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The Design of the Emacs Logo: Part II (2003) (ryerson.ca)
14 points by signa11 on Dec 2, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 9 comments

Sorry to the people who will defend free software unquestioningly, but the logos are bad. That emacs logo is just downright ugly. Even the other one, the stylized E in the circle that dkbrk talks about, is very bad. Both look like some high school student messing around in CorelDraw for a couple of days would come up with. The only reason I can see why the people involved in these projects wouldn't get a real designer (meaning: someone who designs for a living) is that they have a lot of technical skills, but very little design understanding. Or they just don't care, knowing that in the end its how good the code is that matters, and don't want to bother. This extends pretty much to the whole universe of Linux software and distros. So it doesn't matter much with Emacs, but it does matter when you want to make a distro that is user friendly.

Horrible branding is a hallmark of GNU. Even the name "GNU" is cringe-worthy.

It's a systemic problem. Some of their software is really top notch but they seemingly remain clueless about making something that looks compelling.

Technical merits alone don't win hearts and minds.

I think it's the overuse of gradient. Shadow, etc. gradients make everything look poorly made.

I guess this is Emacs' "primary" logo, which has remained pretty much unchanged since. But unless you leave the splash screen enabled, the far more familiar logo for most people is the one used for graphical shortcuts and thumnails. This one is derived from the horns of the GNU, forming a stylised 'E' in a circle. As it has been looking quite dated, over the past couple of months Nicolas Petton has been redesigning it [0]. Reception from the community has been mixed - there will always be people opposing any change - but overall, I think, quite favourable.

[0]: http://nicolas-petton.fr/blog/working-on-the-emacs-logo.html

I use a similar one to that: [0].

[0]: http://take.ms/VMJ7a

Did you mean that the one you use is similar to the one from @dkbrk comment, or that it is similar to the one in [0]? I liked the one from [0], very clean, where do I get it?

The round logos on http://emacs.sexy/ are clean, clear, beautiful updates, as well.

Apropos of this, there's been recent movement on the Emacs website as well, to make it look more modern/shiny.


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