On Saturday 15 October 2016, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> On 10/15/2016 08:03 AM, Yves wrote:
> > I personally find the 'negative magnifier' elegant, and the
> > disappearance of the 0s and 1s a good way to simplify this logo and
> > make it easier to scale.
> I wonder what the established wisdom in the design community is about
> this. I mean, many people view the web site on a high-dpi screen with
> about a bazillion calibrated colours and we could have a super crafty
> logo with gradients and shadows and a shiny 3D effect and so on.

Design is is general highly subject to fashion and trends.  Improvements 
in digital technology initially lead to a trend towards more 
sophisticated logo designs with more details, less graphical 
abstraction and physical realism (like 3d effects and shadows as you 

This changed at some point, initially mostly in light of a trend away 
from pixel graphics based and 3d rendered designs towards 2d vector 
graphics which mandated more abstraction and reduction of realism to a 
more cartoon like style.

The raise of mobile display devices triggered another change in fashion.  
This was less due to the high resolution displays and more due to the 
bad readability of these displays under varying lighting conditions.  
This required logos to be very simple in geometry and without 
subtilities in colors to still be recognizable.  This is by the way 
exactly the direction taken by what is proposed by Elio.

Corporate design, especially for tech companies, follows these trends 
quite closely, reflecting the short term marketing goals and the high 
need to not appear old-fashioned.

OpenStreetMap as a project with much more long term goals on the other 
hand does not need to follow the latest fashion trends and can aim for 
a more timeless design.  What this should be is still an open question 
of course but this should be considered based on what well represents 
the project and not what is considered modern at the moment.  Since OSM 
is very much about attention to detail it is IMO not a bad idea to 
reflect this in logo design.

This directly relates to another aspect that might deserve 
consideration.  The logo and the standard map style form a pair as the 
two graphical impressions most will associate with OpenStreetMap.  This 
IMO calls for some level of consistency between those.  The map style 
features a lot of detail, subtle color differences and very little 
abstraction - partly due to technological constraints, partly due to 
the purpose it serves.  A logo that strongly contrasts with this is 
kind of inconsistent.

Another issue: the current logo design is well suited for adaptation 
like for local communities - see:


which represent the diversity of the project and which people can 
intuitively identify with.  I am not so sure if this is similarly 
possible with a much simpler and highly abstract logo.

The proposed text design is kind of strange by the way since it 
emphasizes 'StreetMap' relative to 'Open' - even though 'Open' is, as 
most know, the only part of the name that truly fits (Simon also 
mentioned this on github by the way).

Christoph Hormann

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