I recently designed a logo for Code4Lib, a community of library software developers and technologists.
As with every design project, I started out by identifying the needs and desires of the client.
- There should be an understandable connection between the logo and the organization, not just a random mark.
- Code4Lib is no longer just an online community. They have a professional journal, annual conference, and many other activities. The logo needed to be flexible so all the aspects could be brought together under one brand.
- Many members of Code4Lib are committed to open source, so this needed to be reflected as much as possible.
Code4Lib is run by consensus. They vote on everything. All the members of Code4Lib worked together to create guidelines for what they wanted/needed. Fortunately for me, volunteers then formed a committee to actually shepherd the project through to completion. Although all members expressed their opinions at different stages, the logo committee distilled everything to something reasonable to communicate.
I started out with several different logo ideas. Some went in more of a coding direction while others went in a library direction. After a great deal of back and forth over various ideas, the logo above was decided on. The serif font harkens back to printed books, while the brackets relate to the coding aspects.
Logos for other aspects of the Code4Lib community use the base logo, with the name of that activity incorporated into it. I designed a few derivative logos and figured out the appropriate font size, letter spacing, etc.
Because of the commitment to open source I tried to make the logo as “free” as possible. The main Code4Lib logo was created using the free font Centabel Book. I tried very hard to use a free font for the “activity” name as well, but could not find one that fit well. Although many programmers dislike Microsoft, I used a Microsoft font, which has the benefit of being available to a great number of people.
I also released the logo under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. This allows the logo to be used by anyone for any purpose.
The saying goes that, “Design by Committee,” is hell, but that was clearly not the case. The committee was very knowledgeable, and the community as a whole was very receptive. It was a pleasure to work with the Code4Lib community to design their new logo.