Which new Fedora logo design do you prefer?

Fedora Design Team Logo

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Fedora design team has been working on a refresh of the Fedora logo. This work started in a Fedora design ticket at the request of the Fedora Project Leader Matthew Miller, and has been discussed openly in the ticket, on the council list, on the design-team list, and within the Fedora Council including at their recent hackfest.
In this post, I’d like to do the following:

  • First, outline the history of our logo and how it got to where it is today. It’s important to understand the full context of the logo when analyzing it and considering change.
  • I’d then like to talk about some of the challenges we’ve faced with the current iteration of our logo for the past few years, with some concrete examples. I want you to know there are solid and clear reasons why we need to iterate our logo – this isn’t something we’re doing for change’s sake.
  • Finally, I’d like to present two proposals the Fedora Design Team has created for the next iteration of our logo – we would very much like to hear your feedback and understand what direction you’d prefer us to go in.

Wait, you’re doing what?

Yes, changing the logo is a big deal. While the overarching goal here is evolving the logo we already have with some light touches rather creating something new, it’s a change regardless. The logo is central to our identity as a project and community, and even iterations on the 13-year old current version of our logo are really visible.
This is a wide-reaching change, and will affect most if not all parts of the Fedora community. If we’re going to do something like this, it’s not something to be done lightly. This isn’t the first (or second) time we’ve changed our logo, though!The final proposal of the Fedora logo from Nov 2005; lighter blue is darker, f's crossbar is much shorter

A history of Fedora’s logo, 2003 to 2019

I have been around the Fedora project since 2004, and for most of that time I’ve been the primary caretaker of the Fedora logo. I’m the author and maintainer of the current Fedora Logo Usage Guidelines document and created and maintain the Fedora Logo History page, and I have maintained the Fedora logo email request queue and lead the Fedora Design Team for most of the past 15 years. I’ve witnessed and took part in most of the decisions that have been made about our logo over the years. The information we’re going to go through for the most part should therefore be regarded as accurate, and where I thought it would be helpful I’ve linked to primary source documents below.
Here is the very first Fedora project logo used in Fedora Core 1 through Fedora Core 4, for at least two years (I believe a simple wordmark using an italic and extra bold / black version of a Myriad typeface):
Original Fedora logo, in a bold italic Myriad font
A couple of years later came the initial public proposal for a complete redesign from Matt Muñoz (at time time from CapStrat) in November 2005:

Original Fedora logo. Ends of the F's were much longer and curled, and the lighter blue color was brighter.

With some feedback back and forth, this was the final result:

The final proposal of the Fedora logo from Nov 2005; lighter blue is darker, f's crossbar is much shorter
You can see that:

  • The lighter Fedora blue used in the infinity symbol was darkened and made less cyan
  • The color of the ‘fedora’ text was originally in the dark blue and was swapped for the lighter blue in our current version (this actually results in poorer contrast.)
  • Both blues in the final version were shifted more towards purple from a cyan tint.
  • The shape of the ‘f’ in the infinity mark was changed too – the ends of the f were blunted and the crossbar of the f was made longer.
  • Proportionally, the Fedora infinity logomark was made smaller in proportion to the Fedora wordmark.

Note too, this was 2005, and we only had a handful of high-quality free and open source fonts available to us. This logo is designed with a proprietary font called Bryant (the v. 2 2005 version) designed by Eric Olson.  That is one of the reasons we decided to redesign the original sublogo design created for the Fedora logo, which looked like this:

These sublogos relied on the designer having access to Bryant, which would necessarily restrict how and who on a community design team (which was just forming at the time) could create new sublogos for the project. They also rely on having a wide palette of colors distinguishable yet harmonious with the brand, without an understanding how many sublogos there might actually be, so scaleability was an issue. (I would guess we have hundreds. We have sublogos for different teams, different geographical groups, lots and lots o’ apps…)
This is what the Fedora Design Team ended up creating as a replacement for this design, which uses the free & open source font Comfortaa by Johan Aakerlund (who kindly licensed it under an open source license at our request):
Fedora sublogo design - uses the FLOSS font Comfortaa alongside Fedora logo elements.
Note that even the current sublogo design shown above was not the only one we’ve used – we originally had a sublogo design that used the free & open source font MgOpen Modata created by Magenta, and that was in use for around four years (example design that used it.) We fully / officially transitioned over to Comfortaa (first suggested by design team member Luya Tshimbalanga) back around 2010. MgOpen Modata did not have support for even basic acute marks which was problematic for our global community, because on the design team, we felt the shape of the letters better coordinated with the shapes of the Bryant lettering in the logo. (We had considered multiple other FLOSS fonts as you can see in our initial requirements document for the change.)

This has to be said: A soapbox

I just want to say that the fact the design-team and marketing mailing lists among others have been on mailman for so many years, and because we have Hyperkitty deployed in Fedora, researching all of the specific facts, dates, and circumstances around the history of the logo was quick, easy, and painless and resulted in my being able to link you up to primary source documents (and jog my own memory) above with little effort. I was able to search 15 years of history across all of our mailing lists with one quick query and find what I was looking for right away. I continue to be acutely and deeply concerned about the recent Balkanization of our communications within the Fedora project, but am grateful that Hyperkitty ensured, in this case, that important parts of our history have not been lost to time.

I hope this history of the Fedora logo demonstrates that our logo and brand over time have not been static, nor is the logo we use today the first logo the project ever had. Understandably, the notion of changing our logo can feel overwhelming, but it is not something new to us as a project.

The challenges

The Fedora logo today probably seems benign and unproblematic to most folks, but for those of us who work with it frequently (such as members of the Fedora Design Team), it has some rough edges we deal with frequently. I would classify those issues as technical / design issues. Let’s walk through them.

Technical Issues

It doesn’t work at all in a single color

The Fedora logomark necessarily requires two colors to render:

  • a color for the bubble background
  • a color for the ‘f’
  • a color for the infinity

This makes a single-color version of the logo impossible. (Note single color means one color, not shades of grey.) This has caused us a number of issues over the year, from printing swag with the full logo on it when the vendors only allow single color on particular items (in these cases, we use only the ‘fedora’ wordmark and have to drop the infinity bubblemark, or pay much more money for multiple color prints) to causing issues with our ability to be iconified in libraries of Linux and open source project logos.
This recently caused an issue when an attempted one-colorization of our logo (the infinity symbol was dropped, against our guidelines) was submitted to font-awesome without our permission; because the distribution of that icon library is so wide and I didn’t want the broken logo proliferating, I had to work over my Christmas holiday to come up with a one-color version of the logo as a stopgap because that library doesn’t have a way of removing a logo once submitted.

The solution above is problematic. I say this having created it. It’s a hack – it’s using diagonal hash marks to simulate a second color, which doesn’t scale well and can cause blurriness, glitching, and artifacts on screen display, and also particularly at small sizes won’t work for printing on swag items (the hatch lines are too fine for screen printing processes to reproduce reliably across vendors.) It’s truly a stopgap and not a long-term solution.

It doesn’t work well on a dark background, particularly blue ones

You’ve probably seen it – it’s unavoidable. I call it the logo glow. If you want to put the Fedora logo on a dark background – particularly a dark blue background! – to get enough contrast to have it stand out from the background, you have to add a white keyline or a white ‘glow’ to the back of the logo to create enough contrast that it doesn’t melt into the background.
This is against the logo usage guidelines, by the way. It adds an additional, non-standardized element to the logo and it changes the look and character of the logo.
If you do a simple search for “fedora wallpaper” on an image search engine, these are the sorts of results you’ll turn up, exemplifying the logo flow – I promise I didn’t search for “fedora glow”:

Part of the reason the logo has bad contrast with dark backgrounds is because the infinity bubble is necessarily a dark color. This is related to the fact the logo cannot be displayed in one color. If our logo had a symbol that could be one-color, then display on a dark background is a fairly trivial prospect – you can invert the color of the logo to a light color, like white, and the problem is solved. Since the design of our logo mark requires at least two separate colors in a very specific configuration (you can’t swap the background bubble for a light color and make the infinity color dark), we have this challenge.
I have also seen third parties invert the logo to try to deal with this issue – this is against the guidelines and looks terrible, but perhaps you’ve seen it in the wild, too. On duckduckgo.org image search, this was in the first few hits for “fedora logo” today (note it also uses the wrong, original proposal ‘f’ shape from November 2005):

Typically on the design team we’ve dealt with this using gradients in a clever way, whether inside the dark blue bubble of the logo itself, in the background, or a combination of the two. Here is an example – you can see how we positioned the logo relative to the lighter part of the gradient to ensure enough contrast:

While this solution is workable and we’ve used it many times, it still results in artwork (sometimes even official artwork) ending up with the glow. The problem comes up over and over and constrains the type of artwork we can do. Also note the gradient solution will not work for printed objects, making it difficult to print a good-looking Fedora logo on a dark-colored t-shirt or any blue-colored item. The gradient solution is also far less reliable in web-based treaments of the logo across platforms, where we cannot guarantee where exactly within a gradient the logomark may fall across screen sizes.

It’s hard to center the mark visually in designs


The ‘bubble’ at the back of the Fedora logomark is meant to be a stylized speech bubble, symbolizing the ‘voice of the community.’ Unfortunately, it’s also a lopsided shape that is deceptively difficult to center. Visualize it as a square – three of its four edges are rounded, so if you center it programatically using HTML/CSS or a creative tool like Inkscape, visually it just won’t be centered. You don’t have to take my word for it; here’s a demonstration:


The two rounded edges on the right in comparison to the straight edge on the left makes the programmatically centered version appear shifted slightly to the left; typically this requires manually nudging the logomark to the right a few pixels when trying to center it against anything. The reason this happens is because the programmatic center is calculated based on the exact distance between the rightmost point of the image and the leftmost point. The rounded right side of the image has only one point in the horizontal center of the shape that sticks out the most, where as the straighter left side has many more points at the left extreme used in this calculation.
This is an annoying problem to keep on top of.

The ‘superscript’ logo bubble position makes the entire logo hard to position

One of the things that is unique about our current logo design that also causes confusion is the placement of the bubble relative to the “fedora” text.
The final proposal of the Fedora logo from Nov 2005; lighter blue is darker, f's crossbar is much shorter
It’s almost like a superscript on the text itself. While the logotype (text alone) has a typical basic rectangular shape, the bubble throws it off, pushing both the upper extreme and the right extreme of the shape out and creating some oddly-shaped negative space:

It’s almost like the shape of a hooved animal, like a cow, with the logomark as the head. The imbalanced negative space gives the logo a bit of a fragility in appearance, as if it could be tipped over into that lower right negative space. It also makes the logo extremely difficult to center both vertically and horizontally. Similarly to how we compensate for this as shown in the demo above for the logomark, we have to manually tweak the position of the full logo by eye to center it relative to other items both vertically and horizontally.
This impacts the creation of any Fedora-affiliated logo, sublogo, or partnership involving multiple logos (such as a list of sponsor logos on a t-shirt or on a conference program.)
It means our logo cannot be properly centered in a programmatic way. While those of us on the Fedora Design Team and other teams within Fedora are aware of the issue and compensate for it naturally, those less familiar with our logo, like other projects we may be partnering with or vendors, or even any algorithmic working of our logo (in an app or on a website) is not going to be aware of it. Our logo is going to look sloppy in these scenarios where automatic centering is employed, and for those who catch the issue, it’s going to demand more time and care that should not be necessary to work with the logo.
The position of the logomark is also so atypical that it’s been assumed to be a mistake, and some third parties have tried modifying it to a more traditional position and proportion to the logotype to ‘fix’ it. Here is an example of this I found in the wild (again, from close to the top of hits received from a duckduckgo.com image search for ‘fedora logo’):

The ‘a’ in ‘fedora’ can look like an ‘o’

The final proposal of the Fedora logo from Nov 2005; lighter blue is darker, f's crossbar is much shorter

Bryant is a stylized font, and the ‘a’ in Fedora has on occasion been confused for an ‘o.’ It’s not a major call-the-fire-department type of issue, just one of those long simmering annoyances that adds to everything else.

Technical Issues Summary

Ok, so… that was a lot of problems to walk through. These aren’t all obvious on the surface, but if you work with the logo regularly as many Fedora Design team members do, these are familiar issues that probably have you nodding your head. The more ‘special treatment’ our logo requires to look good, the more hacks and crutches we need to create to help it look good, means the less chance it’ll be treated correctly by those who need to use it who have less experience with it. No single one of these issues is insurmountable, but together they do all add up.
On top of that, there are two more challenges we deal with around our current logo. Let’s talk about them.

Other Challenges

Closed source font

For a very long time, I’ve personally been irked by the fact that a logo that in part represents software freedom, a logo that represents a community so dedicated to software freedom, is comprised of a wordmark with a closed, proprietary font. We have wanted to swap it out for a FLOSS font for a long time, and I’ve tried and failed to make that change happen in the past.
In historical context, it makes sense for a logo created in 2005 – even one for a FLOSS project – to make use of a closed font. In 2019, however, it makes less sense. There are large libraries of free and open source fonts out there now, including fontlibrary.org and google fonts, so the excuse of there not being enough high-quality, openly-licensed fonts available just no longer stands.
A logo is a symbol, and a logo using an open source font would better represent who we are and what we do symbolically.

Where we are now

“All right,” you must be thinking. “That’s a hell of a lot of problems. How can we possibly fix them?”
About three months ago, I had a conversation with our project leader Matthew Miller about these issues. He is familiar with all of them and thought maybe we should see if the Fedora Council and if our community would be open to a change. He kicked things off with a thread on the fedora-council list:
“Considering a logo refresh” started by Matthew Miller on 4 October 2018
From there, we agreed that since the initial reception to the idea wasn’t awful, he opened up a formal design team ticket and myself and the rest of the design team started working on some ideas. As we just wanted to address the issues identified and not make a big change for changes sake, I started off by trying the very lightest touches I could think of:

With these touches, you can see direct correlations with the issues we’ve walked through:

  1. The current logo
  2. Normalize mark placement – this relates to “The ‘superscript’ logo bubble position makes the entire logo hard to position” above
  3. Brighten colors – better contrast
  4. Open source font & Balance Bubble – the font change relates to “Closed source font” above, and balancing the bubble relates to “It’s hard to center the mark visually in designs” above
  5. Match bubble ‘f’ to logotype – so they feel related
  6. Attempt to make single color – failed, but tried to address “It doesn’t work at all in a single color” above
  7. Drop bubble – relates to both single color and imbalance of the bubble mark
  8. Drop infinity – another attempt to make one-color
  9. Another attempt at one-color compatible mark

We started working on infinity and f only designs to try to get away from using the bubble so we could have a one-color friendly logo. In order to give a bit more balance to this type of infinity-only mark, we tried things like changing the relative sizes of the curves of the infinity:

We tried playing with perspective:

And we tried all different types of creating a “Fedora-like” f:

These were all explorations in trying to tweak the logo we already had to minimize change.
We also had a series of work done on trying to come up with an new, alternative f mark that was less problematic but still looked ‘Fedora-ish’:

I invite you to go through Design Ticket #620 which is where all of this work happened, and you can see how this work unfolded in detail, with the back and forth between designers and community members and active brainstorming. This process took place pretty much entirely within the pagure ticket, so everything is there.

The Proposals

we need your help!
Eventually, as all great design brainstorming processes go, you have to pick a direction, refine it, and make a final decision. We need your help in picking a direction. Here are two logo candidates representing two different directions we could go in for a Fedora logo redesign:

  • Do you have a preference?
  • How do you feel about these?
  • What would you change?
  • Do you think each solves the issues we outlined?
  • Is one a better solution than the other?

The most useful feedback is stated as a problem, not a solution. E.g., if you suggest changing an element, to understand your perspective it’s helpful to know why you seek to change that element. Also note that while “I don’t like X” or “I like Y” is a perfectly valid reaction, it’s not particularly helpful unless you can dig in a little deeper and share with us why you feel that way, what specific technical details of the logo (shape, contrast, color, clarity, connotation, meaning, similarity to something else, etc.) you think triggered the feeling.

Please also note this is not a vote. We would love your feedback in order to iterate and push the designs forward. If this was a vote or poll, we’d set one up using the proper software. We want feedback on why you like, don’t like, or otherwise react to what you see here. We are not going to tally “votes” here and make a decision based on that. Here is an example of a very productive and helpful set of feedback that resulted in a healthy back and forth with a new direction for the designs. Providing feedback on specific components of the logo is great brain food for making it better!

Candidate #1

This design has a flaw in that it still includes a bubble mark, which comes with all of the alignment headaches we’ve talked about. However, its position relative to the logotype is changed to a more typical layout (mark on the left, a bit larger than it is now) and this design allows for the mark to be used without the bubble (“mark sans bubble”) in certain applications. Both variants of the mark are one-color capable.
The font is a modified version of Comfortaa that is hand-kerned and has a modified ‘a’ to lessen consfusion with ‘o’.
As the main goal here was really a light touch to address the issues we have, you can see that items like the Fedora remix logo and sublogos are only lightly affected: the ‘remix’ logo text is changed to Comfortaa, and the ‘fedora’ logotext in all sublogos is updated.
You can see in the sample web treatment, you can make some neat designs by clipping this mark on top of a photo, as is done under “Headline Example” with the latest Fedora wallpaper graphic.
This candidate I believe represents the least amount of change that addresses most of the issues we identified.

Candidate #2

As with candidate #1, the font is a modified version of Comfortaa that is hand-kerned and has a modified ‘a’ to lessen consfusion with ‘o’.
The mark has changed the ratio of sizes between the two loops of the infinity, and has completely dropped the bubble in the main version of the logo. However, as an alternative possibility, we could offer in the logo guidelines the ability to apply this mark on top of different shapes.
As with candidate #1, the main goal here was really a light touch to address the issues we have, you can see that items like the Fedora remix logo and sublogos are only lightly affected: the ‘remix’ logo text is changed to Comfortaa, and the ‘fedora’ logotext in all sublogos is updated.
This logo candidate is more of a departure from our current logo than candidate #1. However, it is a bit closer in design to the various icons we have for the Fedora editions (server, atomic, workstation) as it’s a mark that does not rely on contrast with another shape, it’s free form and stands on its own without a background.

We would love to hear your constructive and respectful feedback on these design options, either here in the blog comment or on the design team ticket. Thanks for reading this far!

232 Comments

  1. Hey, Mairin – thank you so much for explaining all the reasons behind the need for change.
    May I ask why we need to stay with the infinity sign? I find both your candidates to have made the F to hard to see that it just looks like Fedora is represented by a lopsided infinity sign rather than before where the F was easy to see.
    If we have to, I think candidate 2. But I’d love to maybe see if there’s something we could do that gets away from the infinite sign. Ubuntu is supposed to be people holding hands, right? Because it was “Linux for humans”. What is our best thing? That we’ve got the latest software. That we’re a top choice for programmers? (Isn’t Linus using Fedora? I think he was for a bit at least) How about something related to that?

    • mairin

      Hi Eric, those are good questions. The reason we’re sticking with the infinity is because the overarching goal in this project is to iterate with the logo we have and have as light a touch as possible while addressing as many of the issues as possible. While one of the proposed candidates does drop the bubble so it might seem there’s a preference for the infinity mark over the bubble, this is actually only to solve some of the technical issues it posed, rather than try to distance the logo design from its current iteration.
      It would be nice to do a clean slate redesign but for various reasons I don’t think that’s in the cards right now.
      I think it’s okay, given the length of time the current logo has been in use and the recognition that it has, for an iterated version’s f to not stand out as an f as much and be more stylized. It’s more of a symbol now, and ‘f’ as a letter isn’t symbolic on its own.

    • mairin

      Hey Klaatu! Honestly there isn’t too much difference between the two (the inner mark in #1 is quite a bit thicker than #2, but that’s about it) except that in the #1 world, the logomark with the bubble is the default, and any other treatment is an ‘alternative’ or ‘option’ that isn’t preferred. #2 is the opposite – the background-less, uncontained logo is the default, recommended option, and the different contained options are alternative possibilities that aren’t the default.

      So it’s really more of a positioning thing. And if the default, main logo was in the bubble as it is in #1, it would seem weird to suggest the inner mark could be contained in other shapes. I suppose it could, but it feels weird to me, kind of undermining the main logo. Does that make sense or am I nuts?

  2. Out of these two, I prefer Candidate #1 because it is closer to the current logo. I think brand recognition has its value.

    In addition, Candidate #2 loses the speech bubble and thus an important part of our message (“speech” as in “talking to friends”, but also a reference to “free as in speech”).

    (Now, if the current logo were on the poll, I would vote for that one instead! But I prefer Candidate #1 over Candidate #2.)

    • mairin

      Hey Kevin, thanks for that. If there was a way to leave the logo alone and not have to deal with all of the issues I’ve outlined here, I’d *much* prefer that as well!

  3. Juan Burgos

    Personally I doesn’t like neither, I don’t see the f, neither the infinity in both of em. The old one is better for me 2.

    For the first problem “single color” i think something “worked”, similar to this will be enough.

    https://snag.gy/t7SxFR.jpg

    “doesn’t work on dark colors”.. negate it.

    https://snag.gy/UROPaz.jpg

    About the placement, I never liked the two fs, I will use the f-infinity logo, or the name, not both. If you want to use both make the finf big enough to be different, not “f fedora”

    https://snag.gy/S7PZ3o.jpg

    About the facebook color… sad, i like blues… best contrast, but how about the negative, orange? “shit, ubuntu”, are we constraint in any way to choose another tone 91A8D0, or color 88B04B

    Font.. choose another.. But please one with the f strike out in both sides, not only forward…

    • mairin

      Hi Juan, thank you for taking the time to put together some quick mockups, it helps me understand what you’re getting at, especially as a visual thinker!

      We’ve looked a stencil-style solution to the one-color issue before but it doesn’t work out. I’ve already discussed in the comments some of the technical and meaningful issues with adding stencil lines to the logo, so you might want to take a look. Just search in-page for “stencil.”

      Negating the logo is also not a valid solution – it alters the character of the logo significant. The way you have done it here adds an additional color which defeats the point. 🙁

      Thanks again for the feedback and ideas!

      • Juan Burgos

        Thanks for your answer, I don’t get the problem with negating the logo you refer, there will be two colors only, blue and white, when I said negating I was meaning swaping blue and white colors only, and swapping the font color too.

        https://snag.gy/RAy8nZ.jpg

        https://snag.gy/jfPcwW.jpg

        I got a little problem with the color you have chosen, that color remains me too much to the one from skype’s logo and as someone already commented the logo is already too similar by now to add another point of coincidence.

        About the stencil problem, I read your comments and I differ from your point of view, got no problem with stencils, linux is the stencil in which our projects build, they don have to be elegant, just work, so you could find that logo makes an infinity stencil for people to construct their dreams..

        Kind Regards Mairin.

  4. Wow – it’s always fascinating to see a bit under the hood on how design works. I’m glad Design is giving this some focus. I like the general direction you are going, but there is something about the breaks in the f/infinity symbol that bother me. I don’t know if it looks like the “f” is going to fall over or just the idea that a break in the line breaks infinity for me. I read through the design thread you linked and was most interested in the ideas that deviated further from the current design. I wish I had the slightest skill or talent in this area, because I really see the value in having an awesome logo ( everything is and icon now, our phones, our signs… ) Of the family of logos that the community has, I think I like the Silverblue one the most, it manages to be flat, but not flat at the same time. I’m rambling, sorry.
    One other thought I have to offer is that Fedora blue -to me- doesn’t really represent the project’s focus on diversity, nor does the idea that speech is verbal communication lend itself to accessibility. I’m not sure what to do with that thought. Having read this and the design thread, I think sticking to iterating on the traditional logo makes a ton of sense for the reasons you listed above, however, I can’t help but think that a larger break from the past would be more “fedora” than an iteration. Thank you so much for your service and dedication to this project Mairin, you and the team will deliver the next awesome logo 🙂

  5. Jan

    Amazing writeup, I had no idea the amount of work and thought that goes into a logo! With the that being said, as a complete layman to the subject matter, I agree with Mesa that the ‘f’ in fedora is harder to see in both logos and losing the symmetry in the letter itself comes with a loss of identity of the logo as we know it somewhat.

    1. Do you have a preference?

    Candidate 1, if I had to guess choose, although
    I enjoyed the first ‘f’ on the fourth row in the brainstorm you did:
    https://blog.linuxgrrl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/89101425063108e30e3cd901e9cd94e9a48c2422d62ec26ebecc482104a56efd-fmarks-2.png. Also keep the dark blue! 😁

    How do you feel about these?

    They feel a little too different, but candidate 1 feels less streamlined and corporate and more natural. Candidate 2 gives off a Microsoft product vibe, sort of.

    What would you change?

    Make the ‘f’ a little more recognizable, the stop gaps that form the letter are hard to see from a far enough distance.

    Do you think each solves the issues we outlined?

    As a layman, candidate 1 does so nicely. Not sure about 2, too much loss in identity I feel.

    Is one a better solution than the other?

    Yes, candidate 1 retains the fedora logo identity way more by a long shot. If 1 also solves the logistics problems you mentioned with the logo, then that’s the way to go.

  6. Dawid Potocki

    I’m going to kinda miss current one, but, if I would pick, go with #1. It still looks like Fedora and not seperate product and I think that is really important. Speech bubble for me really makes Fedora, Fedora.

    With centering I think curent one doesn’t really have a big problem, look at Arch and Ubuntu, these are really bad, they never feel right. Ubuntu kinda fixed that with using circle, but that circle of friends doesn’t feel centered inside it.

  7. Stefan Nuxoll

    My one problem with both candidates is the asymmetry of the “f” in the infinity, I realize it matches the style of the new font face but it’s the one thing that jumps out at me as “wrong” feeling. Beyond that I think the visual breaks in option 1 are a good solution to the one-color problem and the new font face is appealing. Beyond that, obviously candidate #1 – losing the bubble is not an option, it’s as much a key part of the brand as the infinity symbol.

    • mairin

      I want to show you why I much prefer the forward-facing crossbar on the f. I have always thought the full crossbar on the Fedora f looks a little goofy, I don’t know why exactly, it does form a “+” symbol like a medical symbol a bit too. Maybe shortening it would help, and I will try that too. But the forward-facing one has a slicker / less-goofy look, symbolically aligns better (“first” and “features” are two of our project foundations, we’re always looking at innovation and the future, so something literally forward-looking seems apt) and it also adds a bit of a depth / dimension to the f that isn’t there with the full cross bar. I can demonstrate it here with some shading (which is the sort of treatment I would imagine we could do with this version of the logo):

  8. Elliott S

    The problem I have with both of these is that neither of them look like an ‘f’. Both of them (but especially 2) look like a lower-case ‘p’.

    For reference, you can look at the Display or Handwriting fonts on Google Fonts: https://fonts.google.com/?category=Display,Handwriting In the cases where flourishes on lower-case ‘f’ both form full loops, they are almost always on the right side. When the flourishes are on opposite sides, they rarely approach the bar.

    With the flourishes coming together at the bar, it is more reminiscent of the lower-case ‘p’ in e.g., https://fonts.google.com/specimen/Pacifico or https://fonts.google.com/specimen/Sacramento Candidate #2 is also a bit like the *upper*-case ‘P’ in https://fonts.google.com/specimen/Sevillana

    The closest font I could find to having the flourishes make a full loop and approach the bar was https://fonts.google.com/specimen/Vibur but even in that case they did not *both* reach the bar.

    I *think* this could be fixed by making the gap on the right further out or bigger, which would harken back to the existing logo a bit more (on candidate #1). For candidate #2, perhaps the disproportionality can be swapped? Looking at the fonts, when the flourishes are on opposite sides, the bar is almost always closer to the top than the bottom.

    • mairin

      Hi Elliot, you make a really good point, i did as you suggested and looked at how swashes in lowercase f’s are typically handled. However, doing as you suggest with this particular mark means adding more line breaks into the curve, which makes it less elegant and unfortunately gives it a stencil appearance. If you drop part of the infinity loop entirely to try to avoid that problem, the whole thing looks like a fancy P with a hole in its bowl. Take a look:

      I really appreciate your thoughtful feedback. I think something more drastic needs to change about this version of the logo to account for this, though.

      • Juan G.R.

        I actually like the last iteration with the 3 thin lines. You’re able to see an “f” while still keeping the infinity symbol. Otherwise I would go for stock candidate #2 for more simplicity.

        • mairin

          Honestly the f is symbolic and not meant to be a perfect rendering. Logos are symbolic. Most people don’t notice the arrow in the FedEx logo – it’s still there contributing to its meaning. The lines required to make the f stand out are thick and draw the eye too much – they draw too much attention – and really give it a stencil look which isn’t a clean look.

  9. Simon

    Don’t like either of them really, for much the same reasons as Eric… both of them basically discard the F entirely, putting the emphasis entirely on the infinity sign which isn’t something I associate with the project at all.

    And I mean that literally… I’d never actually noticed the infinity part of the old logo until I saw this thread… I guess my eyes just skim over the darker non-F part of the background. So giving that sign prominence over the F feels like a major change… like a whole new logo, not the minor evolution that you describe.

    • Liviu

      I agree with Simon, the f should be clear at the first sight, adding breaks is a simple solution and in my opinion does not affect the “beauty” factor. The third option looks a bit weird with the dash only on the right side. If the desire is to set a distinction from the plus sign or some medical symbols we could just shorten the left side but not discard it entirely. Something along these lines maybe https://snag.gy/yXMV6Y.jpg

  10. Hi, Based on this link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fedora that explain what is fedora, I would suggest, maybe, let’s get to the basis. Fedora is a type of hat, of course that no body actually know that, but it’s maybe easier to create icons and other stuff.

    One thing I think about the color is, I love blue, I would suggest more vivid color. The blue from the candidate 1 web page logo. If we look to different distros they are vivid, fogy color. Suse made the green look nice.

    The color would also help to have better web site design. If we go the getfedora or fedora project the colors are not vivid. In terms of design blue require a bit of work because it tends to make things cold. Right now we a like using indigo blue, maybe we can go to sea or sky blue.

  11. Dor

    #1 looks much better. The symmetry of the infinity symbol is very easy on the eye, and is less reminiscent of the old Visual Studio logo. The infinity logomark in option #2 is also relatively too large when compared to “fedora” wordmark next to it.

    The bubble mark is the most recognizable part of the old Fedora logo, and I think it has to be part of the new logo as well. It has the important quality of being able to stand alone as an icon, while the “naked” infinity symbol without the bubble appears far too generic.

    Regardless, the new color of both options is just right. The dark blue has always annoyed me a little; its similarly to the “Facebook blue” is far too apparent.

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  13. Martin Owens

    I do like that fedora may be moving away from the evil blue ‘f’. Although I’m not sure about either of the final designs. I kind of liked the blocky F version in the previous iteration.

  14. Anonymous

    Thank you for the incredibly detailed walk-through, I never realized how much went into a branding/logo effort; it really made me appreciate how much you put into it! For that, you have my eternal gratitude, here are my thoughts, fwiw:

    I am a newcomer to Fedora (around 2015-ish), and what stood out to me initially about the logo wasn’t the ‘f’ but the infinity symbol. To me, it immediately invoked “IDIC” or “infinite diversity in infinite combinations” and is what spoke to me most about the distro, where it was coming from and where it was going. To me that idea, as conveyed by your logo was the most important thing about the branding; the letter ‘f’, not so much…you could have called it ‘petunia’, but with the infinity symbol there, I would have still got it.

    The problem (as I see it) with the new designs is it focuses on the letter ‘f’ instead of this aspect of it, and in the process, the letter ‘f’ disappears altogether (for me) and all I am left with are the letters ‘d’ and ‘p’. I don’t know why I see it that way, but that is all I see when I look at the new designs. I see what you were trying to do with the perspective on the infinity design, but the problem (again, for me) is, when you distort the infinity symbol like this, you lose the fact that it is an infinity symbol…and THAT, to me is more important about Fedora than the letter ‘f’.

    Also, I never knew what to make of the background, I always thought of it as a guitar pick, or a teardrop. It was quite revelatory and exciting to find out (just today!) it was a stylized speech bubble! Now that I know what it represents, it is hard to part with…but the fact that I could have gone for almost 4 years now without realizing what it represented probably puts it’s importance in focus.

    Again, thanks for all your work, much respect, it is very much appreciated! Remember, these are just the thoughts of one person, with an idiosyncratic way of looking at the world…

  15. Oleg

    I like both, but TBH they are not very “original”. #1 looks very much the same as the current one; #2 – slightly modified version of Google Fuchsia’s logo in blue…

  16. Feda

    I don’t like either of the two options. It is difficult to see the “F” in both of those logos.
    Drop Infinity is the only one I liked from what I have seen above.

  17. Timur Kristóf

    It’s a clever idea to shape the infitiy symbol in such a way that it also serves as the “f” letter, but I’d suggest to increase the gaps so it stands out more as an “f”. Currently at smaller sizes it just looks like an infinity symbol, the “f” is not visible at all.

    With regards to the “balanced bubble” shown in the mockups: it resembles the Sailfish OS app icons, but still looks cool. I wonder why you didn’t include that idea for Candidate#1.

    I think Candidate#1 is better because it provides continuity with the old logo that many people feel attached to. I’d vote for Candidate#1 but increase the gaps so the symbol is more like an “f”, and maybe consider including the “balanced bubble” in it.

    Thanks for all your great work!

    • mairin

      I agree, after reading through a lot of feedback and looking at it more, I also think the gaps need to be more prominent.

      Nick Coughlan on Twitter also suggested a version of #1 with the balanced bubble; here it is in case you’re curious what it would look like:

      • mairin

        The “balanced bubble” is really just an attempt to balance out the bubble – but symbolically I’d want some kind of narrative for it. I don’t have one as of yet. Can anybody think of one?

        • Markus

          The balanced bubble can symbolize a two-way conversation. To show that input to Fedora is not based on one-way communication.
          As for candidates, #1 is by far “more fedora” if you ask me. What I feel it needs (like others have mentioned) is a more prominent “f”. I’m not well versed in this but I feel the “f” looks a little like a “P”. If it’s possible to use a stop gap to bring out the top “end” of the f that might be great (or crap, I don’t know).

      • Timur Kristóf

        Yes, I definitely think more gaps is the way to go. I’d increase them as much as is needed to make the “f” legible at a reasonably small size.

        About the “balanced bubble”: it seemed like a good idea but now that I see it I’m not so sure. I wouldn’t say I’m against it, but if possible, can we find a better way to make the problem with the current bubble go away? Could we just use the old bubble but shave away the pixels that cause the alignment problem?

  18. Anon

    How do you communicate the values that are important to a distro quickly/easily?

    Respectfully, the letter ‘f’ doesn’t convey much of anything. Neither do the letters ‘d’ and ‘p’, which is what these refinements end up looking like, at least to this eye.
    I feel the most important aspects of the logo are the infinity == freedom == all welcome/many ways of being, and the speech bubble == community/communication.
    So I would de-emphasize the ‘f’ or get rid of it entirely, it is superfluous to the message you are trying to convey. Don’t get me wrong, I find the “hidden” ‘f’ in the current logo sublime, but I got to ask the question: does Fedora start with an ‘f’ in every language that it is translated to? This https://fedoramagazine.org/how_we_translate_fedora/ seems to convey that it is not the case. So why emphasize it? The logo will come to be associated with Fedora whether there is an ‘f’ in it or not. What matters is that which is important to Fedora is in the logo.

    Instead, focus on values: freedom, friends, features, first…infinity is a good way to encapsulate this, but are there others? To me, the important thing about infinity is that it is symmetrical, distorting it loses the “infinity-ness”, hence the meaning is lost. If you’re going to have infinity in there, at least make it recognizable as infinity! Symmetry is an important aspect of this.

    And, it should NOT look like the Promise, Inc. logo. https://www.promise.com/us/ or the TP-Link logo https://blog.tp-link.es/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/cabecera_blog_2-1.jpg

  19. Bernd Bordos

    Symmetry is boring, thus is the infinity sign. Instead, I just love variant 8 (drop infinity), reminding of a feather or a leaf (which metaphorically may symbolise infinity, cf. nature etc.). Seeing a coffee bean in it would be fine as well, right?

    • mairin

      Hi arnaudv6, we’ve played around with doing something like that before in trying to create a one-color version of the logo (most recently with the fontawesome issue we had that I mentioned in the blog post.) It doesn’t read well at all sizes, unfortunately, and the intersection between the thick lines of the f and the thinner of the infinity are tricky to get looking “right.”

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  21. My preference would be for option 1.

    I would not be unhappy with option 2, either. With the way option 2 is structured currently, you can even see an outline of the bubble in the negative space of the larger loop up top, so we still have some reference to it there. However, there’s that bit about Promise Technology’s logo, which I think is worth considering as a point against it.

    • mairin

      Thanks for pointing that out. I’m concerned about the similarity there as well. I’m thinking #2 is gonna need quite a bit more iteration or maybe just should be dropped.

  22. Dan

    What about double bubble, one over the other from left and right. Would represent a conversation between peoples. Change of colour between the two would solve contrast and balance problem.

    • mairin

      Unfortunately if we required two colors to represent the double bubbles, we’d be back to square one on not being able to have a proper one-color version of the logo. 🙁

    • mairin

      While Fedora is a Linux-based OS, there’s more to the project than just Linux, and Tux the penguin is its own trademark. For these reasons, I don’t think incorporating a penguin would be workable.

  23. adrian_007

    To be honest, neither looks better than current one – both are dropping ‘f’ and basically just focuses on infinity sign, which is kinda tacky and doesn’t really relate to the product directly. In current version it’s visible, but doesn’t stand out that much, keeping ‘f’ in logo’s main focus – probably that is what logos should be about?

    • mairin

      While we want our logo to look good, we’re also looking to solve very specific problems here. So the goal isn’t to “look better,” it’s to solve those problems. I hope this makes sense.

  24. Ernesto Manríquez

    #1.

    You can widen the space between the right side of the f and the continuation of the infinity symbol, to make it clear we are dealing with a f that looks like an infinity symbol, not with an infinity symbol alone.

  25. Daniel Webster

    Despite the break between the crossbar of the “f” and the upper loop, I think the accentuated upper loop of Candidate #2 could cause the “f” to be mistaken for a “P”. That might be true of Candidate #1 as well (i.e. being misconstrued as a “P”), but the more symmetric infinity loops make the effect less pronounced.

    Despite the Fedora Project’s stated preference for a logo that can be displayed in a single color, is there any chance of adding color contrast to the infinity loop colors like the current Fedora logo, or just use a more distinguishable “f” instead (e.g. redesign the left loop break in order to add a left crossbar back to the “f” rather than sacrificing it to the lower loop, or maybe drop the infinity loops altogether and change the guidelines to reflect this)?

    My preference between the two candidates is for Candidate #1, but I think Candidate #1 misses the mark as well for people who aren’t already familiar with Fedora. I don’t mean that as an insult to the thought and work that has been put into these designs. I actually prefer draft “m” of the “new, alternative f mark that was less problematic but still looked ‘Fedora-ish’” or draft #9 the “balanced one-colorable mark”.

    • mairin

      “is there any chance of adding color contrast to the infinity loop colors like the current Fedora logo,”

      This would mean a logo that wasn’t single-color compatible, unless I’m misunderstanding your suggestion?

      “just use a more distinguishable “f” instead (e.g. redesign the left loop break in order to add a left crossbar back to the “f” rather than sacrificing it to the lower loop”

      I don’t want to add the crossbar back because I think it helps differentiate from the Facebook ‘f’, but I agree maybe making the “f” more distinguishable would be helpful. Maybe widening the gap. I’ll post some iterations along this idea.

      “maybe drop the infinity loops altogether and change the guidelines to reflect this”

      I don’t think this will achieve our goal of minimal change – and honestly an infinity symbol is more symbolic than the letter f, although the letter “f” stands for a lot of things in Fedora besides “Fedora” (like the “four foundations” – freedom, friends, features, first)

      There’s definitely going to be more iterations either way we go, and this kind of feedback is very helpful in determining what we should work on in those iterations, so thank you!

  26. Ernesto

    It’s hard to see the old one go. I always loved that logo, and it stood the test of time.
    My first reaction to the new logo (#1) was “nothing wrong, but it is not more beautiful than the current one”. Then I read your rationale and I think the new logo makes a lot of sense. I vote for candidate #1, because it’s more an iteration of the current one, because it’s simpler and because of the bubble. Please don’t loose the bubble.

    About the Font Awesome issue, can you quickly explain why was this one unacceptable? (I’m not a designer) https://pasteboard.co/HVOcom3.jpg

    • mairin

      Sure, I can explain why that version of the logo wouldn’t work. It makes the logo look like a stencil and changes the line quality, almost gives it a militaristic / industrial kind of stencil / spray-paint / un-polished feel. People may have their opinions about Fedora, but we definitely don’t want to support anything that would make it appear as if it’s unpolished / rough. The thick black stencil lines added to create a boundary between the ‘f’ and the infinity behind it are really prominent element that doesn’t exist in the real logo, and gives off a connotation of ‘cutting’ or ‘breaking’ things. In short, it drastically changes the design of the logo.

  27. Tim Lauridsen

    I see some issues with the font, It some kerning issue, when large it looks like “fedor a”, in small it looks like chars is touching each other.
    Think something like Cagliostro, would look better
    https://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/cagliostro?filter%5Bdownload%5D=local&filter%5Blicense%5D%5B0%5D=open

    Why should the logo include some kind of “f”, it is mostly use with “fedora”, so no need for an extra “f”.

    The infinity symbol is also hard, it is very commonly used, so nobody will think for fedora, when seeing some kind of infinity symbol.

    If doing a new logo, it properly should be completely new, not limited by previous logos.
    In my world “Fedora” is the brand, not the f-infinity kind of symbol.
    Maybe the logo should be the word “fedora” (in some cool way) or it should be some symbol like the twitter bird, but properly not both used together.

  28. Scott

    The design labeled “m”, in the image with “k,l,m,n” shown just above Candidates #1 and #2, looks great. Even at the risk of looking too much like panes of glass, the fact that it is clean, simple, and balanced wins out, in my opinion.

  29. Jamin Fernandez

    Change the name to the distro, END.

    Jump to “Silverblue OS” or “Gnome OS” …

    Sorry i dont like the logo and the name distro fedora, Gnome OS is the most ideal for the name distro and Gnome logo

  30. Mateus Krause

    Considering the informations above about the logo desing, i chose the #1 with wider gaps (i saw in one answer).

    As was said before in the comments, this remember the identity of the branding and solve the proposed problem. the wider gaps turn more visible the ‘f’ even with reduced sizes, don’t losing the infinity idea.

    #1 with gaps.

    • Bernd Bordos

      Me having troubles not reading “P” nor “S” into #1 with gaps.

      Are there thoughts about using the actual “f” from the chosen/adapted Comfortaa “fedora” font in the logo?

      • mairin

        Hi Bernd, we’re trying to keep both the infinity symbol and the f in the mark for the reasons already stated; if we took the Comfortaa f and made a separate infinity mark we’d run into the one-color / too-many logo components issue that we have today. 🙁

  31. Thomas Roder

    If you choose a new logo, why not be more bold?

    I really liked draft #9 “Another attempt at one-color compatible mark” or one of the “new, alternative f mark”s.

    Otherwise, I much prefer Candidate 1 to C2 because I find the differently sized circles very irritating.

  32. Stan Genchev

    I prefer Candidate #1.
    When I look at Candidate #2 I immediately thought of the Fujitsu logo you see on their laptops. Also #2 is to simplistic and it feels “empty”.

    • mairin

      It has that stencil issue I’ve talked about elsewhere in the comments. 🙁

      But to be completely candid – that was the starting point for candidate #2. Candidate #2 is essentially that #7 idea with the need for stenciling removed.

  33. Ivanhoe1024

    I am no designer at all, but I really liked the old good logo! I’d pick candidate #1, even if I would prefer one with a more evident F. What does not convince me about the alternative candidate is the asymmetrical shape of the infinity symbol…

  34. Kevin R Garand

    First let me say it’s great to see a community so dedicated to a linux project, even if it is a logo. I have always loved Fedora because of this. I too like Candidate 1 instead of 2. I wish I could offer some help as to “how” to go about the change, but alas all i can offer is, I do think the “F” needs to stand out a bit so that a new person looking at it could say “I see what they did there it’s the F and the infinity logo.” All I can offer is maybe either brighten the F, or darken the F so that the infinity logo is there but the F stands out. Or make the F part of the infinity be an off set blue color. Sorry I am not a graphic artist and I am trying to help as I love Fedora and it’s dedicated community. Thanks for allowing me to vote.

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  36. Duro

    I think the ‘fedora’ bold/rounded font is terrible, sorry. It doesn’t reflect the modern GNOME nor KDE desktops anymore. It feels like impossible to add a nice looking logo to it to make it look great together. I’ts just not an attractive font (anymore)… IMHO that’s where your problem lies. Second, the ‘speech bubble’ never resembled a speech bubble to me in all the years, there must be better ways to evoke ‘communication’ in a brand… good luck and fingers crossed, love fedora.

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  38. I found the post fascinating; thank you very much for the in-depth walk-through of what the Design team has gone through. I generally dislike long blog posts but this was incredibly interesting and I appreciate the time you put into it.

    Honestly, I really loved the old design. I didn’t really notice the infinity symbol, however, because the focus was on the F. I thought it was just a style choice. Given than the infinity symbol is supposed to stand out and be prominent, I have to say I much prefer option L here.
    https://blog.linuxgrrl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/86a2d220a69f51ab6cb66fd5732af1cb71150cc7d4f55b09125ec2fd67b2a566-more-f-3-2-768×608.png

    It doesn’t *recogniseably* have the F in the icon so it’s not like “f fedora” as I saw someone above mention and agree with but it also showcases the infinity symbol. Given that it’s not an option, I have to say I prefer Candidate #2.

    In the first, I feel like the top of the f, where it curls down, isn’t quite large enough and it appears slightly off-balance or lopsided. I also don’t really like the hard and straight line of the end of the tail. It stops too abruptly for my taste and disrupts the flow.

    I like Candidate #2 because it feels very open. While it still has the hard edge on the tail, it does stand out slightly less. It also looks great in all the variations while I think Candidate #1 is harder to see all of at a smaller size. IN Candiate #1, both the F and the infinity symbol are prominent and it also has the added feeling of openness. With that (and a little imagination), it also imparts a sense of freedom which I really like.

  39. Ghul

    I don’t like any of the two suggestions.
    In my opinion you should get rid of the infinite symbol or make the f in it fat.
    Thus it can be easier distinguished.

  40. edwin

    Candidate #1, or drop the bubble from #1.
    Candidate #2 looks a bit as if you “typoed” the logo if one side is just slighlty larger than the other, perhaps if the difference was more pronounced then it would look better, currently it is a bit uncanny.

  41. MacKenzie

    So I skipped over most of the comments, this may just repeat what others have said.
    I think both options are good, however I feel they both have issues. I like Candidate #1 because the ∞ loops are proportional to each other. As a web designer I understand the technical reasons and support removing the chat bubble and providing a simple logo.
    Candidate #2 I feel is the better choice overall, removing the chat bubble and providing alternative options, however the ∞ loops not being proportional irks my OCD-like attention to detail.

  42. Joseph Lvecchi

    Hello, good job so far.

    I would like to see a mix of candidate #1 with both the shading and the wider gaps. (not sure if shading works well for 1 color printing) . I thought the shading kept a little of the multi-color effect which the logo has currently. And please wider gaps, they make the f more distinguishable.

    #2 look like nextcloud, that was the first thing I thought when I saw it.

    Another idea is what if you moved the cuts so the “f” stand out better: https://livecchi.cloud/s/e9aXcQPxoes7kF4 (Please forgive the crappy MS paint attempt… I write software, not make pictures … )

  43. agon

    Why an F, why not a Blue Hat? Or at least a hat feather?

    Take an unofficial third party red hat logo as a base inspiration and make it blue.
    Or: Take a head from the front, a kind of m-shape line.

    The derived rounded f logos look outdated, like an average design job in 2004, the round loop. But if you want an F make it everything but round. And after flat styles became common for apps we watched this all over the place. But fedora is no app, no facebook plugin.

    What I like about the Red Hat logo is that it conveys this revolver gang style. It does not meet expectations, just like the Google logo: If you had presented it to a designer in 1998 the common feel would have been “This is for a toy store”. So let’s ignore preconceptions and the current logo fashion.

    The ideal logo from my perspective would be more edgy and robust. Fedora is no app, no little toy, but a huge complex system for IT professionals. More like a Thinkpad or a Volvo car. That would be an F out of rectacles with white spaces.

  44. Marcus Anderson

    I don’t like any of the options presented.
    I do like the idea of an open source font.
    I also like the idea of dropping the infinity symbol. What did it mean anyway?
    Pick an F from a font and play with negative space.
    The letter F looks a bit like a key – maybe play with the idea of a key in a lock.
    Closed source vs. Open source. I think the key in lock metaphor fits there.

  45. Evren

    If had to choose one, than the first candidate. But both look unprofessional, look like an android app icon that does not do something serious.
    Fedora is a complete operating system not a simple software. Font and logo together are so roundish, i think we need a little bit ‘cutting edge’.
    For me the most satisfying one is the new logo attempt “n”. It is not complicated, implementations of “f” and infinity symbol are more clever and it looks much more dignified with capital F.

  46. Fernando Barbosa

    Great job with this article. It’s fascinating to see how Fedora logo was created, maintained and refreshed.

    About the two candidates, as many said before me, the #1 is more “fedora”, if you know what I mean. The solution looks like Fedora by the same time it run away from Facebook’s ghost, the main – and greatest – problem of the current logo.

    The second candidate is strange. I don’t like the final shape, with a “big head” F. And the bubble is one primary pilar of Fedora. It needs to be there.

  47. Liva

    From these two I would choose #1.
    Here’s my thoughts:

    1. We need to keep the bubble. It makes a contrast in a logo: light, calm “Fedora” and strong, loud bubble.

    2. Infinity sign (Candidate #1) without “Fedora” text is more visually appealing. The bubble is easily noticeable, and it looks more fun, when it is placed on a textured background (as in Candidate #1 web page example). I can see potential here – white infinity sign on different textures.

    3. Candidate #2 doesn’t look like a infinity, but looks more like a “Buffering” sign. Also it looks too technical and formal [maybe] because it does not have bubble.

    4. Ok, I guess it is just me, but I’m honestly getting tired of blue! Maybe all that logo needs is simplifying and completely different color (not just shade of blue) – maybe dark purple or dark moss green? I think Candidate #1 + different color would be awesome. And it will definitely won’t resemble Facebook anymore.

    5. New font is good, but letter “f” in “fedora” looks weird (or maybe I have stared at a logo for too long). Each letter for rest of the word (“edora”) is wide and round, but first letter is too narrow – it looks compressed. Maybe the crossbar needs to stretch to both sides like before so it looks a little bit wider.

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  49. I hugely like the symmetry of Candidate #1 over Candidate 2’s asymmetry. Hugely.

    OTOH, I came to this blog to vote for “K” of the K L M N group.

    Reading the entire thread was worth the time. Totally agree that the revisions to the “a” were needed and I like your solution

    However I still like the balance and symmetry of “K.”

    Whichever design is chosen (Except perhaps “N”) will require the viewer to learn to see the F to associate the logo with the brand. Given that the average symbolic IQ of your audience is well above average, I don’t see that as a problem.

    I see that your internal debates over Candidate #1 included crossbar extensions to the LEFT at the midpoint intersection . Had I been participating, I would have argued FOR the symmetry of the Candidate #1 loops but a small asymmetry at the crossing consistent with the crossbar on the lower-case “F” in most fonts.

    Your “shorter crossbar shifted forward” is in this spirit, however I’d advocate for an even shorter crossbar with right angle cuts.

    • Liva

      I really like “K” too (it gives feeling of both harmony and motion), but then I remembered Windows logos (1990s-2000s) and I can’t get that out of my head.
      Not that they are similar, bet the whole feeling is not right.

  50. Pessoft

    Hi Máirín,

    Thanks for the article. I prefer #1 for its harmonized disposition. I also like how it looks in single-color/inverse. #2 seems too unbalanced to me.

  51. -Are the technical issues and fb confusion issues really so significant? Perhaps moving to a different primary color treatment would solve these problems.
    -Is drawing and releasing a full [free] custom Fedora typeface an option?
    -Will IBM marketing play a role in shaping any future Fedora branding efforts?

    • mairin

      – I wouldn’t have spent hours writing this and longer working on this with my team if I didn’t believe they were significant.

      – Not right now.

      – I have as much idea of that as you do. That deal hasn’t gone through yet.

      • To avoid fb brand confusion, why not move away from blue and white, and/or the use of reversed lettermarks? What does the blue communicate?
        The dark application problem examples only show the encapsulated lettermark symbol: the full logotype inverted in white seems to work fine on dark backgrounds? Neither candidate seems to address this problem differently?

        • mairin

          Blue is a fundamental piece of Fedora’s identity so we won’t be dropping that. We’ve tweaked the hue of blue as you can see to help differentiate.

          The logotype inverted in white on a dark background isn’t sufficient, we need a mark that can work on a dark background this way as well.

  52. Lenka

    Hello!
    Let me offer a few insights of an old graphic designer:
    ►The beginner’s plus is that he does not have visual concepts about a logo.
    ►The beginner´s minus is in not having the logo visual concept and not knowing its history or its development (the development is freshly seen on the logo development page)
    .
    At my first one hour-long meeting with the “fedora” logo, only the text part, ie “fedora”, was clear to me. To understand the letter “f” like an infinity character I never thought of. It was an unfamiliar, hardly memorable character for me and it did not make any association. Maybe there’s a bike circuit (seriously)?.
    .
    The logo is most important for its instant readability.
    Here I see:
    ► character for infinity (∞)- is interrupted twice, thus unreadable;- another aspect to understand the ∞ is its correct, horizontal position;
    ► the letter “f”- it is burdened by the surrounding graphic elements, which should be “f” added to the ∞ symbol (there is a psychological phenomenon where the sight reads either positive or negative information but is unable to read it simultaneously);
    ► bubble- the character is so stylized so the bubble is practically no longer remembered.
    .
    I understand, there is huge history behind the current logo and a custom to have the logo old good way, which is necessary to keep and remind in a new logo, but hopefuly this text might be beneficial some way…

  53. MathCubes

    I like number 7 and 9. 9 is more unique in my opinion but you need to fix the small icon to look more like 7 in shading.

    Candidate 1 and 2 are way ugly in my opinion more than what we have now.

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  56. Ralph Bromley

    Personally I dont think any of the changes are good, the obsession with single color logos recently is a really nasty trend making something that used to be unique and interesting into something boring and uninspired.
    Look at the Windows logo, it went from something very colorful with loads of flair and what is it now?
    Just a bunch of bland boxes
    The apple logo had the same issue when it just became a simple apple logo without colors on it.
    Its like everyone is obsessed with bland boring flat icons and themes now, what happened to colors and gradients?
    Google and apple started this material design nonsense, things are just too flat and boring nowadays.

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  59. Big O

    I personally do not like the new infinity symbol, for me it looks more like the number 8 than the letter F. If I had to choose between these two options, I would pick candidate 1. Without the encapsulation the Fedora logo is unrecognizable.

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  61. I don’t think the new logos go into the right direction as they stretch a certain design principle (but I am not a designer so I might be wrong). In theory, diagonals or sharp corners show a direction. Bubble upper right hand was pointing to the logotype, which is fine as it tries to emphasize it. Bubble left with corner down and backwards points away from the logo (much like eyes in a portrait should not point away from the piece of text they try to illlustrate – a newspaper design principle). Maybe shift bubble around 180 degrees to point right upwards if located on the left of the logotype or drop it entirely (as #2) or maybe try more to integrate the infinity into the F letter (or maybe transfer it to O, but that would be too much of a change). However, I think you have all the good reasons to push the change, but a too minimal change won’t leave all the negative legacy behind as it would still restrict your options.

  62. Jeffrey Joshua Rollin

    I’m disappointed none of the options marked k…n made the cut. The two numbered candidates don’t really look any different from the current logo, except that they just look like odd renderings of it. Of the ones I like, the bottom option marked “k” is best; it’s distinctive and assymetrical. Also note that the OMG Ubuntu article which brought me here thinks those options are the ones under consideration. Please consider making one of those the logo. To be honest, if I ranked all the logos listed here, I’d say those already mentioned come top, with the old Fedora Core logo second, and the new proposed logos in last place. Sorry if this isn’t constructive feedback, but really, given the choice between Candidate #1, #2 and the current logo I wouldn’t bother with a redesign. But the k…n logos are all awesome!

  63. Wes Novack

    As others have mentioned, both of the candidate designs fail to actually look like the letter F, which is a bad direction to take IMO. If looking like an F doesn’t matter, then why bother incorporating something that is supposed to look like an F, but actually doesn’t look like it at all?

  64. Kevin

    Great blog post! Everyone seems to prefer option #1, but I really think this would be a mistake. It still looks like Facebook. It almost looks more like Facebook’s logo than the current logo to my eyes.

    I really prefer any design that’s blue on white background, rather than white on a blue shape.

  65. Jim

    I commented first on the issue ticket because I thought it might be seen a little more, but I’ll say it here, too. I think the logo with the bubble is more stand-out and eye-catching than without. I’m thinking more in terms of app icons or social media avatars here, but I think far too many places impose a circle or a “squircle” mask or background on logos, and to have a more unique shape such as the bubble really makes the logo stand out compared to the sea of homogeneous shapes I’m used to looking at. Also, I really like the idea of using the logo itself as a mask, as you’ve done in the article of candidate #1

    Having looked at your centring example more closely, I can also see the issue with centring, but I’m not convinced the lopsided shape of candidate #2 will fix this as I would personally still want the centre of the “f” to be the centre of the logo. (That, and as someone else pointed out, its too similar to other logos).

    Finally, and maybe a tad off topic but still useful, maybe we should look at corrupting the logo or cutting bits off to test recognition. I couldn’t quite understand the confusion with Facebook until I scrolled down this comment thread and saw the fedora logo in your avatar cut in half by the image mask: my mind went “oh, they must be commenting through face… DAMN!” as I suddenly realised what had happened.

    I know its not a poll, but if its worth anything, I’d vote #1 based on what I’ve said.

  66. Joachim Frieben

    I do like candidate #1 much better – the bubble has a high recognition factor. Candidate #2 is too skinny and rather reminds me of a worm or a noodle :o/

  67. Just followed this link from Phoronix! Glad to see I’m not the only one with the Facebook confusion problem. I was given a baseball cap a little over a decade ago that I had to quit wearing for the same reasons you had in the examples above. It’d be nice to be able to wear Fedora stuff in public and not feel like I’m sideways promoting that awful thing. Thanks again!

  68. Lachheb Ismael

    Hi,

    I liked the most the 7th proposition (drop bubble) I think it is the best one because it is modern, simple and we can clearly see the f of fedora.

    If i can choose only between the two candidates, I would choose the second candidate.

  69. Hello Máirín.

    #1

    Just beautiful! And respectful of the old logo.

    Seeing the new proposals I noticed something that I didn’t notice before: how claustrophobic the old logo was, the infinity shape was almost touching the bubble edges, it feels… well, old. #1 fixed that, the gaps on the infinity shape are perfect and the space between the infinity shape and the bubble is ideal.

    Things to consider:

    – Presentation.

    The number one thing that I think should be a priority is to NEVER drop the bubble for the main design. Imagine if Fedora becomes a mobile OS in the future, or officially power it’s own custom laptop hardware for example, the simplistic shape of the bubble is strong, can easily be seeing from afar, can be a source of light in some hardware somewhere, and so on. Think of how the Apple logo is used on their hardware, same goes for Microsoft and Dell. Think of how awesome and visually effective the splash screen on Fedora is (with the filling effect) when it’s booting up. That is impactful and powerful. Specially on a possible future hardware product that requires simplicity in order to be recognised anywhere and from afar. #2 can’t do that, not at all, it’s weak and hard to see from afar in such situations/circumstances. Also, as someone already mentioned, there is already a company that uses a very similar logo as #2, called Promise I think, and also there is the Fuchsia OS from Google, same situation.

    – This is more of a food for thought thing: the infinity shape can also be seeing as a carnival mask, and also as part of a chain. Fortunately, these are very distant associations, and the whole design can stand on it’s on the way it is right now.

    I hope you guys choose #1 in the end, with the bubble!

    Best regards,
    Cristiano Vitorino
    @cristvit

  70. Alex Jordaan

    If I have to choose between the two candidates then I choose Candidate #2

    But if I can choose any of the ones that was suggested in the design phase I will choose the first one in the heading “We tried playing with perspective:”, The first one in the box looks like a nice logo to me.

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  72. Anonymous

    I’m a regular user, not a designer. The second variant looks weird to me, as if there’s something wrong with proportions or the image is distorted. So the second candidate is worse, though I don’t like the first one either. I don’t associate Fedora logo with the infinity sign at all. To me, “Fedora” is associated with blue, letter “f”, circles and the red hat logo.

  73. Leslie Satenstein

    My ASUS monitor has a problem of managing the rainbow of colors.
    Yes, every color from a rainbow is presented, but the almost navy blew on black background is most difficult to read. That is when the font size is 11 or smaller.

    I have tried to adjust the monitor (brightness, contrast, etc, but the navy text on black remains difficult to read. Please, before selecting a final color, do some testing on a large number of desktop and laptop screens.

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  76. Hi Máirín — It’s been awhile! Great to see this discussion happening.

    I really appreciate your rundown and encapsulation of the history — it’s really thorough and focused constructively on the task at hand.

    It’s also always nagged me that we had to go with a proprietary font at the time. Felt like conceptual dissonance. As an aside, I also remember us exploring the possibility of commissioning an open source font creation. Which would’ve been cool (but beside the point now).

    I agree with all of the current mark’s technical issues and broader challenges that were outlined — and can imagine the power (and relief?) in having these addressed.

    Both of the choices keep the soul of the story intact, a major strength for both of them. I would think that comments about the “f” and “p” may mitigate in time as they get used to seeing the new symbol in all of the contexts where they’re now used to seeing the current symbol.

    I lean towards Candidate #1 — that alignment issue (because of the talk bubble) persists, yet the elements are more balanced/resolved. With the bubble, Fedora still retains the familiarity of the symbol and it has more visual weight standing on its own. Based on your changes to the “f”, the mark can be one color — a big step forward.

    Great to see all of the dialogue and looking forward to where this conversation goes next!

  77. Carlos

    Candidate 1 is better as it’s more respectful with the old logo. I’m not convinced at all with the color choice, it’s almost the same that the windows logo.

    Being aware of the color coincidence problem with facebook, another alternative could be the cyan proposal of this comment https://pagure.io/design/issue/620#comment-549166 but without the extra gaps

    I really like that tone. I think it’s beautiful, original, and more similar to the original colors as it’s darker than the color choice of both candidates.

  78. Thomas Léveillé

    I have a problem with that font. I don’t know why but it look weak and unconvinced about itself. Maybe a mix of too much roundness and thinness.

    You also mentionned on the current version of the logo that the one of the minor annoyance was the a could be mistaken by an o. I had no issue with that but shouldn’t you choose a font with a double-storey (not sure how to call it so I’ll use the wikipedia words) “a” in that case ?

    I’d choose candidate 1 because in candidate 2 it makes it look more awkward to center the logo vertically.

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  80. JCjr

    I was looking at the bottom 3 candidates on the Fedora Magazine page which I don’t see here. They are at the very bottom of the article here: https://fedoramagazine.org/fedora-logo-redesign/

    I came to the conclusion that the #2 candidate looked the best of those ones, but I don’t like that the top of the F is extended.
    I also don’t care for the “big bottom” of candidates 1 and 3 because it makes it look too much like a large lowercase d.

    I actually think that the original f logo design with the bottom part filled in white looks just fine for a couple reasons: a) the top more-closely matches the original typeface, and b) the bottom infinity loop part is proportional to the top. Quite frankly, there’s no way you can get a monochrome infinity symbol out of this design without it being broken, or else the f looking extremely goofy. I’d say just do the original f but with the bottom filled white, or else go with a different typeface altogether if you want to match it to the logo.

    Have you tried something unique? Maybe a mascot or something? Shadowman variation in a blue hat perhaps?

    PS: Don’t use a slanted e in ‘fedora’. I saw that on the FedoraMag article. Too many brands do this already: Google, Dell, Lenovo, etc.

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  85. jama

    As the fedora is constantly evolving with a very fast release cycle, could the logo after all be based on DNA double-helix; you would get the both, the idea of fedora, ‘evolving’, as well as an ‘infinity’, with a little twist, of course.

    This could also used to express ‘connectivity’ or ‘reliability’ etc., as how the two parts of the DNA are connected to each other.

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