1. In Response to @andigalpern’s IndieWebCamp Logo Redesign

    I published my IndieWebCamp Logo Study yesterday and posted it in the #IndieWebCamp IRC channel. And asked for feedback in channel and on Twitter.

    Crystal Beasley, the designer of the original IndieWebCamp logo, gave her approval of my redesign.

    @veganstraightedge @andigalpern @t @aaronpk As the person who designed the first one, I approve!

    @CrystalDBeasley

    Tantek pointed out that Andi Galpern had redesigned the IndieWebCamp logo as well some time ago. Andi re-posted it to Twitter along with some feedback of mine.

    Below is my response to Andi’s feedback on my redesign, as well as feedback on her redesign.

    Response to Andi’s Feedback on my Redesign

    Good W

    Andi tweeted:

    @veganstraightedge I really like your treatment of the “W”. I also like how you explained your process step-by-step. :-)

    @andigalpern

    Thanks! I was really happy with that too. It was one of my goals to make both keep the regular polygon geometricness while also making the forms read more like their respective letters. The W was a great success, I think. It no longer looks like a V, but still has that great triangle to it (twice even!).

    Andi again:

    “Indie” vs “Web”

    @veganstraightedge Also, I think the word “Indie” should be emphasized instead of “web”.

    @andigalpern

    I respectfully disagree. Lots of things are quoteunquote indie that we as the Indie Web don’t have much in common with.

    #indieauth (while also the name of our authentication startegy) is about book self-publishers. [\#indiebeer](https://twitter.com/search?q=%23indiebeer) is beer makers. Indie Rock is just an aesthetic, having nothing to do with an ethos anymore (if it ever did). [\#indiegame](https://twitter.com/search?q=%23indiegame) is video games (mostly published to very closed platforms) built by one or a few people. Indie.vc is a slight twist on venture capital investment. Not to mention whatever that mess is over at ind.ie which is emphatically not indieweb.

    I believe that the communities and ethos that we (the Indie Web) have the most in common with are other web communites. Bloggers, open web, web standards. Folks like that who are most of the way there already. Getting a blogger to be indieweb is a matter adding rel-me to some links and owning a domain (not a sub-domain). That’s a pretty low barrier to entry. Whereas getting any kind of affinity with, say, an indie rock band or an indie game developer is a bigger hurdle to clear.

    For our purposes, all of the indie in the world doesn’t matter without the web.

    On a thinner I

    @veganstraightedge would you consider making the “i” thinner? IMO, It’s a bit too wide.

    @andigalpern

    Again, respectfully, no. I understand the logics of making it thinner to make it more like an I. But the trade-offs that come with that direction aren’t worth it to me.

    Those trade-offs, as I see them are:

    • The overall weight and balance of the logomark is shifted to the right and thrown off. Especially with that triangle in the middle that acts as a center point fulcrum. The whole thing tips to right now because the C’s circle is heavier than the I’s skinny (non-square) rectangle. (To be clear, I mean visually/optically, not just geometrically/matematically.)
    • If “indie” is the most important part that should get the focus (which I disagree with, see above), then by making the I thinner that makes it (and its corresponding word) less important.
    • Also, by making the I thinner, the word “indie” in the logotype gets even less aligned with the I which pushes the word “web” farther away from the W as well.
    • Finally, making the I thinner loses the squareness of it. I think the simplicity of [square, equilateral, circle] is really great. I tried to keep that in tact in my redesign.

    My feedback on Andi’s Redesign

    I remembered that someone had posted in the #IndieWebCamp IRC channel a logo redesign/refinement some months ago. Tantek reminded me that it was Andi Galpern.

    For comparison, I’ve included the current IndieWebCamp logo.

    I also took a stab at redesigning the @indiewebcamp logo. https://twitter.com/andigalpern/status/694939629175332864/photo/1

    @andigalpern

    I’ve included the image here. (The image is a little bit JPEGy because of Twitter’s heavy image compression. If I get a higher quality copy from Andi, I’ll replace this one.)

    I think Andi’s is definitely an improvement of Crystal’s original, but it doesn’t go far enough.

    The Good

    Here are the things I like about Andi’s:

    • The flat color are better than the grandient. I did a similar thing with mine.
    • The lowered white lines / dots gives better balance and makes the I and C read a little bit more like an I and C.
    • The logotype is better typeset in a better typeface. (I love Futura, just not at this weight.)
    • The spacing between the I and W and the W and C are more even.

    The Bad

    • The logotype is just a smidge wider than the logomark. Which could be tweaked and fixed if it was the only thing.
    • The white lines / dots, while lowered are at vertical center. The close but no cigar looks like sloppy clarity of intent. Are these just eye-balled or measured? Again, this is just a little thing that could be tweaked and fixed if it was the only thing too.
    • Like with the original, I think the black logotype with color logomark gives the wrong visual hierarchy. If you squint and blur the whole logo, it’s the black logotype that dominates, not the color logomark. I think that’s the opposite of what should happen.
    • The visual balance is thrown off to the right by making the I a tall thin rectangle insteadof a square. (Like I said above), the center point of the bottom of the triangle acts as a kind of visual fulcrum. The original is carefully balanced on that fulcrum. This one is tipped to the right.
    • Also, by making the I tall and skinny instead of a square, the words “indie” and “web” are no longer aligned well with their letters.
    • While I understand the intent of Crystal’s original logo, I’ve never thought that the square, triangle and circle read as I, W and C very much. Only if I thought about it and kind hand-waved could I see them as letters. By making the I a tally skinny rectangle, the I looks more like an I. But in the process, it makes the W and C look even less like a W and C. The I, W and C are one part letter and two parts shapes.

    Holding my own logo redesign up to the same criteria, here’s how I think I did (obvious bias):

    • I kept the geometriciness of the shapes while also improving the letteriness of the I, W and C.
    • Admittedly, the C is the least strong of the three. Removing that block from the knockout of the C turns it into a weird unpleasant shape and throws of the balance of the whole thing. Use a circle knockout turned it into a cresent moon. So, this was the compromise that I was most happy with.
    • The overall weight and balance of the logo is good and even, with or without the logotype.
    • It works well in black outlines, solid black or three color.
    • The word “web” is centered up underneath the W and the words “indie” and “camp” fall out evenly in both directions.
    • All of the shapes, sizes and distances were measured and used for a reason. None were eye-balled. (Again, those are little things could be improved easily in Andi’s redesign.)

    Conclusion

    Given all of that, and my obvious bias, I stand behind my logo redesign and would ask the IndieWebCamp community to approve and adopt it (using it on the wiki, at events, for stickers, tshirts, badges, banners, buttons, etc).

  2. I just re-watched a talk I gave at Ruby On Ales a few years ago. And I still like it.

    I try to end the talks I give by saying “I love you”.