[Wikipedia-l] Do we need a new logo contest?

Erik Moeller erik_moeller at gmx.de
Sat Jun 14 05:21:00 UTC 2003

I'd like to know if I'm alone in being quite tired of the current  
Wikipedia logo (as used on en: and most of the non-English pedias). There  
are several things I do not like about it:

1) It is a ball of hard to read, monochrome text, with two lines of text  
under it. Since most of our content is text, it would be nice to have a  
logo that has at least some pictographic elements. I personally do not  
find it aesthetically pleasing either. IMHO, the absence of the textball  
from the Cologne Blue skin is one of the key reasons why many people find  
it more attractive.

2) The Hobbes citation itself is cute, but too subtle and pretentious; it  
is also not particularly useful to readers unfamiliar with Wikipedia.

3) It is an English text, making it a bad choice for the international  

4) It cites one specific philosopher and one specific quote, establishing  
that particular point of view quite securely. While Wikipedia itself is  
mostly neutral, the logo is clearly not. And just to make clear that its  
text is far from uncontroversial, the Hobbes quote states that "man is  
distinguished, not only by his reason, but also by this singular passion  
[curiosity] from other animals". This is a highly anthropocentric view  
with the classical animal/human distinction that is increasingly eroded by  
our understanding of other highly intelligent and curious animals such as  
chimpanzees, bonobos, whales and dolphins. Of course, that is not to say  
that a more modern view should be taken; in fact, none should be taken at  

Wikipedia has thousands of highly creative users, many hundreds more than  
when Cunctator originally created the logo. I think a logo contest on  
Meta, officially promoted on all the main pages, could produce very  
satisfying results: a visually pleasing logo which is international and  
can therefore be used by all our editions.

Just a few ideas:
- an alphabet letter which also looks like a construction site
- a green tree with some interesting fruit (letters, pages or something  
like that)
- several book volumes standing next to each other, with an inkwell  
sitting on the top
- a flower or planet within a pair of double square brackets.

But maybe it's just me and everyone else loves the textball. I'd like to  
hear some feedback on this. Just as a quick demo I have hacked together  
the last idea from the ones above and put it at


in the context of the current Main Page. Note that this logo is just a  
quick hack and I do not suggest that it should actually be used, but I   
think that the colorful picture looks better than what we have now. Still  
I admit that I have *no* artistic skills whatsoever. That's why I'd really  
like to see what could come out of a large logo contest.



More information about the Wikipedia-l mailing list