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International logo contest

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historical pages 2003 Wikipedia international logo contest
This was an international contest held from July 20 to August 27 2003, gathering 150 proposals. After the early proposal by Chuck Smith on October 12, 2002, the contest was first proposed on June 14, 2003 by Erik Moeller, who argued that the logo (adopted in January 2002 from the Logo suggestions) was unaesthetic, not international, and portrayed a text-only Wikipedia.




Content guidelines


The logo should contain no English text like "The Free Encyclopedia" -- this can be added as needed. But if you want the subtitle to be in a specific font, please do upload it as a separate image, and also specify the font you use.

The image should contain the text WIKIPEDIA, but it should be separable from the logo so that it can be replaced if necessary.

Format guidelines


Logos should be at most 150x150 pixels, preferably in transparent PNG format; however, a scalable vector version (preferably SVG format) from which the logo is generated should be uploaded as well if at all possible. This allows the use of the logo in any resolution, on t-shirts, flyers etc.



Wikipedians who are willing to donate prizes for the best logo(s), please add your suggestions here.



Please add ideas below. These inspirations do not need to be translated:

  • an alphabet letter which also looks like a construction site
  • a green tree with some interesting fruit (letters, pages or something like that)
  • several book volumes standing next to each other, with an inkwell sitting on the top
  • a flower or planet within a pair of double square brackets.
  • the W's arms could become welcoming or embracing arms; perhaps also include an open books within (in the W's interior); or, more elaborately, an W with a heart enclosing an open book in the interior, and extending to welcoming or all-embracing arms transforming the W's arms- ARog
  • My thoughts: something that conveys a web of knowledge (is that possible?). In other words, Wikipedia is not a book, so I don't think the logo should be a book. Or square brackets, because that relates to the technology. The technology can change, whereas information is timeless. Ideas of co-operation would be good too. (hmn, seems hard, that's why I suggest instead of create..) --Fagan
  • See also the examples at Wikipedia mascot.
  • Comment: the butterfly as a logo/mascot is already being used by the Brittanica crowd. -- I think I remember this fact from an older mascot idea.

Example for the "flower in square brackets" option:

Note: This is not a logo submission. The copyright status of the sunflower picture is unclear, and it is a quick hack anyway.

Background, History, and Reasons for Update


On June 14, 2003 Erik Moeller proposed to hold a new logo contest, because he argued that the current Wikipedia logo, pictured to the right, has some of the following problems:

  • not international -- English text
  • "a ball of text" -- not very aesthetic and challenging to read
  • cites one specific philosopher -- possibly POV (and not everyone feels good about the quote)
  • lacks color (black and white) -- portrays a "text-only" encyclopedia, where in practice it includes graphics and images.
  • Choppy looking with dark backgrounds -- should be .png and versatile.

However, it does portray that Wikipedia is serious, dense, textual, highminded, comprehensive, and global.

This image became the Wikipedia logo in January 2002 when it was designed and submitted at Logo suggestions.

Some Wikipedias, notably the French one and the Hebrew one, have decided to use or intend to use a different logo. This is understandable, given the above problems. However, a better long-term solution may be the development of a new, international logo that does not have the problems of the original one. This contest is supposed to address the problem.