[Haskell-cafe] The Haskell re-branding exercise

Isaac Dupree isaacdupree at charter.net
Mon Dec 22 17:51:58 EST 2008

(responding with just a bit of possibly relevant context, 
not always directly)

Paul Johnson wrote:
> I've lived through a couple of corporate rebranding exercises in my time, and 
> I've read about some others.  They follow a pattern:
> ...
>    2. The new branding is released with as much fanfare as possible.  Press
>       releases are released.  Staff are given briefings about the significance
>       of the whole exercise and the bold new future that it symbolises.

I don't think our choice of logo is quite as significant as 
a corporate logo.  We could even use more than one logo if 
we wanted (maybe different people or different places).  The 
current logo is prominent on the haskell.org (and 
wikipedia), mainly... places I rarely see, when working on 

I see a couple things people are trying to do

-> Self-descriptive, without trying to change the way we are 
as a community or a language

-> Inviting to newcomers, mostly independent of how we 
actually work (although better if we advertize things we can 
actually provide, of course)

I don't think it's trying to create a change in the language 
or the community, mostly it's to reflect the change that has 
already happened.

>    3. The staff universally agree that the new logo is not a patch on the old
>       one.  The old one was a much loved friend; it stood for something; people
>       have spent years working for it.  The new one is obviously a piece of
>       cheap gimcrackery

yup, I'll miss the old logo.  To me, it still looks 
beautiful, clean and fitting.

> A paradox of the Haskell world is that, while the language is Vulcan, the 
> community around it is dominated by Warm Fuzziness.  Clearly the two are not 
> mutually exclusive.

nice observation!

> A rebranding exercise needs to start with a short list of adjectives that the 
> brand is to represent,

good idea... although we could just be attracted by whatever 
proposed logo happens to have beauty instead, if our only 
purpose is not to be stuck with an ugly logo.

> and I think that the Haskell community needs to decide 
> this before it fires up Inkscape.

or in parallel with :-) -- random creativity can help us 
start thinking about what we don't want to see, and why we 
don't want to see it, too


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