[Haskell-cafe] Re: Haskell Logo write-in candidate

Warren Harris warrensomebody at gmail.com
Fri Mar 20 14:33:40 EDT 2009

Hi Jon,

I agree with much of your rant, and would agree that the logo is  
probably the least interesting about haskell, but I think that it's  
worth spending a little time to spiffy up haskell's image from a  
marketing perspective. Although I downplayed much of my design  
decisions by focusing on the logo's t-shirt potential, I just wanted  
to say that a lot of thought did go into the design aspects of what I  
sent out. A logo needs to be a crisp graphic, needs to draw people in  
who don't yet understand ("pure lazy fun-- huh?" or "what's with that  
Amtrak symbol?") and convey a deeper meaning to those who do  
understand (the interplay of the monad and lambda). I think many of  
the logos convey some or all of these points, although many also fall  
short. This is all off in the realm of marketing psychology, which is  
a far cry from programming language design, but important in the  
overall product perception nonetheless.

The other thing about this logo design that is so great is the  
community process that's creating it. It's the open source process in  
a nutshell -- the brightest minds playing off each other to build  
something bigger than the sum of the parts. So even if the new logo  
ends up looking like something that rolled down hill collecting  
rubbish, the story behind it will be brilliant -- like a family photo  
reflecting who we are and how we do things here.

I hesitated in sending my write-in candidate in the first place  
because I didn't want to derail the process that's underway, but did  
in the end because I thought I saw something that was a little bigger  
than some of the parts here, and thought that others might be  
encouraged if they saw it too. Now at the risk of further muddling  
things, I'll just say that I like your idea of focusing on the ::  
symbol, and just wanted to provide my interpretation:

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I think that's not bad either, although I think it loses a little of  
the distinction and intrigue of Pollard's lovely monad/lambda symbol  
with its curved edges. I'd be happy to wear this one too though...  
actually, given what I said above, I'll be happy to wear any of them!


On Mar 20, 2009, at 2:17 AM, Jon Fairbairn wrote:

> Warren Harris <warrensomebody at gmail.com> writes:
>> After spending a bit of time trying to decide how to vote, I
>> ended up  deciding that my favorite would be a hybrid of
>> several of the designs  (#9 & #49 FalconNL, and #50 George
>> Pollard). It's probably too late to  include this in the
>> voting, but here it is nonetheless:
> That's quite nice, but the >>= lambda thing looks too busy
> to me. What surprises me is that none(?) of the candidates
> makes use of the "type" symbol. I'd like to see a version
> something like yours, but with :: instead of >>=/lambda
> ::Haskell
> means "of type Haskell", which is what we want people's
> programmes to be. Colour it interestingly and choose a good
> font and there you are. The interestingly coloured "::" on
> its own would make a reasonable choice for a badge (eg for a
> favicon).
> * * *
> semi-rant warning:
> This whole badge/logo business seems to me to be an
> excellent example of Parkinson's law of triviality (choosing
> the colour of the bikeshed). We have a large (too large)
> number of variations on relatively few themes and a really
> sophisticated voting system, but no very clear idea of what
> they're for and no explanation (such as my "of type Haskell"
> above) of why the candidates are the way they are.
> I didn't join in much to the earlier discussion because I
> thought things would work out to something sensible in the
> end, but it doesn't look like that happened. Work out what
> the problem is before putting the solution up for election!
> I agree that the current badge is horrid (it looks like
> something that rolled down a hill and collected some rubbish
> on the way), but in the absence of a reasoned replacement,
> the first step would simply be to get rid of it. Designing
> these things isn't trivial, and while many of the candidates
> are quite good pieces of art, a badge needs to be more than
> that. Not that professional designers do better in general;
> only a few of them are any good at it -- the rest rely on
> most people not knowing pretty from appropriate and just
> rake in the cash.
> -- 
> J?n Fairbairn                                 Jon.Fairbairn at cl.cam.ac.uk
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