Talk:International logo contest/Logos 1-25

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Dear fellow wikipedians and wikipedia designers, I think channelling our efforts towards a common goal would definitely be good. That's why I'm opening a discussion on what the logo should be conceptually. My opinions below are not meant to be the last word in logo design, but I do have some experience in the area, and I'd like to share it with you. Please feel free to comment, contradict or plain disregard these comments. But before that, may I direct you to en:Logo: "A logo is a graphical symbol that represents a thing or idea".

Ok, now my generic guidelines: a logo should be:


You need to be able to recognize it from a distance, at a glance and when it's a tiny digital image (say 40x40 pixels). So try sizing your logo proposal to 40x40 pixels and see if you can make anything of it. If at that size there still are some recognizable features in there then you're doing good.

I think among the proposals so far, only #11, (#15 is updated now!) and maybe my #8 lack this quality.


A logo needs some very distinct visual features which you can recognize "beyond reasonable doubt" at a glance without confusing it with some other logo. In other words a logo has to have a spirit, a personality of its own, as opposed to being an anonymous piece of art.

Take my proposals, #8 and #12. The first is not so good in this respect, but I'm fond of it because I think it conveys the right spirit. The other one however is a lot better: there's a green ball and an array of arrows - both elements make for very good, distinct recognizable features and their combination can hardly be confused with some other logo or icon. Among the other proposals, I find #5, #6 and #16 to meet this criteria. I don't include #1, #13 or #14 because, although the visual features are recognizable, they're not distinct -- those look like some anonymous clipart at first glance, it's difficult to associate them with a specific concept. #7 looks good visually, but it's an anonymous sphere at first glance, you can't associate it with anything. Same for #10. #4 is not so bad, but I'm not sure if that concept can really be associated with Wikipedia -- someone was making a comment on that proposal's talk page about Death Star: I have to admit that's the first thing I thought of as well.

Has to represent the concept

The concept -- and it has to do it good -- but the concept alone. The Wikipedia logo does not need to convey the fact that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. It has to convey the fact that it's a collaborative effort, that it's an intellectual effort, that it's about knowledge and it's about growth, that it's free, or whatever else pleases you most in this project. But not explicitly that it's an encyclopedia.

Elegant and flexible, not beautiful

A logo proposal does not need to be beautiful. A logo needs to be harmonious, elegant if you wish, aesthetically pleasing, but it does not need to be beautiful. Much more important than beautiful in itself, it has to lend itself to further changes, toughing up, improvement, and even more important, it has to be flexible. You have to feel the need to play with the elements in it. That way you can make various changes over time, keeping the same logo but changing spacial feeling, colours, surfaces etc while using the same logo. That way you can also brand several products with variations of the same logo, and still have unity with the "mother" logo.

The worst examples in this regard are #11 and (#15 is updated now!) among the existing proposals.


Before you start flaming (e.g. "who are you to tell us what we like/what to do/how to think"), please note the following:

  • These are merely suggestions, I don't pretend I hold the absolute truth in logo design -- nobody does;
  • You are free to ignore these comments altogether, I won't start trashing your proposal because "it doesn't follow chapter 2 in my logo design comments" or something;
  • You are very welcome to comment on these guidelines, maybe in the end we can crystallize a generic set of guidelines and eventually even write an article in Wikipedia;
  • I submitted these suggestions on the 23rd of July, there's almost a full month until the deadline - if you find them useful, you can start experiencing using them as guidelines (which is incidentally the only reason I took the time to type all this). -- Gutza 14:43 23 Jul 2003 (UTC)

All your comments are good.

I have a comment though. You appear to have decided that the Wikipedia name had to be the same for every wikipedia, hence that the logo could include it without any consideration for the international aspect. I will hope that this will not be made a guideline to respect and that other designers will go on also making propositions with names adaptation possible, with respect of each wikipedia desire. I also suggest that, since you make good propositions, you design a couple ones where the name can be changed, so we can eventually vote for your logo. Your argument comparing Wikipédia to Microsoft or Sony is horrible. If such a comparison had to be done, I would prefer that you compare Wikipédia to the European Community. All countries in the european space follow many common rules and guidelines, but they also are granted a right to individuality, which does not make them less "part" of the community. For example, our countries keep their name though europeans. I can't really figure having an encyclopedia carry a name that is different from the one written on its logo. user:anthere

Since there are only so many languages on Earth, any designer can accomodate a few changes here and there for the cases like the French. I still don't think it's a good idea, I can only imagine how terribly amused I'd be if we called the Romanian Wikipedia "Vichipedia", as the Romanian name would be, but again, those changes can be easily accomodated, so no problem. But I have to set things straight regarding my "horrendous comparing Wikipedia to Microsoft": I was merely trying to exemplify the fact that proper names are not the same with common nouns. I firmly believe the logo must include the text "Wikipedia", and the designer must make the changes for cases like yours, instead of allowing various individuals tweak the logo in order to translate it: the result of that could potentially be horrendous. -- Gutza 16:08 23 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Some nice ones here, although none that seems clearly better than the one we are currently using. Karl Wick

We are not all using the same logo. And we are not all using it, because some editors think it is inappropriate to use a logo with english text on it. However, when a wikipedia decides to use a different logo than the english one, there is an uproar. If you think the current one is fine, please vote for the freedom of other wikipedias to use one fitting with their language :-)

Gutza, I agree with most of your suggestions. One thing: After August 20, we will vote on the logo, and one of the ones being listed at the time will probably end up being used on all 'pedias, unless most users vote for keeping the current configuration. So the logos presented here should be in a reasonably final form. There can of course be touch-ups later, but these logos should not be considered drafts but actual submissions for real world use. --Eloquence 15:14 23 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Why all the ants? Seriously, I think someone can come up with a better animal/insect to use in a logo. Or no animal/insect at all. Someone tell me what an ant has to do with an encyclopedia. Besides,'s Ant project already uses an Ant in their logos: Making a wikipede (like a millipede or a centipede) is not a bad idea though.

And i'm sure that we could find a company which use centipede in their logo :o|
Its not the problem...I work to design an ant which is not realistic, and spcially for Wikipedia... I have background think to design a possibly companion for Wikipedia also ;op
I found a friendly name for this ant... I name her 'Miwiki' and you can follow my first steps on the french Wikipedia :
Oliezekat 23:11 24 Jul 2003 (UTC)

These logo directions are all wrong. The logo should be a java program or some other thing which allows you to draw your own logo real time.

Some of the logo's are a bit on the large size - (in bits not pixels). A logo should be pretty small and fast to download. -- Theresa

I think this vote may be a bit biased...for example, I think the logos on the first page are getting more votes simply because some people haven't gotten around to looking at all the pages. Logo #4 for example is not a very good logo IMHO, compared to what I've seen on ALL the pages, yet it has the most votes so far, which surprised me a lot. I think this should be investigated... Dgrant 20:15, 3 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Yeah, the first time I saw that, I thought people were cheating. There do seem to be a lot of anon votes, and votes by users who haven't done anything else on meta, and also don't link back to their user page else where. I also have entertained the thoery that someone is getting people to vote for that logo through good publicity of it, since a lot of people who have voted for it, haven't voted for many or any other logo's. { MB | マイカル } 21:48, 3 Sep 2003 (UTC)


Since few hours, logo 124 (on 100-125 page) have same picture than logo 12... But on top 20 page, this pictures are right.

What's on ?

Oliezekat 13:42, 4 Sep 2003 (UTC)