which I like, though it could do
> with more contrast. The new one looks very fake, despite being real. :)

In Germany, we have a famous children's TV show called "Löwenzahn". It
starts with a time lapse sequence of a dandelion flower breaking its
way through the asphalt. This is what I've always associated with the
MediaWiki logo, technology (brackets) being merely the basis for the
growth of something wild and beautiful which transcends it.

However, in that symbolism, I would prefer the wildness to be even
more visible, with perhaps a different perspective on the flower, or
some visible breakthrough. When I saw the flower on Commons, I was
impressed by how much energy it radiates. It strikes me as an
appropriate symbol of strength and maturity, hence also the transition
from the old slogan "ideas want to be free" to "power for your ideas".

Erik
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
Erik Moeller wrote:

>> If we're discussing a new logo for the next version, it would seem worthwhile
>> re-examining the entire thing from scratch?
>
> Maybe. Continuity has its advantages, too.

Yes. So let's continue using the old logo - I like it a lot more...

--
Mark

mark@nedworks.org
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
On 16/06/06, Mark Bergsma <mark@nedworks.org> wrote:
> Erik Moeller wrote:
>
> >> If we're discussing a new logo for the next version, it would seem worthwhile
> >> re-examining the entire thing from scratch?
> >
> > Maybe. Continuity has its advantages, too.
>
> Yes. So let's continue using the old logo - I like it a lot more...

I am inclined to agree. A vector conversion, if possible, would be
awesome though.


Rob Church
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
On 6/16/06, Rob Church <robchur@gmail.com> wrote:
> I am inclined to agree. A vector conversion, if possible, would be
> awesome though.

It must be possible, Corel Mosaic (iirc?) let you do this back in the early 90s.

Steve
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
On 6/16/06, Steve Bennett <stevage@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 6/16/06, Rob Church <robchur@gmail.com> wrote:
> > I am inclined to agree. A vector conversion, if possible, would be
> > awesome though.
>
> It must be possible, Corel Mosaic (iirc?) let you do this back in the early 90s.

I'll make a vector version of the existing logo... For logos we
should attempt to use vector logos wherever possible, raster images
aren't as flexible, and the fine detail doesn't tend to survive in
many applications anyways.
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
On 6/16/06, Mark Bergsma <mark@nedworks.org> wrote:

> Yes. So let's continue using the old logo - I like it a lot more...

Sure - though I'd like to see an open contest (with the existing logo
being one option) when we hit MediaWiki 1.9.

Erik
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
On Fri, Jun 16, 2006 at 10:07:07AM +0200, Erik Moeller wrote:
> As MediaWiki 2.0 is slowly moving closer, I think we should consider
> replacing the current logo. The problems I have with it (and I say
> that as its co-designer) are that the colors feel washed out, the
> flower is asymmetrical, and the square brackets look just a tad bit
> too square and ordinary.

Wow, a topic I actually feel competent to expound on. :-)

> I found a very nice flower photograph on Commons, and decided to
> experiment with it a bit. The result can be found at:
> http://scireview.de/wiki/logos/

I rather like that, Erik. I think I'd choose a typeface for the square
brackets with a slightly tighter radius, so it remains clear they're
supposed to be *square*.

> The flower used here looks more like something airbrushed than a
> straight crop of a photo (even though it is the latter), which I think
> is an advantage for a logo. I do like the notion of using a complex
> flower rather than a purely stylized one; I think that this is
> allowable in the context of an entirely web-based product.

I personally think it looks fine.

> I think the colors/brightness and the brackets could use some
> tweaking. I'm also not sure if I prefer the version with a shadow
> behind the flower or the one without (the two people who have sent me
> feedback so far prefer the one with, I have a slight preference for
> without). If you want to play with it, there's an XCF link for editing
> in the GIMP; all the elements of the picture are represented there as
> layers.

I concur on the drop shadow, as long as it's implmented as an
alpha-channel PNG: it will eventually end up on things with non-white
backgrounds. I actually quite like the color balance as it is.

You might need to bold up the tagline just a touch, for small sizes,
though it's fine at the larger size. Or darken it. It should still
stay noticeably lighter than the mainline.

> For favicon size, we probably want to draw something from scratch
> rather than resizing the logo. In the "Powered by" button size, it
> could use some tweaking (perhaps some pre-processing before scaling
> down).

I see that you've taken the brackets off of the favicon; did you try
rendering it with (at least one set of) them?

> I'd appreciate your comments on these experiments. Perhaps we should
> start an open logo process when MediaWiki 2.0 comes within grasp.

Perhaps.

And the project tagline, as a separate thing.

Perhaps someone should put a page at meta soliciting suggestions, and
making the case for a CC license, and publicize?

Cheers,
-- jra
--
Jay R. Ashworth jra@baylink.com
Designer Baylink RFC 2100
Ashworth & Associates The Things I Think '87 e24
St Petersburg FL USA http://baylink.pitas.com +1 727 647 1274

A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?

A: Top-posting.
Q: What is the most annoying thing on Usenet and in e-mail?
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
On Fri, Jun 16, 2006 at 10:26:31AM -0400, Jay R. Ashworth wrote:
> > I found a very nice flower photograph on Commons, and decided to
> > experiment with it a bit. The result can be found at:
> > http://scireview.de/wiki/logos/
>
> I rather like that, Erik. I think I'd choose a typeface for the square
> brackets with a slightly tighter radius, so it remains clear they're
> supposed to be *square*.

Oh yeah: and thank the ghods for getting rid of Avant Garde Medium!

:-)

Cheers,
-- jra
--
Jay R. Ashworth jra@baylink.com
Designer Baylink RFC 2100
Ashworth & Associates The Things I Think '87 e24
St Petersburg FL USA http://baylink.pitas.com +1 727 647 1274

A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?

A: Top-posting.
Q: What is the most annoying thing on Usenet and in e-mail?
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
This is my first post, so hello everyone! :)

There are some things I personally don't like with this (potentially) new
logo and wanted to share my thoughts with you.
- as Jay R. Ashworth stated before, brackets are not "square enough" and I
strongly agree with his statement
- brackets are a bit to blurry
- I see no purpose for four different types of blue color (two for brackets,
two for text)
- IMNSHO one font should be enough for logo; making "catch phrase" in italic
should be enough
- I personally don't like proposed catch phrase; "Power your ideas" is
shorter, but even if MediaWiki changes logo, changing phrase isn't necessary
at all ("Because ideas want to be free" seems to be closer to MW's idea)

But I like this new flower a lot and would love to see it in MW's logo.
Great piece of work, Erik. :]

Thanks for reading. Best regards,
Dominik Dalek


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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
On 16/06/06, ryan@dobreprogramy.pl <ryan@dobreprogramy.pl> wrote:
> at all ("Because ideas want to be free" seems to be closer to MW's idea)

I'd rather ditch the motto.

> But I like this new flower a lot and would love to see it in MW's logo.
> Great piece of work, Erik. :]

Echo that. The flower isn't bad. Can we see the proposed logo sans motto? :)


Rob Church
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
On 6/16/06, Erik Moeller <eloquence@gmail.com> wrote:
> As MediaWiki 2.0 is slowly moving closer, I think we should consider
> replacing the current logo. The problems I have with it (and I say
> that as its co-designer) are that the colors feel washed out, the
> flower is asymmetrical, and the square brackets look just a tad bit
> too square and ordinary.
>
> I found a very nice flower photograph on Commons, and decided to
> experiment with it a bit. The result can be found at:
> http://scireview.de/wiki/logos/

I quite like this - but I think the brackets look too much like (( )) brackets
rather than [[ ]] - could you square off the corners a bit (but not entirely?)

--
Abi
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
Rob as mascot?!?
OK can I be the sidekick....<eyes flutter> Rob is my hero.....

Even in a thong.

r
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
On 6/16/06, Rob Church <robchur@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 16/06/06, ryan@dobreprogramy.pl <ryan@dobreprogramy.pl> wrote:
> > at all ("Because ideas want to be free" seems to be closer to MW's idea)
>
> I'd rather ditch the motto.

I'm glad someone else said it first. "Ideas want to be free" is kind
of cute. "Power your ideas" sounds like a dot-com startup trying to
get off the ground.

Steve
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
On 6/16/06, Steve Bennett <stevage@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 6/16/06, Rob Church <robchur@gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 16/06/06, ryan@dobreprogramy.pl <ryan@dobreprogramy.pl> wrote:
> > > at all ("Because ideas want to be free" seems to be closer to MW's idea)
> >
> > I'd rather ditch the motto.

> I'm glad someone else said it first. "Ideas want to be free" is kind
> of cute. "Power your ideas" sounds like a dot-com startup trying to
> get off the ground.

Wait a minute ... are you saying my MediaWiki stock options are
worthless? BRION, YOU LIED TO ME!!!!

;-)

Erik
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
On Fri, Jun 16, 2006 at 07:13:48PM +0200, Steve Bennett wrote:
> On 6/16/06, Rob Church <robchur@gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 16/06/06, ryan@dobreprogramy.pl <ryan@dobreprogramy.pl> wrote:
> > > at all ("Because ideas want to be free" seems to be closer to MW's idea)
> >
> > I'd rather ditch the motto.
>
> I'm glad someone else said it first. "Ideas want to be free" is kind
> of cute. "Power your ideas" sounds like a dot-com startup trying to
> get off the ground.

That actually touches on what I was thinking:
I don't think the slogan should necessarily be changed wholesale, but
simply dropping the "because" would probably be a significant
improvement. Is there someone else also using "ideas want to be free",
sans-"because", that might produce some kind of conflict with MediaWiki
using the same phrase?

"Ideas want to be free" is kind of a statement of philosophy and
purpose. "Because ideas want to be free" sounds more like an excuse, to
me. "Power your ideas" sounds like marketing.

Just my two pence.

--
CCD CopyWrite Chad Perrin [ http://ccd.apotheon.org ]
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
On Fri, Jun 16, 2006 at 05:52:19PM +0100, Abigail Brady wrote:
> On 6/16/06, Erik Moeller <eloquence@gmail.com> wrote:
> > As MediaWiki 2.0 is slowly moving closer, I think we should consider
> > replacing the current logo. The problems I have with it (and I say
> > that as its co-designer) are that the colors feel washed out, the
> > flower is asymmetrical, and the square brackets look just a tad bit
> > too square and ordinary.
> >
> > I found a very nice flower photograph on Commons, and decided to
> > experiment with it a bit. The result can be found at:
> > http://scireview.de/wiki/logos/
>
> I quite like this - but I think the brackets look too much like (( )) brackets
> rather than [[ ]] - could you square off the corners a bit (but not entirely?)

Maybe try splitting the difference -- brackets (which is to say, square)
rather than parentheses-looking things, but with curves on the insides
to soften the look a little.

I'd edit them myself, except I'm only GIMP-skilled within very narrow
areas of usefulness, and would likely screw it up completely after
several hours' work, then give up in frustration.

--
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
On 16/06/06, Erik Moeller <eloquence@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 6/16/06, Steve Bennett <stevage@gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 6/16/06, Rob Church <robchur@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > On 16/06/06, ryan@dobreprogramy.pl <ryan@dobreprogramy.pl> wrote:
> > > > at all ("Because ideas want to be free" seems to be closer to MW's idea)
> > >
> > > I'd rather ditch the motto.
>
> > I'm glad someone else said it first. "Ideas want to be free" is kind
> > of cute. "Power your ideas" sounds like a dot-com startup trying to
> > get off the ground.
>
> Wait a minute ... are you saying my MediaWiki stock options are
> worthless? BRION, YOU LIED TO ME!!!!

No, but we did reassign them all among ourselves. >:D


Rob Church
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
On Fri, Jun 16, 2006 at 04:49:50PM +0200, ryan@dobreprogramy.pl wrote:
> There are some things I personally don't like with this (potentially) new
> logo and wanted to share my thoughts with you.
> - as Jay R. Ashworth stated before, brackets are not "square enough" and I
> strongly agree with his statement

Well, nice to know someone doesn't think I'm daft.

> - I see no purpose for four different types of blue color (two for brackets,
> two for text)

Well, I don't think they're actually 4 *colors*; I think they're more 4
different tints of one color. About a PMS 320 or so, I think, if my
memory serves.

> - IMNSHO one font should be enough for logo; making "catch phrase" in italic
> should be enough

On this I might disagree. But, since the tagline is medium-italic, and
the mainline is bold-roman, they might well *be* the same font, for all
I know.

> - I personally don't like proposed catch phrase; "Power your ideas" is
> shorter, but even if MediaWiki changes logo, changing phrase isn't necessary
> at all ("Because ideas want to be free" seems to be closer to MW's idea)

Hmmm... As I noted, I think the choice of tagline is *a separate thing*
from the logo redesign proposal.

Cheers,
-- jra
--
Jay R. Ashworth jra@baylink.com
Designer Baylink RFC 2100
Ashworth & Associates The Things I Think '87 e24
St Petersburg FL USA http://baylink.pitas.com +1 727 647 1274

A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?

A: Top-posting.
Q: What is the most annoying thing on Usenet and in e-mail?
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Re: MediaWiki logo experiments [ In reply to ]
On Fri, Jun 16, 2006 at 05:07:53PM +0100, Rob Church wrote:
> On 16/06/06, ryan@dobreprogramy.pl <ryan@dobreprogramy.pl> wrote:
> > at all ("Because ideas want to be free" seems to be closer to MW's idea)
>
> I'd rather ditch the motto.
>
> > But I like this new flower a lot and would love to see it in MW's logo.
> > Great piece of work, Erik. :]
>
> Echo that. The flower isn't bad. Can we see the proposed logo sans motto? :)

Well, note too that the tagline is always optional on such logos: you
use it "on the retail box", but not necessarily on the default site
skin...

Cheers,
-- jra
--
Jay R. Ashworth jra@baylink.com
Designer Baylink RFC 2100
Ashworth & Associates The Things I Think '87 e24
St Petersburg FL USA http://baylink.pitas.com +1 727 647 1274

A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?

A: Top-posting.
Q: What is the most annoying thing on Usenet and in e-mail?
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