New Ardour Logo

Ardour is an application for recording, editing and mixing music. It is licensed under the terms of the GPL 2.

The upcoming 3.0 release seemed like a good opportunity to take another look at the logo I designed in 2006. A selection of drafts from back then, ending with the final design:

I had to ask myself: Is this logo (still) appropriate for Ardour?

The upcoming 3.0 release will be a digital audio and MIDI production application, available for Linux and Mac OS X. It is designed for frequent and prolonged use, being able to deal with huge amounts of material, complex signal pathways, precise and intense editing. Reliability, correctness and precision are of utmost importance.

The logo should take a matching stance, be sharp and have a strong presence. I think the old version does a fine job in this regard. It also happens to be well established and liked by the community (of course not by everyone). Back then I decided to use a free-form wave shape, less stylized, more realistic. Now I think a shape with even subdivisions will make the logo appear more precise.

I worked my way through variations of the curves that describe top and bottom of the wave, the number of teeth, their shape, relative height of the type and its consequences on letter spacing:

PDF of above image, in case you’d like to take a closer look.


Application icons, first column are the old ones. I reduced the number of teeth for the smaller versions, keeping them at least 1 pixel wide.

The new logo is already in use on the new website that went online about a week ago. I helped a bit with color selection, made a few suggestion and provided 3 icons:



José Luis Romero L. asked me for a Logo for LinuxMaya, the honduran Linux users group. I said yes, mainly because it was an interesting opportunity, stylistically, and a welcome break from my currently more layout and interaction-design heavy job.

From their self-description, they are a group of professional and enthusiast users of Free Software and GNU/Linux, who want to spread the word about Free Software and offer expertise in Honduras and Central America.

Now it would be cute if one could express such ideas in a logo, but it’s all so damn abstract and shared by many projects. The first responsibility of a logo is to be recognisable. So I focused on the name and found inspriation in mayan symbols and stone carving.

A few small sketches:

The final result:

Strange new Windows Logo

Microsoft Windows gets a new Logo for Version 8. It no longer tries to be a window or group of windows and a flag at once.

My first impression was that the perspective looks off. I found out it is because the 2 columns have different width in the prespective, but with a rather subtle difference, that in my view allows the impression of being an inaccuracy, instead of being clearly on purpose.

I had to try how it looks with equal width (third, after original and original with construction lines):

As the flyshit on the original hints at, it’s very important to note that Windows is a registered Trademark of Microsoft, while the new Logo has been submitted for registration.

MediaGoblin Logo 4

The MediaGoblin Team tried a few combinations and settled on the type from my previous design, but dropped the symbol or any alternative. They forgot to tell me until recently, but it’s all good 😉

I suggested a number of fonts for the project and Lato was chosen. So I made my type have the same relative x-height and adjusted the kerning. Old on top, Lato in the middle:

The intention is to give it enough character to be recognizable, especially now that it stands alone, without making it busy. A little quirky, but not silly.

Ubuntu Friendly Logo 7

Paul and Marcus from the Canonical Design Team saw a problem with the gap-less regular/light combo I used for the text in the previous iteration. So I offered a tweaked version of the 2nd variation from post 5:

But Marcus as head of visual design insists on the layout that is specified on page 105 of the guidelines, only allowing the symbol to be replaced and a choice of regular or light weight for the 2nd word:


This makes the symbol appear so weak and fragile and highlights what I think is the biggest problem of the updated visual identity: the relative size of the Circle of Friends (and any symbol taking its place for a derivative or sub-project) leaves it ending up so damn small, given the usual sizes for the text as used on the web. I doubt that a person not familiar with the CoF would be able to make out its actual geometry, given that tiny pixel-salad on the upper right of

I made it very clear that this solution is not acceptable to me and that I think going with the plain CoF would be better under this circumstances. Ara and Co respect this wish. I’m done with this, but let me close with what will be the solution, if no one else comes up with another idea (and why would anyone, given those guidelines):

Media Goblin Logo 3

I refined the 2nd concept from the previous post by drawing the symbol several times to find the right shape. Picking up the M and G shapes for the type would lead to bland repetition and a much too wide stance. All lowercase with a rather common m avoids this, while still giving room to take cues from the symbol.

Full size