Design: New GFDL Logo

It’s been a while in the pipes, but one of the jobs the Free Software Foundation (FSF) wanted me to do was to design for them a nice logo for their Gnu Free Document License (GFDL).

This License is a very special sort of document license that allows for the majority of the text to be covered by a free culture license (modify, share, etc). But the difference and the reason it’s not a true free culture license is that you must always include a section of text specified by the author which you can not modify.

This text in the case of the Emacs Manual is the introduction and copyright info. Each work is different as to what you can’t modify and if in any doubt, use the Creative Commons share alike license which is a free culture license.

So the design brief was simple, they needed a simple logo which could fit in small formats similar to the creative commons logos. For them I created four drafts to work from, they then selected one to work from:

We didn’t work through many iterations to get to the end result, certainly not as many as the average client. But one of the concepts was chosen to be the new logo.

Job done, thoughts?

5 Responses to “Design: New GFDL Logo”

  1. arand says:

    I quite a) and c) actually.
    The a) one possibly more logified, with less serif and detail.
    c) is very neat.. clear.

    d) does, in my eyes, convey less “scroll” and more “toilet paper” than might be appropriate, but that might be just me. Would Changing the dimensions, or maybe placing rolls on both sides, have scroll knobs.. work?

    Are the colours given? Black and white?

    On a side note, a white background would be handy for seeing the black parts of the logos on your blog ;)

  2. bochecha says:

    I have to agree with arand, that logo looks like a roll of toilet paper to me. :-/

  3. I'm not that old says:

    Roll of film?

  4. Paul Tansom says:

    Out of curiosity why does the font differ in the two versions of d) (the chosen one since I don’t see the labels unless in the RSS feed). I would have assumed that in a logo a consistent font made sense.

  5. J S says:

    Logo looked “ok” until I saw the Toilet reference above .. now that’s all I can see!

    So I like the top left logo the best (blue and white book edge). It’s narrow and will fit in a lot of subtle places. Avoid the multiple shades of colors in the others.

    Not so much logo related, but “GFDL” on it’s own doesn’t convey anything. Something more descriptive should be there “G Free Doc L” or ” Free Doc GFDL” might help. That book side logo allows longer text.

    Following on the previous comment, the logo should be in color and black & white on light and dark background and several sizes (some logos when scaled down don’t work well). Also avoid the text ‘hinting’ (gray halo around black lettering).

    .