Logo history

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historical pages Logo history
This page overviews the history of the Wikipedia logo, from the original US flag example to the current puzzle sphere logo. Originally written in 2003 by Jrincayc and Eloquence.

Progression of logos[edit]

Image Title Description
n/a Test logo In the early days of Wikipedia, founder Jimbo Wales uploaded an American flag as an example logo. Needless to say, it was never intended to be the permanent logo. See the following discussion at OldWikiPediaLogo.
Wiki logo Nupedia.jpg Nupedia logo The Nupedia logo was originally sent to a Nupedia logo competition by Bjørn Smestad, and was used by Wikipedia until the end of 2001. It continued to be used after this time on special pages such as search results.
Wiki orig logo.png Cunctator logo This logo was designed by The Cunctator and won the first Wikipedia logo contest, which took place from November to December 2001. The leading submissions of that early contest (which is separate from the much larger international logo contest held in 2003) can be viewed at Logo suggestions/Leading candidates. See #2001 logo contest for more details.
Paullusmagnus-logo (small) reloaded.png Paullusmagnus logo This logo was created by Paullusmagnus during the International logo contest. After the two-stage International logo contest/Vote instructions, this logo won with considerable support– see International logo contest/Results. The English Wikipedia switched to it on Sept 26 2003.
Nohat-wiki-logo.png
Nohat-Wiki-logo-2.png
Nohat logos This "silver ball" was created after the International logo contest/Ratification as an improvement of the Paullusmangus logo. The English Wikipedia switched to this on Oct 12, 2003 after it achieved a general consensus of 21 preferring it, with only 3 preferring the previous logo (vote page on Oct 12).

A new, internationalized variant was later uploaded without much discussion, as the previous logo was not available in internationalized form and the differences were considered minor. This is the logo that is now in use (in different translations) on most Wikipedias. See #2003 international logo contest for more details.

Wikimedia logo text RGB.svg
MediaWiki logo.png
  • Wikimedia logo
  • MediaWiki logo.
The second and third place logos (International logo contest/Results) were appointed as the logos for Wikimedia and MediaWiki by logo contest organizer Erik Möller on October 15.

2001 logo contest[edit]

Winning proposal by Paullusmagnus.

This logo was created by Paullusmagnus during the International logo contest. After the two-stage International logo contest/Vote instructions, this logo won with considerable support– see International logo contest/Results. The English Wikipedia switched to it on Sept 26, 2003.

Due to strong feelings by some Wikipedians who considered this logo inferior to the old one, the designer, User:Paullusmagnus, put this picture on his user page in a bit of self-deprecating humor: Terribly wrong.png

Relevant pages[edit]


2002-2003 occurrences[edit]

2003 international logo contest[edit]

Winning proposal by Nohat.
Improved version.

The "silver ball" was created after the International logo contest/Ratification as an improvement of the Paullusmangus logo. The English Wikipedia switched to this on Oct 12, 2003 after it achieved a general consensus of 21 preferring it, with only 3 preferring the previous logo (vote page on Oct 12).

By Oct 17, after it was implemented, the vote had changed to 23 supporting and 12 opposing (vote page on Oct 17). Arguably, the result is still somewhat biased– the people who were strongly opposed to the winning logo were highly involved in the final optimization process, while the people who were strongly opposed to the new variant quickly headed to Meta to vote it down as soon as it went public. In any case, there appears to have been wide support for the new variant.

There was some controversy (See Logo feedback and Talk:Logo feedback) over switching the English Wikipedia to this logo due to several reasons.

  • The first was lack of publicity for the poll over this, despite being linked to from many Main Pages, the mailing list, and w:Wikipedia:Announcements (the announcements page asked for comments on Oct 1 and votes were requested on Oct 13).
  • The comment page quickly formalized in a "Better than original logo / About the same / Worse" poll, which was conducted fairly informally.
  • The decision to modify the logo was made during the logo ratification process.
  • Some people were strongly opposed to the winning Pallusmangus logo and decided that the logo should be modified.
  • The number of people participating in the logo variant process was probably around 20 or so (at least until the logo was switched at which point it increased to around 40) compared to the 188 valid ballots in the orginal logo contest.

After a few days on the Main Page, User:Nohat uploaded a new, internationalized variant. The logo in use was quickly replaced with that variant without much discussion, as the previous logo was not available in internationalized form and the differences were considered minor. This is the logo that is now in use (in different translations) on most Wikipedias.

The New York Times had an article about errors in the logo on 2007. A suggested fixed version is at Image:Wikipedia-logo thue.png, but has not been officially blessed as the new official logo. See also Errors in the Wikipedia logo.

Relevant pages[edit]

2010 revamp[edit]

Wikipedia logo v2, English

On May 2010 the revamp of Wikipedia puzzle globe started in 2008 was completed, and new logo has been implemented along with the new Vector interface. See wmf:Wikimedia official marks/About the official Marks.

See also[edit]