FreeBSD's Visual Identity: Outdated?

Matt Olander matt at
Thu Dec 23 13:06:46 PST 2004

On Thu, Dec 23, 2004 at 12:27:31PM +0100, jsha wrote:
> Being an architect as well as graphic designer, I feel it is about time
> for a complete revamp of the visual aesthetics of the FreeBSD project.
> The current logo and everything pertaining to it has long since lost its
> modern touch. I believe that if this image is strenghtened, so is the
> way outsiders view the FreeBSD project and the way they would judge it
> compared to other open source operating systems.

hi Johann!

> 1. Not only is the logo misleading (associating evil) but it also looks
>    like something 10-year-olds could produce in Paint Shop Pro ten years
>    ago. OpenBSD has an artistic touch to theirs, however I was very
>    disappointed when I heard that the new NetBSD logo was in effect.

While many people love the FreeBSD logo, there's certainly no reason why
you, or anybody else can't come up with something different. We'd love
to see what you have in mind.

> 2. If it wasn't for the interesting content and structure of the FreeBSD
>    website, it would be among the less beautiful. Yes, it serves its
>    purpose well by being simple and straight to the point. But a redesign
>    could offer just the same -- simplicity and accuracy -- without being
>    ugly.

Yes, this has been discussed many times over the years, as has been
mentioned in this thread. If you are interested in creating a proof of concept
design, my company would be more than willing to supply web space and
equipment usage for any person or team of people willing to give a
FreeBSD website re-design a shot.

> 3. The installation, even though it's text-only, could also be improved
>    by simple restructuring to act more cognitive and human-centered than
>    previously. Everything pertaining to the eye is important to improve.

Have at it ;)

> 4. There should be some kind of FreeBSD business card and letterhead
>    available to all that support this project.

What will you do with those? If you want to use something for advocacy,
a great idea might be business card live FreeBSD cd's such as the ones
passed out at the FreeBSD 10 Year Anniversary Party that Seth Kingsley

> How do I know though, that if I manage to pull together a team to work
> on this refined vision, that we won't be totally ignored even though we
> produce the most magnificent result?

How do the developers know that if they spend months writing code,
anybody will end up using it? You're not being ignored now, so this is a
good sign that you won't be ignored if you actually help to produce

> Anyone that are interested, please reply ;-)

Absolutely. A single, front page mock-up would probably be a good place
to start. When in doubt, take a look at,,,
etc. as they have spent countless millions in website design and user

I can ask my company if they will donate a 1U server (maybe with the old
BSDi logo on it) if enough people are interested in entering a freebsd
advocacy website design contest. Winners could be decided by a vote on
the advocacy mailing list or by core or something.

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays everyone!


Matt Olander
(408)943-4100 Phone
(408)943-4101 Fax
"Those who don't read have no advantage over those who can't"
-Mark Twain

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