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From: Jonathan Turkanis (technews_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-03-08 14:31:02

Hi All,

Here are my remarks about some of the logo candidates.

My thoughts were heavily influenced by resizing some of the logos and plugging
them into the documentation of the candidate Boost Interfaces library. I found
that some logos which I liked isolation didn't do so well when viewed in the
context of documentation. I considered preparing a demonstration showing what
all the submitted logos would like when used in documentation; I decided this
would be unfair, however, since a logo that doesn't look so good with the
current Boost documentation might look great if the look and feel were adjusted
to match the logo.

As a result of the experiment, I have two general observations:

A) logos which have some sort of shading, or which employ several
closely-related but not identical colors, look far better than logos which
don't. The logos with shading make the others look flat and boring. This
immediately eliminates many of the logos

B) logos with non-white backgrounds don't work well

After playing around with many designs myself, I also came to the conclusion
(which David Abrahams also recently expressed):

C) the letters "C++" and the scope resolution operator "::" simply aren't very
visually appealing.

Now for particular logos. (For brevity, when I have a negative opinion about
some aspect of a logo, I will state it without attempting to be polite; I don't
intend to offend any of the logo authors.)

29 - The miniature version does not do it justice. There's a larger version
At the time Eric posted it, I though it was the best candidate (I liked variant
d). However, when I viewed it in the context of documentation, it didn't work in
at all, falling victim to B) above. The region where the logo sits tends to be
wider than its height, so it looked either too narrow, or too high. Also, the
inner detail was lost; it looked like a solid blue square.

38 - This was easily the most appealing at the time I conducted the experiment.
I asked a friend, who is a graphic designer, to look at the logos, and he also
picked this one. Unfortunately, to me it immediately calls to mind a pair of
dice. To others, apparently, it calls to mind children's blocks. I believe this
makes it less suitable than some of the other attractive logos. It's okay if a
logo doesn't have an immediate association with Boost; if it has an immediate
association with something unrelated, however, that's a problem.

67 - This is clearly one of the best logos. Unfortunately, when I reduced it in
size and inserted it in documentation, it looked, I'm sorry to say, just
terrible. Against a pure white background, the logo's gray background made it
look dirty. See B), above. The answer must be to change the background color,
but I'm uncertain how to do this without destroying one of the logo's most
beautiful features: the tiny white border along the bottom and left edges of the
logo's main elements. Without this tiny detail, the logo looks pretty flat; see
A), above.

I think it's important to get some concrete suggestions on how to deal with this
problem before the logo is accepted.

75 - I see that a number of people find this logo attractive, but I have some
serious problems with it:

Whereas some logos suffer from the problem that you have to look at them too
long before you understand them, this one is the opposite: it looks very nice
when you just glance at it or view it out of the corner of your eye;
unfortunately, it does not stand up to closer scrutiny.

When I examine it, my first thought is: "what is it supposed to be?" This is not
good for a logo, IMO: when you look at a logo, it should be clear that a it
represents something concrete or that it is a purely abstract design. (If a
concrete representation is hidden in what first appears to be an abstract
design, that's okay too.) The reason I find myself asking what this particular
logo is meant to represent, I think, is that it's not sufficiently complex to
hold its own as an abstract design. Once I ask myself what the logo represents,
I can only conclude that it depicts a stack of paper. This is a big problem:
aside from the fact that Boost has little to do with a stack of paper, stacks of
paper are simply uninteresting.

The second problem is that the 3D effect of the overlapping rectangles make the
text look flat.

83 - This is also one of the more attractive logos, but like 38 it calls to my
mind associations unrelated to Boost. In particular, I immediately think of
looking at paint samples or carpet swatches.

52 - This is nice but suffers from problem B)

60 - Well-designed, but contains too much detail. Also, the crescent shapes look
more like cartoon images of the moon then the letter "C".

92 - The captions "Plug it in", "Pieces that fit," etc. make the logos look
cluttered; otherwise they look pretty good. However, I don't buy the explanation
that the logo "at first appears to be a jigsaw puzzle piece" but can also be
seen as people talking around a table:

- no one will know that this is the intended interpretation unless they are
told. Even if someone notices the alternate interpretation, there's no clue that
this is intended

- the logo will *always* appear to be a puzzle piece; at best it will *also*
appear to be people sitting around a table. The problem with this is that
"finding a piece of the puzzle" is one of the most overworked metaphors in
English. (I don't know if this is true in other languages.)

Best Regards,

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