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Show HN: Open Logos – Free logos for open source projects (openlogos.org)
680 points by arasatasaygin on June 19, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 108 comments

Very nice! My only thought is that I wish you'd update it every week with new designs, and then sort of open it up so others can contribute their logo's for others to use, something like a logo-bazaar with regular updates. I think you'd attract quite a few artists willing to participate akin to DeviantArt, although with a commercial twist.

Bookmarked for another visit in a few months just to see what sort of progress you'll have made .. good luck!

Great idea. Honestly I was not expecting a big support like this. I hope the current state of the project can help some projects now and hopefully in the long term we can include new designers and help as much as project we can.

Hey, If you'd like to organize it in some sort of web format that runs weekly/monthly, I volunteer to help out with the site.

I wasn't expecting such a positive feedback also. I could help with a few logos.

Cool concept. How about using a repository on GitHub and using pull requests/voting to manage submissions?

This is a great example of how you can contribute to open source projects without being a developer. Well done Arasatasaygin!

Developers seriously need to work to incorporate designers in OSS more. Even just basic UX would go a long way for many projects. Maybe some sort of better issue templates, or perhaps a more custom solution is necessary?

I'm currently trying [1] this but I don't know how to pick up more traction from designers. Perhaps I'm looking for someone who can both design (change an existing new design) and implement it at the same time, which may be too much? I don't know.

Good designers can make a project succeed. We need more in OSS.

[1] https://github.com/CachetHQ/Cachet/issues/3111

In my experience it is much easier to find someone who can mockup/wireframe well with no coding experience.

I personally enjoy the process of taking a design and bringing it to life in the real codebase. I find it somewhat meditative and a good task to work on when you brain is a little overloaded.

If I understand it correctly, what you're asking is indeed a bit too much (work).


A few of these are great, however if you are serious about your OSS project, IMHO you should identify one that seems like a fit, and work with the author (paying him/her) in order to start a process to reach a logo that very uniquely and precisely represents your project.

Actually this is a fun, side project for me. So I didn't have any constraints in my mind. I designed some cool things that I like and shared. But reactions so far is great and I think it can help lots of projects with a different process as you mentioned. Thanks.

Or at least give her/him credit prominently. For 5 years or so, I pretty much lived off from the people that came from a link on the footer on CakePHP, back when I was a freelancer.

Another perspective is that you're a starving startup and grab a free logo to get started; if you ever get successful, you won't have forgotten that one logo and its artist that started you off back in the beginning, and then pay them for their contribution.

Trust me, people forget everything.

People forget everything, especially when there's a financial or emotional incentive to do so. This transcends any one field. It's a human trait. :( I've worked very hard personally because I recognized this to never forget the people who help me along the way.

That's the plan, I guess. And perhaps it's geared more towards commercial projects.

It's a big improvement over having no logo at all. As someone who spends a chunk of time adding new open source tools to a directory, I'm thrilled this exists.

Are you gifting the copyright as well as the right to use the logo? Good practice is to mention this on the webpage to help people know where they stand. The two usual options are:

1. When you give the right to use the logo, you also give the copyright in the logo along with it; or

2. When you give the right to use the logo, you retain the copyright.

(Edit - at least from an EU perspective, you can also "assert your moral rights", which is a bit like requesting attribution. Or you can "waive your moral rights", which is like saying no attribution is necessary. This is an oversimplification but hits the main points.)

Hey, After giving the logo, project owner can do whatever she wants with it. I'm not expecting anything from them. They can credit the project with courtesy though.

An interesting scenario would if I use one of your logos for my project. Is that logo still available to be used by others? Potentially, more than one project could be using the same logo.

One logo can be only given to one project. This project will have all exclusive rights of the logo. Every logo has one github issue that you can introduce your project to and claim. Community can upvote your comment and you can upvote other projects as well under these issues.

>One logo can be only given to one project. This project will have all exclusive rights of the logo.

Are you gifting the copyright as well as the right to use the logo?

It’s not possible in every country for an author to waive his rights or gift the copyright. So I think it’s better to give a perpetual, open license that doesn’t restrict the usage rights?

The github page says "[the project the logo is given to] will have all exclusive rights of the logo." So I think it's the first option.

Yes, that may be what's intended, but it could be referring to the exclusive right to use rather than ownership of copyright.

Quite a lot of these look _very_ close to existing brands. Close enough that if you do something similar to them using it you're probably going to need a lawyer.

Hey, I did not and have no intention to steal any creative property. If I mistakenly did anything bad to harm any kind of business or organization, I can delete what I created, as I don't want to spend time on zero sum games honestly. Here are some sketches, that will no prove anything also I guess :)



I certainly would not want to accuse you of theft. Inspiration certainly but not theft.

Hell, given how much advertising and branding we're constantly blasted with these days it doesn't even necessarily have to be conscious inspiration. I'm convinced I've seen the "recurse" logo within the last month, but I've seen so many icons that I can't begin to speculate where.

No worries, I'm not offended. Biggest inspiration was reading Draplin Design Co.: Pretty Much Everything. Also http://logo.pizza/ and https://bootstraplogos.com/ were good projects as reference.

There are a few look-alike logos in that bunch - two of them remind me strongly of Docker and Google Kubernetes Engine.

AT&T logo was mentioned elsewhere in comments. Any other examples?

Off the top of my head:

  - mr jumbo: php  
  - foxy: gitlab  
  - moby: docker  
  - steps: maybe webpack?  
  - the fall: endomondo  
  - apple: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Aug%2BBkatL._SY450_.jpg  
  - cosmos: CircleCI  
  - watchbob: Datadog?
Quite a lot of the others remind me intensely of service logos I've seen once but never used, especially birdangle and neo.

In fairness, some of those are quite a stretch. Sure, there are vague similarities (colours, approximate shapes) which might have given you a sense of familiarity but I wouldn't say - for example - that moby and docker were that similar despite the familiar artistic styles. For starters, they're not even the same animal.

They're both whales, no? Moby Dick etc.

My point is that if you started a containerization startup called Moby using that logo, people would be upset.

Docker doesn't own whales in the same way Apple doesn't own the concept of apples (as much as they'd like to), but using "inspired by" logos in the same context as the logo you were inspired by can cause problems.

Not sure if you're aware, but parts of what was Docker were actually rolled into another project called Moby about a year ago: https://www.infoworld.com/article/3193904/containers/what-is...

I thought that was a bird carrying something. But thinking about it now a whale makes much more sense!!

Apologies for disagreeing with you earlier. :)

I would disagree that the examples you provide are similar. Perhaps similar in the sense that they use the same animal. Take Mr Jumbo and PHP, style is completely different, colour is similar, but then again it's the colour of an elephant. One is wearing a top hat, the other isn't.

cosmos and CircleCI, do you actually think they are similar? watchbob and datadog? Come on.

The GitLab logo is, at least in the SVG file of the logo[0] and the UX guide[1], referred to as a tanuki.

[0] https://raw.githubusercontent.com/gitlabhq/gitlabhq/master/a...

[1] https://github.com/gitlabhq/gitlabhq/blob/master/doc/develop...

Mr Jumbo/PHP doesn't use an elephant logo. Is it the color you're concerned with? Mr Jumbo reminds me more of Bing Bong from Inside Out.

Foxy/Gitlab logo is _very_ close.

Moby/Docker is a stretch but I can see it a bit.

Steps/Webpack isn't that close. It looks closer to the old Windows Registry icon to me.

Fall/Endomondo seems like an obvious ripoff.

Apple I see no problem with (conceptually, at least. I wouldn't personally use something with an apple in the name/logo for obvious reasons.

Cosmos/CircleCI ehhhh, it reminds me more of the Colorado stickers I see all over, even using similar colors.

Watchbob/Datadog in no way are close aside from having dogs. Datadog has a very distinct, happy puppy look to it. It looks more like some sort of Jenkins clone in dog form to me, but it's distinct enough.

Most of these are more of a stretch to me than anything, although two of them do seem to be almost clones.

PHP has definitely used an elephant logo.


The official PHP logo has no elephant:


The only ones that really could run afoul of anything are foxy, moby, and charlie. The rest seem pretty unique. Anything is going to start getting congested when you have hundreds and hundreds or startups looking for unique identifiable items.

- foxy: reminded me more of the older 538 logo.

- the fall: reminded me of the old packard bell logo

- steps: similar to some of the aws icons

Some days I wake up and look at HN and see some things that give me hope from the good ol' days (started in 95 on web stuff).

Sincerely...thank you.

Thank you.

Hey! Great project. We are also working on a similar project https://themesfor.app which provides Free bootstrap themes for startup and side-projects.

Looks great.

I think the main reason this has done well is because of the quality of the logos. They are simple yet detailed, and just fresh and nice.

However, is there a mechanism to "call" the logos? Suppose I want a fox one for my open source foxy-pythons project and my arch rival uses it for foxy-rails and we don't discover it till the great tech crunch final battle. Shouldn't there be a way of knowing someone already used it?

As far as I can tell, you "apply" for them and then get exclusive rights to it. Only one project gets it?

EDIT: https://github.com/arasatasaygin/openlogos "One logo can be only given to one project. This project will have all exclusive rights of the logo."

Ah, I missed that you apply for them.

I thought you just take them off the site and drop them in and go.

If you click the "How it works" text, you get a dropdown answering some things like that. One of the answers is

> One logo can be only given to one project. This project will have all exclusive rights of the logo.

which should prevent your hypothetical situation from occurring.

Very nice. Curently polishing a web app with a bsd front-end, but closed back-end. Is a submission feasible? Relevant link: https://softwareengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/2858...

A suggestion: I would make the "How it works" section always visible.

Interesting, although a bit strange to me ... is the author expecting existing projects to want to claim a logo and rename themselves, or are the names of the logos only placeholders?

Anyway, I think the "globe"[1] one is quite close to looking like AT&T's[2] which would at least make me a bit wary.

[1] https://github.com/arasatasaygin/openlogos/issues/24

[2] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AT%26T_logo_2016.svg

He does explain a little more if you click the "How it works." link.

I do agree with you about the globe / AT&T logo though. Steps[1] is also very similar to an old icon on Windows (I think it was a placeholder icon for Microsoft Visual C++ or Borland Builder projects? But can't rightly remember off hand)

[1] http://openlogos.org/logos/steps.jpg

It was probably the placeholder icon for MFC apps, shown in the middle at the end of this blog post:


Ahhh yes, that looks familiar. For some reason I don't remember it with lettering on it though. With the lettering the MFC and steps logos aren't actually that alike.

Very nice work. I love those with human characters, and the animals are cute.

@( * O * )@ thanks

The head of the fox in the foxy logo looks very close to the gitlab logo

Because it's a fox..

Regardless - it would be a bit counterproductive to select a logo that so resembles that of a popular company

Thank you for this! What a wonderful contribution :)

Similarly, I provide my 8-bit music ( https://ericskiff.com/music ) to any game or video makers that want to use it under an open-source compatible CC-BY license, and it's paid such amazing dividends every day. I love getting to see who uses it and what creative things they create! I hope you get similar satisfaction from the projects you help enable!

Some of these are pretty nice. Although I'd say that one of the aspects that appealed to me in creating a new project was to design an, often terrible, logo for it.

I have this exact thing for domains :)

Such a brilliant and simple idea I've seen on HN so far. It's a strong evidence that the designer can contribute back to the community. Btw, I've written my claim at https://github.com/arasatasaygin/openlogos/issues/1#issuecom... Hope I will get it

More open source projects should have logos. This is great.

I had a similar idea a few months ago but I was coming at it from the opposite direction (demand-side instead of supply-side). It has turned into a repository of existing Node.js project logos instead: https://github.com/davej/nlogo

Thanks arasatasaygin - As of July 1, how will you decide which logos get awarded first? Is is by most popular of all the logos, or in order of the GitHub issue for each logo?

Example of user that started some time ago creating free logos for OS projects: https://github.com/Tobaloidee

Nice! We at http://draftss.com had been thinking to do something similar for the startup and open source software community.

I think I see where you are going with this and am interested in how your pricing is working out.

You seem to have a flat monthly fee structure - and at a fairly "high" price point. If I was "just" looking for a logo I could pay your monthly fee just once at somewhere like 99designs, so I might not take retainer. But if I had greater needs for design 250 a month would be a bargain and you are too low and you will be doing a lot of work for nearly zero.

How has it been working out?

Have you considered tiered pricing ?

To get a decent logo/branding done, one would have to spend around $200-$400 where we can provide 1 month retainer for almost similar price point, which is the real bargain! One could get their Logo, Stationery or anything else designed with the same price point.

It has been working out really great, We have launched around more than month back and we are at $3,325 in MRR. We are writing our journey here : Zero to $3,325 MRR in 30 days (http://draftss.com/blog/index.php/2018/06/18/zero-to-3325-mr...)

We are looking for a strong feedback on our pricing model. What do you mean about tiered pricing? Would love to know more :)

I love the rent-an-in-house-designer concept - it solves a big mental block I have had with the 99designs style approach.

However I get the feeling your price point may be too low - there is a lot of value a designer can add, not just in "logos and stationary", and that can mean a lot of work - I guess you just have to suck it and see.

Which takes me to tiers - it's a lot easier to have the "you are now in the platinum tier" conversation than the "stop asking me to do a full time gig on 200 bucks"

As it is so hard to guess how much work, and you want to get away from looking like it's piece work, can I suggest offering streams of work. Bear with me

Logos and stationary are one basic stream of work. But the long term gigs will probably come from two classes of company - mid sized firms wanting to get in-house designers to revamp the existing art work to be more consistent, and I strongly suspect internal enterprise teams wanting to build distinctive internal brands

That to my mind gives three streams - the try-me-out level of logos and stationary, the internal branding and the wider revamp. Each feels like increasing amounts of complex work. but each feels like a distinct market, and with levels inside

Edit I guess the internal brand one is most exciting to me - give developers a pattern library for their app, and keep adding to it as they add features or work. A bootstrap/react pattern library that you can retheme would probably go long way?

While I'm all for FOSS, I wouldn't use these. Branding is not the same as writing software, you're entering a den of protectionism, http://www.businessinsider.com/colors-that-are-trademarked-2.... Using these will result in a cease and desist if your product catches on.

Fyi, used to work in branding and trademark disputes were common.

Is that true for open source software that is not making any money? I would be very surprised if a big company went after someone maintaining an open source project.

That would be some pretty terrible PR:

“Billion dollar company X sues open source developer because the shade of blue used in their logo is too similar.

A spokesperson for X said that ‘Although they are releasing this software for free to help the community, we can’t have people being confused about the shade of blue they used.’”

It almost sounds like an Onion article to me.

No. That’s the opposite. That’s a small company taking on a big one and winning. The OP that I was replying to was talking about big companies going after minnows.

Apple initially went after the small shop in this story.

I see (sorry I skimmed it before). From the looks of it it seems she got a lot of support though because of that.

It’s a little different too since she was actually selling products with her logo on them vs. developing free software, but good point.

Really like as well. Have also added to your patreon :) as think we should try and help reward things like this.

Thank you very much! This is the most satisfying $1 I've ever got in a while.

This is a great idea! I really like the open nature of it, especially in regards to open source projects.


Love the idea. Like some others have said, it would be nice to have other designers contribute.

What a cool idea! The logos look great, and it is a really neat idea for a project.

Nice. I think it would be better if there are some categories as well.

Hopefully will add if the number of the logos increase. Thanks.

The "foxy" logo looks very much like gitlabs logo to me.

Thanks for the work and idea. Hope this project will take off!

Thanks for supporting.

I just want to add to the existing kudos here. Kudos!

Quick! Someone plug these into an adversarial network!

Great work OP!

Awesome move. Keep up good work!


> This project will have all exclusive rights of the logo

> Free logos (as in gratis? or as in liberty?)

> Open source

This seems kinda contradictory to me.

The logos are being provided free of charge to an open source project of the communities choice. I don't really see how that's contradictory, they make no claim of the logos being open source.

They seem to offer proprietary logos for open source projects, which some projects might like (branding) but others won't (proprietary). Calling them "free logos" instead of "gratis" also does not help to clarify this at all. My question was hence whether they offer "free as in freedom" or "free as in no money" logos and whether non-free but gratis is appropriate for open source projects.

Terrific idea! Very nice act.

Thank Walkman. (Best username ever)

This look amazing!


thank you for sharing, it's really good.

Thanks for supporting.

i love it aras.. thumbs up buddie :)

Thanks bruh. We missed you in the office :)

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