Logo suggestions/Leading candidates

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historical pages 2001 Wikipedia logo suggestions (leading candidates)
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The 2001 Wikipedia logo suggestions were opened by Larry Sanger in November 2001. Several logo suggestions were submitted on this page or privately to Larry Sanger, who chose the winning logo (logo 24) with community discussion.

#24 has been chosen as Wikipedia's new logo!

For history's sake, here is the discussion that led to #24 being picked as the winner, a discussion held between mid November and early December 2001. The ultimate winner was also the last horse to enter. For a while there #7 looked like the winner.


(from Magnus Manske)
Comments: Nov 20 - I dislike the emphasis that this logo (and the ones below) places on "Editing" - Wikipedia is ultimately a knowledge resource. - MMGB

As I have the vector format "sources", all the "Editing" parts can be easily removed.--Magnus Manske

I like this one, as it offers a concise description of the project. --Stephen Gilbert

I kind of like this one myself. "The free encyclopedia" doesn't stand out enough, though. --Larry_Sanger

I like this one best, except the color is not quite my taste, and the bottom text should be a bit bigger. AxelBoldt

I vote for 1, 10 and 24. Of these I like 10 the most because it stands out, is easily recognizable --TK

3, 4[edit]

(from Magnus Manske)

New version. Better? --Magnus Manske
Much better. I think that the "You can edit this page right now" sentence detracts from the image; I'd like to see it with that part removed. --Stephen Gilbert

Now? Now? :) --Magnus Manske

Another improvement, I think. One distinct advantage that this one has is that it has the same sort of design approach as the Nupedia logo. sounds good... trying this for the first time..

6, 7[edit]

(early attempt by sodium) (Stephen's small modification of sodium's first logo)
Comments: I quite like this one - understated yet distinctive. Well worth developing as an idea - MMGB
I like this one best so far. --Stephen Gilbert

Gimp layered source if anyone wants to play with it - [[1]]. -- sodium
¶ Of the suggestions here, I like this one. Logotypes need to convey a simple message very fast. Several of the other suggestions have too many small details in them. Also, the childishness/humor/irony of some other suggestions do not quite work in a logo. Companies don't have logos that say their products barely work.--user:LA2
Apart from my own logos, I like this one best. --Magnus Manske
This is a pretty one --Larry_Sanger
I like this one too. My vote would be for it right now. --AstroNomer
I like it too. -- The Anome
This is really nice. -- Robert Merkel
I have sent in some 'favicon.ico' icons of 6/7... The Anome


(from Magnus Manske)
Comments: A very good candidate. - MMGB

I agree, one of the best.

(NB: not a lot of comments, but this one made it to the "leading" list on the basis of comments made elsewhere) - MMGB


Comments: Who did this one - I really like it! The "knowledge shared" is a slightly different approach, but well worth investigating. - MMGB

Yeah, another nice design. We do want people to think that Wikipedia is all about sharing knowledge, too. But I suspect that if we adopted this precise logo, Wikipedia would soon be called "Wikipedia: Knowledge Shared," which is a name I don't like. Whatever words you put on a logo are going to become a sort of trademark for the project, at least, and very possibly part of the name. So, in a logo, it's important to use "The Free Encyclopedia" or something equally simple (easy to understand) and catchy. --Larry_Sanger
This one is good, either with 'Knowledge shared' of 'The free encyclopedia' because the title and the tagline don't compete but reinforce each other. --Tsja


Man is distinguished, not only by his reason, but by this singular passion from other animals, which is a lust of the mind, that by a perseverance of delight in the continued and indefatigable generation of knowledge, exceeds the short vehemence of any carnal pleasure. --Hobbes

Comments - ooh yes, I really like this one. Tasteful, elegant, sophisticated. This has my number one vote for now. One semi-suggestion... could we also try a very pale blue background?- MMGB

This is really good :-) I don't particularly like the current wikipedia logo (sorry, whoever created it!) but this has made it look tasteful and catchy. This is my favourite too. -- sodium

I like this one, too. A little larger than the original, but it will do;) I don't think a "pale blue background" would be a good idea, though. A transparent PNG will look better on skins, too! -- Magnus Manske

This I don't like. A logo should be simple/clean, this is too cluttered. The text on the globe is legible and when seeing it you try to read it and it is irrelevent.

I think this is the best one. I like it that you can read the text, but maybe it should be something more relevant. Maybe a piece of our text about Hegel (but that's not much) or some other philosopher? :-) Or the GNU Free Documentation License? And make it still a bit rounder, that would be cool.
For the German Wikipedia I'd like to have a German text, is that possible? Kurt Jansson

I'm shocked! How can you not like the text - "... which is a love of the mind, that by a perseverance of delight in the continual and indefatigable generation of knowledge..." I think it's absolutely perfect and totally relevant. - MMGB

Very nice. I especially like the clean and elegant "Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia" text. Some minor issues: the Hobbes text, while certainly not irrelevant, is somewhat distracting. As mentioned above, people will be trying to read it, especially with the very prominant "vehemence of any carnal pleasure" at the bottom. Generally, you want a logo to be understood at a glance; I think a more innocuous text would be better suited to the purpose (something from one of our own articles? Encyclopedia, maybe?). Also, it seems a little big to me; could you post a slightly smaller version? A couple of tweaks and I give this one my top vote. --Stephen Gilbert

Okay, I'll confess: My English is too bad to really understand the text. :-)
But I still think a text out of Wikipedia would be better. --Kurt Jansson

Yep, I love this one too. The text seems perfectly appropriate to me. There are many quotations, but especially a few from Aristotle, Spinoza, or Descartes that I can think of, would be grand. OK, this is important enough for me to dig up those texts. Einen moment bitte... --Larry_Sanger

...the more things the mind knows, the better does it understand its own strength and the order of Nature; by increased self-knowledge, it can direct itself more easily, and lay down rules for its own guidance; and, by increased knowledge of Nature, it can more easily avoid what is useless.
--Spinoza, Tractatus de Intellectus Emendatione

OK, so that's all I could find after a quick search of the texts. The Hobbes quote seems rather more appropriate than this.

Thing is, Hobbes is more credible than Wikipedia, right now.  :-) A quote from a famous philosopher adds a bit of class. Moreover, the sentiment expressed, whether or not false (depends on whether you're in a randy mood, I suppose :-) ), is 100% appropriate for Wikipedia's mission. It's hard to imagine finding a very much more appropriate epigraph for Wikipedia.

The words "carnal pleasure" are very cool, for a variety of reasons. (1) They presuppose that the reader is sophisticated enough to understand that "carnal pleasure" means more than sex. That makes it clear to mature, educated adults that Wikipedia is run by mature, educated adults. This is important, on the Internet. It also puzzles and excites slightly less mature, slightly less well-educated people, which is a nice effect. (2) They are slightly titillating, I imagine, to nearly everyone. A good thing. (3) They are necessary to convey Hobbes' thought, which is a very noble sentiment we want people to associate with Wikipedia (and which can justly be associated with Wikipedia; why not?). (4) They're necessary to suggest to people that Wikipedia is better than sex. Another good thing.

So, we quote a famous philosopher, appeal to people's intelligence, titillate them, give them the idea that Wikipedia is a noble enterprise, and suggest that it is even better than sex. What could be better??? :-) --Larry_Sanger

Ok, you've convinced me. But I'd still like to see it slightly smaller. --STG

Actually, now that I see the smaller one, I like the big one best. :) (Sorry for the trouble, C.) This one gets my vote for best so far. --Stephen Gilbert

This isn't really on the logo topic, but... A tiny problem with #1 above: it implies that people who are not adults are not mature and educated. Younger people (like me) are not necessarily "puzzled and excited" by 'carnal pleasure'. If I'm less educated because of my age, it doesn't mean that I am less mature. (enough of this!) I like this logo. Maybe "Wikipedia" could be in blue? I like the idea that in the other language Wikipedias, the quote (whatever it will be) would be in that language, if possible. I agree that the quote should not be from Wikipedia, because the article it came from might change, and then the wuote would be obsolete. -- Dreamyshade

Yes, Dreamy's right - she's got a right to feel a bit "dismissed" by the insinuation that to not be an adult implies a lack of maturity. Though hang on, maybe the definition of "adult" is when "you decide to behave like one" - in which case Dreamy is an adult, but alternatively it's purely a matter of age, in which case... (writing suddenly ceased due to gruesome explosion of brain, Film at 11). - MMGB

I like this one best, too. I would prefer the entire globe, even if it meant reducing the font size a bit in the word, "Wikipedia." --Rose Parks

Yes, i like this one too. One only thing, could we have n.7 above as a "backup logo" for situations were the space available is smaller, and the text would be completely illegible? I can not think of any example right now, but there might be a situation were 7 was better...AstroNomer

I think it would be ok to have illegible text. Its a logo, the text does not really matter though having it a Hobbes quote is cool. Consistancy is more important. I believe we should switch the logos now, as it does not really change it by very much. -w:Eean

I have also given this one the 'favicon.ico' treatment -- The Anome

Okay, babylon.com and my girlfriend helped me figure it out. And yes, I really like it. I'll search for a German translation (where is it from?). --Kurt Jansson

Yep, that's my favourite -- wojpob

I like this one a lot; the quote is perfect. I think however that the small version should drop the line "The free encyclopedia.": it looks to crowded and small. AxelBoldt

I've been entirely absent from this discussion, mainly because I wasn't at all impressed by any of the other entries. But this one I like, a lot. Consider this a big vote in favor of this particular logo. --LDC

Here's a version of the logo encoded more efficiently and with transparency information (it mamages to squeeze into 4K instead of the original's 15K):


This image has the number one vote of...
Manning Bartlett
The Anome
Stephen Gilbert
...and others (see above)!

OK, it's looking to me like, overall, #24 is the most popular, with #7 a runner up. I like #24 best myself! It contains a very apt epigraph for Wikipedia, maintains a nice continuity with the present logo, and contains "Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia."

So, let's do it! I'll ask Jimbo to install #24 as the new logo.

Lee, your version of the logo isn't as bold as the old one... I'm not sure I like that as well, but I totally agree of course that having a 4K logo would be great! --Larry_Sanger

Thank you. --The Cunctator

Yeah, I mistakenly "corrected" the gamma value. The value now is arguably wrong from the physics-of-light point of view, but it looks better from the actual-browser-display point of view. I also managed to squeeze a few more bytes out of it (3901 bytes!):