Wikimedia visual identity guidelines

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Seeking feedback on Wikipedia/Wikimedia identity guide

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The Wikimedia Foundation has been working on an updated Wikipedia Visual identity guide work book for several months, and this document is the first draft of that effort (the original, limited guidelines are on the WMF wiki). The guidelines are intended to be just that - guidelines and best practices for the use of our marks. The Foundation needs a document like this (and an accompanying set of official marks) to provide to approved partners and licensees - typically that might include publishers, other websites, telecommunications operators etc with whom we are collaborating.

This guideline document was designed by our design strategists at Exbrook Design. The same folks who built the core identity system for 10. The guidelines address some basic design practices (clear space, icon creation etc) that has been documented in a number of locations in our projects. We've tried to consolidate all of the practices into one document and one space.

I appreciate that the Wikimedia community, particularly on projects, require the latitude and freedom to use the marks in a variety of ways. These guidelines aren't intended to act as rules and regulations for on-wiki activities. I know they will be useful to the chapters and chapters-in-formation as well as other groups that have official permission to use the Wikimedia marks for their activities.

Welcoming your comments and inputs on this guide, including any suggestions we might want to add more information. Some notes first though:

  • We have not included the other projects in this edition of the document - mostly because of the wide ranging versions of the marks for the projects being used on the wikis. We also want to keep this document somewhat short (it's already quite long) and adding in the dozen or so other project marks was going to make it a very big document.
  • The referenced files/marks are in most cases identical to the standard versions referenced on Wikimedia Commons. We will be bringing these new variations of the marks to Wikimedia Commons as well, so everyone can use them.
  • Right now we're focussing largely on the English versions of the marks, and obviously the document is in English. We're interested in building out future editions in other languages. This might be an area where the chapters can offer some assistance.
  • You'll see that .eps files will be included in the full and final version of the group of files. We know this is a proprietary format, and obviously we won't host those files on Wikimedia Commons. Partners regularly request .eps files over .svg and free alternatives, and in order to ensure the best quality representation of our marks we're providing a range of formats.
  • These are guidelines, not rules. Although we expect official Wikimedia partners and licensees to follow these guidelines carefully, they are not intended to act as rule set to determine appropriate use of our marks in the wikis.

Please add your comments and sign below! Thanks, JayWalsh 18:57, 28 October 2011 (UTC)


  • I quite like the guide, though I think a couple of things have been left out from the original that might be useful to include (for chapters at least): the black and white version of the Wikimedia logo, and the proper proportions and properties of the descriptor under it (which is quite important for chapters creating their own logos). Also, is there any reasoning behind changing the colours of the Wikimedia logo? --Dami 19:51, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks - we caught the strange color inconsistencies and are working on proper PMS conversions. I'm looking at more detail for construction of chapter logos, but in general (so far at least) chapters and relevant orgs have really done a nice job with this, and I don't want us to overdesign. But it can't hurt to show a bit more of the basics of suggested mark creation. And yes to the B&W WM mark - we missed that one! JayWalsh 18:26, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  • The minimal globe size of 16mm seems to be too big for my taste: The globe on pins usually has a diameter of 12-13mm, and if you print it on a pencil a size of more than 10mm makes you not seeing the logo at once. And not just the b/w version of the Wikimedia logo is missing, but also the b/w puzzle ball. --Prolineserver 20:22, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
That's largely a matter of where that 'minimum size' is applied. I think in merchandise, you're always going to find situations where smaller might work, but mostly for print design and onscreen, at small sizes the detail of the puzzle globe is completely lost and it starts looking like a smudge. These are guidelines intended to make for the best looking representation. JayWalsh 18:26, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Largely looks good. I like the new piece emblem and think there are some situations where it'll work really well. Is it possible to consider how Linux Libertine can be used either independently as a heading font, or with a message alongside the logo, as I think it's quite visually distinctive and it really says "Wikipedia". For instance, in Wikimedia UK's thankyou emails we use this image as a heading. Regards, The Land 10:19, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
It's a widely available font, and it does work nicely alongside the mark of course. My only suggestion here would be to use caution on over-using this font in the presence of the mark. Part of what makes the serif-type linux libertine (and its predecessor Hoefler) work so well is that on any given WP page you only have the serif typeface on the mark. Everywhere else we have a more standard (often browser-determined), screen friendly typeface like arial etc. This allows for a nice contrast, in my view of 'tradition' vs contemporary/digital. It's always worth testing new design configurations. JayWalsh 18:26, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Why is this a PDF? Where's the original editable source? Do we have it ourselves, and will we be able to edit and update it in the future? --brion 20:22, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
    • +1, it would be nice to wikify this. Project for a communications intern?--Eloquence 02:38, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Recommend adding a link to http://www.linuxlibertine.org/ on the mention of Linux Libertine font on 'About the Wikipedia identity' page, so people who don't have it can easily get it. --brion 20:38, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Recommend adding a link to downloadable vector, high-res raster, and original 3d model versions of the globe on the 'The puzzle globe' page so it can be reached by people needing/wanting to work with it. --brion 20:38, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  • 'The Wikipedia Wordmark' page should probably mention & link the Linux Libertine font; it's mentioned on another page but that might not be noticed when looking down there. --brion 20:38, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  • 'The Wikipedia Wordmark' page mentions that the name is often translated, but gives no examples or guidelines about translation. --brion 20:38, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  • 'The Puzzle Icon' page should link to vector, high-res raster, and 3d model sources for the puzzle icon so people can find it. --brion 20:38, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  • 'The 'W' Icon' page mentions the W is set in Hoefler. Is this an inconsistency with the wordmark being retooled to use a free font, Linux Libertine? May need updating here.
  • 'The Wikimedia Foundation Mark' page should also link to vector & high-res raster sources. --brion 20:38, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  • 'The Wikimedia Foundation Mark' page mentions localization but has no links or details beyond a 'Wikimedia Deutschland' example -- how would I know which name to use in a given language? Where can I find this info? --brion 20:38, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  • 'Protecting our marks' page makes some scary claims about TM or (R) designators, which have never been in our logos before. Is there any issue with this? It's a bit worrying, and of course if you go grab any of the existing images... you don't have them. --brion 20:38, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
    • Agreed. This might be required in the US, but AFAIK in the Netherlands adding a (r) or a (tm) doesn't give you any extra protection at all. Husky 10:49, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
      • +1 SJ talk  18:41, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
  • 'Do not...' page's "Added element - Do not add decorative shapes or borders to the accepted mark" goes against 10 years of community usage. The site logos have often been modified to celebrate milestones. Is this something that's intended to be enforced against existing community norms? --brion 20:38, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  • 'Wikipedia and Wikimedia co-branding' page: "The Wikipedia width and Wikimedia height must be identical to one another" -- this seems wrong? A diagram seems to indicate this means to say "height" in both places, and refers to the entire unified logo including text and all. --brion 20:38, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  • 'Wikipedia and Wikimedia co-branding' page: 'The marks must be featured on a white background' -- oh yeah? What if you don't have a white background handy? --brion 20:38, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  • 'Inventory of assets' page lists a lot of filenames but none of them are linked, which seems a bit silly. No 3d model assets are listed for the puzzle globe or puzzle piece. No localized assets are listed at all. The one link to http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Wikimedia_visual_identity_guidelines is broken over two lines, and at least from GNOME's document viewer ends up at bogus http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Wikimedia_visual --brion 20:38, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
  • This is most helpful! Are there any guidelines regarding cut versions of the puzzle globe, however? Take this one for example. Specifications regarding space e.g. seem to exclude any such utilisation. From a layout point of view it might come in handy at times, though. -- Michael Jahn WMDE 13:06, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Very happy with the new horizontal variant of the Wikimedia Logo. Works a lot better on websites and letter headers. Husky 10:49, 5 November 2011 (UTC)