Subject: New logo plans.
To: None <>
From: Richard Rauch <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 01/14/2004 21:34:55
First, IMHO, this is being done backwards.  If no one actually offers up a
great logo, TNF will be in the slightly embarassing position of having committed
to retire the existing image (with long-standing recognition) and having no

Of course, if TNF is going to do this thoughtfully, I suppose that the old
image/mascot will be phased out slowly, and there is no literal promise to
actually use the winner of the contest as the replacement.  But...

My initial thought about the prize was that it was enough to be wasteful
but too little to actually be a prime motivator for serious talent.  Then
I remembered that $1 US is worth a lot more in some non-US places.  (^&

About the daemon: He/she/it isn't a logo.  The daemon is a mascot.  (And
I've never heard anyone claim *trademark* rights to a particular daemon
likeness, so there are no intellectual property rights issues as long as
we don't copy an *image* of the daemon.)  I hope that TNF doesn't take
the "offensiveness" issue seriously, becuase (as someone else pointed out)
you can almost always find someone who's offended, no matter what you do.

IMHO, the daemon is a fine mascot and (rendered with sufficient simplicity)
would do nice service in any BSD-related logo.  But, it's not my call.  (^&

Cute mascots in general: I don't see the problem.  Similarly, I don't see
a problem with anthropomorphic mascots; to the contrary, they can emote
and act, which lends them to various uses, while a non-anthropomorphic
one just sits there.

Animal mascot trends: Beware of appearing to be a "me too" follower.
NetBSD has had 10 years to adopt an animal mascot, but hasn't.  Now,
OpenBSD has a fish, Dragonfly as a dragonfly, there's the GNU/LINUX
penguin, the SuSE chameleon, ...  If you're going to break with
tradition because of concern about outside perceptions, then I suggest
that you bear in mind this perception as well.  (Personally, again, I
like the daemon and think that the association to BSD history is

Instead of tossing out ideas for new logos, perhaps it would be more
constructive to list what we think NetBSD represents, and see if an
image suggests itself from that?  (Bearing in mind that some may be
attracted to the contest who do not actually know anything about
NetBSD.)  I'll seed that list:

 * User community.
 * Emphasis on clean design/code.
 * Portability.
 * Quickly adapts to new technology (first with USB; first Alpha port; ...)
 * Runs well on old monsters that everyone else wants to forget.
 * It *is* a BSD.

Finally, I can't help observing that a very survivor-oriented species
exists, better than even rats: Cockroaches.  "They get everywhere!"
They embody small, fast, adaptable/portable, and community.  And,
they're always cleaning their feelers...  And no one could accuse
you of following a popular trend.

I don't suppose that anyone is going to do a logo with roaches,
though.  (^&  Probably it's the lack of a clear BSD link (though
I bet that some cockroaches live in Berkeley).

P.S.: I like Herb's logo design so far, though IMHO a really good
logo shouldn't have words (except maybe an artist's signature hidden

  "I probably don't know what I'm talking about."