Jul 21, 09
amoebaOS still doesn't have a definitive logo to represent itself amongst the crowd. As strange as that sounds, I truly believe logos and marks should be designed (or redesigned) at the time of a product's release. Why would such an idea be effective in terms of marketing and brand recognition, you ask? Well, before a product is released, the brand recognition is still very faint, and people tend to associate the logo or mark with they hype of the product's release, not the actual product itself. A simple example would be Wolfram Alpha, who chose to keep consistent branding throughout the media frenzy that surrounded their product launch. In their case the logo did not help their product to be unique, but instead became a detriment because of the false expectations that were created and spread regarding their search tool. With this example in mind, it is easy to understand the interest in updating a logo or mark immediately prior to a product's launch.
For amoebaOS, this is a bit of a gray area. Since the product is a platform more than anything else, how do you adequately represent a medium through which users can compute entirely in the cloud? I've been pondering that question for some time, but I believe the answer is: don't. A logo does not have to be visually indicative of the product it represents, though it has become all too common for designers to uphold the opposite as a core principle of mark creation. Since I'm not of that mindset, it seemed like a great opportunity to put that anti-principle to the test on a large scale.
There is very little to worry about for the amoebaOS release in terms of design. Months upon months of pixel perfection has made the User Interface something to behold (/end shameless self promotion), and at the very least it is a unique approach. Most of the trepidation in my mind is strictly server-side. I'm not a file system guru, and I've never written a true kernel or even a driver - that makes for an interesting development process when you need to reproduce much of the higher level functionality that would normally depend on those systems. Because of my different experience, I think the Operating System's APIs are very different from typical OS interactions on a desktop system. It will be fascinating to see what developers like and dislike when they begin working with these programming interfaces.
Very little to worry about... except the logo - which is why it has become such a touchy subject. Nearly all of my concept mock-ups have been visual experimentation with the word "amoebaOS". Below you will find three of the main variations on this theme, and one very different approach that I envisioned but didn't complete.
The very first amoebaOS logo:
A concept from the amoebaOS Twitter page:
This one is named "amoebaOS Logo - Final - 3 - Final" on my system:
...And the odd logo out:
Perhaps some of you brilliant readers would have an opinion? The options are:
- back to the drawing board