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Freedomware Logo

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Freedomware is a term that is being used to communicate and market Free and Open Source Software to people new to the ideas and realities behind it. It resonates well with those who are not software developers and who are using computers in their everyday life. More than likely these people will never touch a line of code. Which means that the current paradigm of marketing behind FOSS is lost on them.

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Freedomware logo

There was a discussion started on a recent blog post by libervisco about a logo to represent freedomware. I thought we could continue the discussion here.

Here is the logo.

I will add any changed versions here that we come up with.

**It was mentioned that the it looked like a person was trapped inside a barrel. It was also mentioned that by rotating the person 180 degrees it would symbolize the copyleft symbol.**

Like this

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well.. I'll just share my

well.. I'll just share my thoughts .. (not my opinions)

1- Many logos which are familiar to us and successful doesn't represent a clear idea or a concept (think of tux, gnu, and even apple... etc)

2- some opinions say that people lose interest when ... well.. I'll quote it here

Quote:

Ubuntu and many other Linux distro sites need to wake up and market to that kind of need. I mean, I'm trying to sign off my messages in gmail and point people to Ubuntu, but what happens when they get there? Nothing. They read things like "community developed" and I would reason to bet that scares people away and holds very little value to Joe Consumer.

Source

3- Some (maybe many) don't like the activism and advocacy stuff so a freedom-representing logo may not be much interesting at all.

well... these are points taken from other discussions.. just to build a discussion here.. and not my opinion

as for the proposed logo.. I don't know.. but it seems one lonely man who feels lost or something (maybe because his hands Smiling ) maybe it would be better if it wasn't a top-view because then his hands won't be a significant part of the logo .. because here they are.. and they are not connected to anything.

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Very Interesting
Hassan Ibraheem wrote:

...as for the proposed logo.. I don't know.. but it seems one lonely man who feels lost or something (maybe because his hands Smiling ) maybe it would be better if it wasn't a top-view because then his hands won't be a significant part of the logo .. because here they are.. and they are not connected to anything.

First of all Very interesting post thank you.

There is always a challenge in logo creation to devise something that conveys what your doing in a simple and concise manner. My thoughts on the lone person in the logo were along the lines of independence. However you raise some really good points.

Also to everyone interested in working on this if you have any thoughts on what types of images would best represent Freedomware in a broad sense then please add them to the discussion. The more perspectives we have on this the better chance we have of creating an effective logo that holds up the many perspectives that exist.

libervisco's picture
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The problem here is that

The problem here is that the logo isn't very clear. I doubt many people would think of a man holding arms to the air. There is no sense of altitude in it because it is fairly two dimensional so one is more likely to assume the arms are just spread, not held up in the air.

Also the colors are rather cold and dark. I would give Freedomware much warmer and lighter (happier and more comforting) colors than this. All of the shading that's around it doesn't really help. I think shading and shadows should be use very sparingly in logo designs, only to accentuate or add a more "sexy" and 3D look, but I'm talking mere pixel or two here, on a high resolution image - which would probably amount to barely a quarter of the shading on this image.

Too much shading and shadowing is bad simply because it too easily adds that "blurry" feeling to the image depending on the size and format in which it is displayed. Without them the logo is more likely to look sharp and cool on almost any size or format.

I would also love to see a number of mock ups before anyone decides on a single logo to represent Freedomware though. Seriously, if we're up for pushing Freedomware as a term in big way as part of some far reaching marketing campaign, the logo must be chosen from dozens of good quality suggestions first and then reviewed by thousands of other observers (a good article gets about that much). In other words it must be well thought out, by a number of people and then well tested before final adoption.

FSF may have not given their logos too much thought, but that's FSF. We have to keep in mind they don't do marketing. No organization in the Free Software world exists that does solely marketing (yet) so there is no precedent to the process within this field. And elsewhere I assure you, visual identity is given A LOT of thought and effort before finally being carved up. Marketing is all about appearances to as many people as humanely possible - it's about style, about perception, about inducing the "irresistible" effect.

So we're just at the very beginning with this, in my opinion, if we wanna do it right.

Cheers

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I made a quick sketch which

I made a quick sketch which in no way represents a mock up for a Freedomware logo, but just an illustration of brighter colors and one way to make the hands appear risen in the air. Smiling I don't necessarily like the idea of a logo representing someone with his arms in the air though. Eye

It's just a happy juggler that looks like a flying robot or something. Laughing out loud It might be worth starting with various colorful ideas to build on before the good ones come up (or yeah, that's my excuse for not coming up with a good one myself I guess Eye ).

Happy Juggler

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Just the beginning

I also agree with you libervsico. All of the effort behind Freedomware must be developed openly and in a community context. It can tend to be a bit messy and loud at times. Eye But there is nothing like rolling up your sleeves and digging in with like minded people. Laughing out loud This after all should be one of the selling points for Freedomware.

To again touch on the Mac illusion, they have to spend a lot of $$ to create their icommunity family of products. We already have the community and various tools. We just need to learn how to run a multi legged race and cross the finish line with each and every little race we run together.

So lets continue nail down a color pallet, some metaphors and create a few logos. Cause we are going to hash this out until we come to a consensus.

As for the simple logo I tossed out there I am not married to it. In all honesty as long as any comments remain constructive I am digging the input. It provides a direction for us to go in. Besides being critical of something and not supplying any other direction or a possible improvement just kinda sucks. Sticking out tongue

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The colors you used in...

...your sketch reminded me of a gradient based color pallet that theobroma created a while back. It is beautiful and cheerful. Even the brown looks sexy. Laughing out loud


I also attached the .svg. If it can be, it is liscensed under the GPL v3.

I really think this is the color pallet we should use.
1. It is complete
2. It is beautiful
3. It has bright joyful colors like you mentioned earlier

Here are a couple of examples using the rough ideas to show a contrast.

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Here's a little idea [s]the

Here's a little idea the inkscape wizard I put together in a few minutes.

The color blue represents freedom (open sky), and peace of mind. The running man represents freedom as well. The up arrow represents improvement. The combination looks like an exit sign: leave the restrictions of non-free software.

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I would go with ideas based

I would go with ideas based on the juggler Smiling
the exit idea of the logo is a good concept for "escape the restrictions"
however my first impression was associated with Fire Hazards and Robbery

The juggler logo is quite friendly.. so I think that idea would be welcome.. but we shouldn't stick to that sketch I think Laughing out loud
this is my opinion though.. it's not to close doors for other ideas

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Metaphors

It almost seems like we need to decide on some metaphors. When you think about Freedomware what images come to mind? Is it an animal, nature, floating juggler or lone man trapped in a barrel. Eye

Seriously though lets start to compile a list of metaphors that we may be able to utilize.

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Emotion invoking metaphor

I do not know why but for some reason the image of a green leaf with a drop of dew reflecting a computer-ish shape kinda does it for me. Don't laugh too loud. Laughing out loud Here is a rough example.

We could really capitalize on using different scenes in the reflection for different purposes. EG. a reflection of the Open Moko Phone when advertising freedomware mobile apps. The leaf and dew are natural yet very powerful metaphors. Water brings life, is extremely versatile, is a powerful force for change is re-cyclical can cover anything and has many forms, leaves are alive and green and offer a sense of the natural process by which Freedomware is created. You could really extend on the season thing eg "software that breathes new life into your computer over and over." "Software that gives you more time to enjoy life.(speaks to reliability)" etc...

tbuitenh's picture
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hot!
Hassan Ibraheem wrote:

the exit idea of the logo is a good concept for "escape the restrictions" however my first impression was associated with Fire Hazards and Robbery

Freedomware is so hot it IS a fire hazard! Laughing out loud

But what does robbery have to do with emergency exits?

A juggler looks friendly, but I need to have the metaphor explained to me I guess. It might be better for a site about software for kids?

tbuitenh's picture
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This could be where your

This could be where your subconscious took the leaf from.

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hmm Never been..

..to that particular site. I have been to thinkgos.com recently and ironically enough http://www.slashgear.com/ces-2008-everex-089524.php

I do like the Everex.com site though in fact I like it way more than thinkgos.com to be honest.

In a way that is kind of a bummer and kinda good at the same time. It does show like mindedness though which is a good thing. Freedomware will be appealing to people that are mindful of their surroundings and how they impact them. Nature seems to appeal to these types of people. I know it appeals to me. Peaceful, quite, a sense of quality and power. Much like what Freedomware provides me in my personal computing experience.

If need be we could always go with a blade of grass it is everywhere. No, not the funny kind of grass. Eye Laughing out loud

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Here is a...

...rough real world example.

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I think robbery is just a

I think robbery is just a connection in my mind where the man figure looks like running away from something...

IMO, I see the juggler is a good logo because of two things...
firstly it solved the "top-view" issue with previous logo.. so it made it more clear

secondly the balls that fills the circle makes the logo feels complete as one whole element

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are trademarks relevant in

are trademarks relevant in this discussion ??
IANAL , but freedomware is an active trademark in the US.

would that be a problem?

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Trademarks

Someone brought this up before we really started pushing the Freedomware-Gamefest 2007. In the end one of the attorney's from the FSF was asked to spend some time looking into possible gotchas with the existing active trademark. The attorney found that it was not an issue. There is more to the story. But I was not the person in direct contact with the individual that brought it up. I was just CCed into the conversation as a courtesy.

In short it is not currently trademarked by any entity that would be in conflict with what we are doing. Trade marks are allowed to overlap given that they are not being used in similar/same markets.

There has been some discussion about acquiring the trademark in the US. But there are a few things that need to happen before we can pursue that.

Like a logo... Laughing out loud

libervisco's picture
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Yep I can confirm what

Yep I can confirm what Land0 said. I was talking via email with RMS about it and he checked with his lawyer, so yeah as Landy said, there is a trademark, but it is in a field sufficiently different from software not to be a problem.

Btw, I like the leaf metaphor and leaf as a logo element as well. I would say though some differentiation would be needed because nowadays I can imagine a lot of firms and initiatives could have a leaf integrated into their logos.

Adding a computer in a drop is one nice touch as a way to do that. We could still experiment with it further. Smiling

One thing that comes to mind is like what you can see in RedHat's "Choice" video which features a leaf that is in one moment displayed as a sum of networked objects.. In fact the whole metaphor in the movie revolves around things getting interconnected to form a whole. As the video says, "It's not the cells, it's the system". It basically says that in Freedomware (in a video named "Open Source") individuals are all part of something much bigger, just like in nature. Just like atoms form moleculs which form materials which form objects which form complex engines so do individuals working on one particular piece of creation in a community end up creating this whole culture. In a Freedomware world this culture is actually software..

Anyway, the idea is to perhaps add some sort of a representation of this "network" to the leaf, making it appear as if it is consisted of some natural network components... perhaps little computers on all peaks of the leaf interconnected with some lines..

Or it could be presented as one leaf in a branch. That one is focused, but the background shows that this one leaf comes from a family of leafs which form a branch... and everyone knows branches are part of a tree...

Just some rough ideas.. might not work too well, but in any case I think whatever we come up with it may be a good idea to keep this "everything is a network" metaphor in mind (regardless if it is network of cells, network of people or network of computers). It is really the network which allowed the kind of cooperation that is happening in Freedomware and it is a network which allowed it to become so revolutionary. That network is network of networks, AKA internet. Smiling

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I think I may be onto to something.

In Rolling with the water metaphor *no pun intended* theobroma and I have created a couple of very viable candidates for the logo. I like both of them. But I really dig the simple one as it is very clean and almost refreshing. It also translates nicely to gray scale. I think this logo visually communicates many of the concepts behind Freedomware. Including individualism, being a part of a larger body along with the powerful metaphors that are provided by the properties of water.

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I don't know where this

I don't know where this thread is headed, but keep working on it. Smiling

Lots of free(dom) art by FOSS groups will help grow FOSS awareness. Logo or no logo.

Yes, I like the clear drop too.

Better than the clear drop and the rest of the artwork (and I know I am going off topic here) is to encourage tons and tons of people to create free(dom) artwork. They already have open artwork sites though.

..say, have you people considered posting some of the better options online somewhere and getting others to make suggestions and contributions? Make sure to let them know about the licensing (bringing up the licensing issue carefully may be a good idea). Let them know that they can use whatever however they want (well, within the constraints of the particular license).

Although I know that it would be a personal decision, providing the recipes to how the art was made adds value to whatever we present or ask for (and our message).

Hey, imagine if we hold a contest where we have people submit entries (pics?) along with recipes that are kept under lock and key throughout the contest. Everyone else has to try and reverse engineer the images/entries and submit their guess. At the end, we unmask the solutions and those that survived the guessing get something. Yes, people can put trash that is difficult to reverse engineer so we would need to carefully think about the rules of the game.

Another idea is to periodically give out clues to how to build a large project. We can have weekly sessions where a lesson is taught. Over all the lessons, we would have built the large art project that was showed at the beginning.

We can start small with these contests with whatever volunteers we get and then try to accumulate more people with more and more talent to participate.

One rule should be that all software used to create the art should be FOSS since that is the only way to guarantee that virtually anyone can use it regardless of their financial status or what platform they run on their computers. [see footnote]

If we build sufficient volume with the contests/publicity, it will attract (at least some new) good artists to look into FOSS tools. It may also get those great artists that are working quietly within the community to come out and help showcase what FOSS tools can do.

Remember that artists aren't just artists. They are computer users. They are hobbyiest. They are people with businesses. They are people that may like the spirit of FOSS and what it can do for themselves and those around them. They also bring valuable skills to the table.

Also: I am getting acquainted with youtube slowly. I think we could all help each other by hooking up on youtube (eg, channels or groups ?). It would make it easier for multimedia gimmicks we come up with (yes, I am guilty of crazy ideas) to get a running start.

[footnote: I would like to discourage almost any typical FOSS dev from porting their apps over to Windows specifically as it helps sustain that closed monopoly unlevel playing field; however, FOSS means it can be ported (and in some cases Microsoft might pay money for that benefit) which is the main point of FOSS. Windows/Vista is a special case where I think ports hurt the greater FOSS movement. .. just trying to clarify the comment above about FOSS being cross-platform in a way that is consistent with views expressed at http://www.nuxified.org/topic/gnu_linux_help_forums .]

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I can tell you from a lot of experience...

...with artwork contests that they are very time consuming and take a lot of work and total commitment. It takes an enormous amount of work to keep them on track. That being said if you are willing to head up such an adventure then I would be willing to give some pointers. Unfortunately I am not currently able to allocate enough time to such an event.

That being said. This thread is a first swipe so to speak at creating a logo that would correctly visually communicate the ideals behind freedomware. So the first order of business is create the correct metaphor and graphic that we are all in agreement on. Once we have accomplished that I would have no issue taking it to a larger body of artists like deviant art. However I do think that the logo and metaphor that we develop here should be the initial logo that we use to represent Freedomware. Any "improved version" could be easily added later.

As for your footnote I respectfully disagree. I will post my reasons behind why in the appropriate thread at a later time.

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>> ...with artwork contests

>> ...with artwork contests that they are very time consuming and take a lot of work and total commitment. It takes an enormous amount of work to keep them on track. That being said if you are willing to head up such an adventure

I wasn't thinking of anything too complex. I suppose work put in would be proportional to work put out. If so, I might be willing to give it a try (ie, if getting some small number of entries, judges, and voters if any would be acceptable). Like I said elsewhere on thetuxproject, I am willing to take some chances and do some testing this year on a small scale with no real goals except to go through some of the mechanics and help break the ice (for myself and for others).

Well, you certainly made me cautious.

>> Once we have accomplished that I would have no issue taking it to a larger body of artists like deviant art. However I do think that the logo and metaphor that we develop here should be the initial logo that we use to represent Freedomware. Any "improved version" could be easily added later.

After making the suggestion I realized that it might be something that might be done since it might not be too controversial (but you never know). If it is just having a larger audience provide input, that should not be too big of a deal. If it is having a larger audience submit candidate entries, we'd want to defend against them coming up with a trademark on the item by asking that we would need to be given all rights.. But this would not stop someone from copying something else (general copyright violation).

>> As for your footnote I respectfully disagree. I will post my reasons behind why in the appropriate thread at a later time.

I am glad I asked then because I do want to get as much input as possible. I think the link I provided might be a proper forum. And I do think some FOSS definitely helps (eg, OO and most likely also FF and some others).

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The drop metaphor is quite

The drop metaphor is quite a nice shot I'd say. With a bit more polish perhaps it could work.

But since I believe there's no big hurry yet, there's still space and time for new ideas until we have some sort of a "critical mass" (not really mass, but a good number of ideas) to choose from and consolidate.

I agree with at some point, perhaps soon, opening the doors to more publicity so that other people can contribute to this initiative. I would be willing to write an article/blog and submit it to news sites calling people to give this a shot.

As said previously, I do think before we choose the final winner here it we should go through various ideas and iterations and also give it a good publicity test too. Smiling

But there's really no hurry. The whole Freedomware Marketing campaign is, the way I see it, just getting started. There's a meeting tonight which will further the thoughts and plans and solidify some things.. Well you'll all hear of the results in due time. It will ultimately be an open process. This first meeting is sort of "closed" because it has a very specific purpose and allows us to talk without cacophony. Eye Eventually we will probably have open meetings and discussions.

Cheers

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nice one indeed, I like the

nice one indeed,
I like the second one more too Smiling

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The primary challenge we face...

..is the fact that Freedomware has yet to be accepted as a broad term for marketing FOSS. We have found that getting artists to contribute their time and skill to any FOSS project is directly related to the popularity of projects. Once marketing Freedomware becomes popular and exciting I can see us receiving a positive response to an artwork request/contest enough to consider it a good cross section. This is where incremental development of the logo is key IMO. It is very true that we have plenty of time to get the perfect metaphor.

I would say that the blog post at this point should be about seeking the perfect metaphor whether in a text description or rough artwork submissions. That is my opinion anyway.

Talk soon

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