The Haskell re-branding exercise

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The Haskell re-branding exercise

Paul Johnson-2
A call has gone out for a new logo for Haskell.  Candidates (including a couple of mine) are accumulating here.  There has also been a long thread on the Haskell Cafe mailing list.

I've lived through a couple of corporate rebranding exercises in my time, and I've read about some others.  They follow a pattern:
  1. Management decide that the organisation needs a makeover to change public perception.  A new corporate "look and feel" is part of this, and a new logo is therefore required.  The rest of the makeover may be deep or shallow; that doesn't affect the rest of this story.
  2. The new branding is released with as much fanfare as possible.  Press releases are released.  Staff are given briefings about the significance of the whole exercise and the bold new future that it symbolises.
  3. The staff universally agree that the new logo is not a patch on the old one.  The old one was a much loved friend; it stood for something; people have spent years working for it.  The new one is obviously a piece of cheap gimcrackery munged up by an overpaid consultancy hired by senior managers who mistake image for substance.  A ten year-old with an Etch-a-Sketch could have done better.
  4. Over time the new logo blends in and becomes part of the scenery.  Years pass.  Go to stage 1 and repeat.
This suggests that the current effort to find a new logo for Haskell needs to go back to the basics.  Its no good expecting consensus on one of the suggestions because there are too many options and everyone has their favourite.  Nothing will attract a majority of the community. 

Furthermore I think that (just like programmers everywhere) we have dived into development before deciding what the requirements are.  This is reflected in the mailing list discussion, where two broad positions seem to be emerging.
  • On one side we have what I think of as the "Vulcans".  This group sees Haskell as abstract and difficult, and believes that the logo should reflect these qualities.  They want mathematical symbols to dominate the design.
  • On the other side we have the "Warm Fuzzies".  They want Haskell to be perceived as accessible and welcoming, and so want a logo featuring something warm and friendly.
A paradox of the Haskell world is that, while the language is Vulcan, the community around it is dominated by Warm Fuzziness.  Clearly the two are not mutually exclusive.

A rebranding exercise needs to start with a short list of adjectives that the brand is to represent, and I think that the Haskell community needs to decide this before it fires up Inkscape.  To that end, here are a sample of adjectives in alphabetical order:

abstract, academic, accessible, accurate, adventurous, business-like, communal, complicated, dangerous, different, easy, exciting, familiar, friendly, fun, fuzzy, hard, interesting, inventive, precise, productive, profitable, reliable, revolutionary, safe, simple, strange, supportive, warm, welcoming.

What are the top three adjectives we want to project?  Once we have decided that, we can write a brief for the Haskell logo.

Note that the selected adjectives need not be related.  In fact they may be partly contradictory.  I've already noted that the language is Vulcan whereas the community is Warm and Friendly.  So they might reasonably be the three adjectives (though I wouldn't take "Vulcan" too literally).  The challenge will then be for the graphical work to project these qualities, even if they seem incompatible.


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Re: The Haskell re-branding exercise

Don Stewart-2
Wonderful, Paul. Could you add your list of adjectives to the wiki page.

Note that the initial "deadline" was Dec 31, after which time we can
filter out dupes and narrow down the logos to about 5 or so different
directions to have a vote on. Anything you can do to help direct or
improve quality is welcome!

-- Don

paul:

>    A [1]call has gone out for a new logo for Haskell.  Candidates (including
>    a [2]couple of [3]mine) are accumulating [4]here.  There has also been a
>    long thread on the Haskell Cafe mailing list.
>
>    I've lived through a couple of corporate rebranding exercises in my time,
>    and I've read about some others.  They follow a pattern:
>
>     1. Management decide that the organisation needs a makeover to change
>        public perception.  A new corporate "look and feel" is part of this,
>        and a new logo is therefore required.  The rest of the makeover may be
>        deep or shallow; that doesn't affect the rest of this story.
>     2. The new branding is released with as much fanfare as possible.  Press
>        releases are released.  Staff are given briefings about the
>        significance of the whole exercise and the bold new future that it
>        symbolises.
>     3. The staff universally agree that the new logo is not a patch on the
>        old one.  The old one was a much loved friend; it stood for something;
>        people have spent years working for it.  The new one is obviously a
>        piece of cheap gimcrackery munged up by an overpaid consultancy hired
>        by senior managers who mistake image for substance.  A ten year-old
>        with an Etch-a-Sketch could have done better.
>     4. Over time the new logo blends in and becomes part of the scenery.
>        Years pass.  Go to stage 1 and repeat.
>
>    This suggests that the current effort to find a new logo for Haskell needs
>    to go back to the basics.  Its no good expecting consensus on one of the
>    suggestions because there are too many options and everyone has their
>    favourite.  Nothing will attract a majority of the community.
>
>    Furthermore I think that (just like programmers everywhere) we have dived
>    into development before deciding what the requirements are.  This is
>    reflected in the mailing list discussion, where two broad positions seem
>    to be emerging.
>
>      * On one side we have what I think of as the "Vulcans".  This group sees
>        Haskell as abstract and difficult, and believes that the logo should
>        reflect these qualities.  They want mathematical symbols to dominate
>        the design.
>      * On the other side we have the "Warm Fuzzies".  They want Haskell to be
>        perceived as accessible and welcoming, and so want a logo featuring
>        something warm and friendly.
>
>    A paradox of the Haskell world is that, while the language is Vulcan, the
>    community around it is dominated by Warm Fuzziness.  Clearly the two are
>    not mutually exclusive.
>
>    A rebranding exercise needs to start with a short list of adjectives that
>    the brand is to represent, and I think that the Haskell community needs to
>    decide this before it fires up Inkscape.  To that end, here are a sample
>    of adjectives in alphabetical order:
>
>    abstract, academic, accessible, accurate, adventurous, business-like,
>    communal, complicated, dangerous, different, easy, exciting, familiar,
>    friendly, fun, fuzzy, hard, interesting, inventive, precise, productive,
>    profitable, reliable, revolutionary, safe, simple, strange, supportive,
>    warm, welcoming.
>
>    What are the top three adjectives we want to project?  Once we have
>    decided that, we can write a brief for the Haskell logo.
>
>    Note that the selected adjectives need not be related.  In fact they may
>    be partly contradictory.  I've already noted that the language is Vulcan
>    whereas the community is Warm and Friendly.  So they might reasonably be
>    the three adjectives (though I wouldn't take "Vulcan" too literally).  The
>    challenge will then be for the graphical work to project these qualities,
>    even if they seem incompatible.
>
> References
>
>    Visible links
>    1. http://www.haskell.org/pipermail/haskell-cafe/2008-December/051836.html
>    2. http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/Image:Haskell-logo-revolution.png
>    3. http://www.haskell.org/sitewiki/images/f/fd/Ouroborous-oval.png
>    4. http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/Haskell_logos/New_logo_ideas

> _______________________________________________
> Haskell-Cafe mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe

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Re: The Haskell re-branding exercise

Sebastian Sylvan-2
In reply to this post by Paul Johnson-2


2008/12/21 Paul Johnson <[hidden email]>

This suggests that the current effort to find a new logo for Haskell needs to go back to the basics.  Its no good expecting consensus on one of the suggestions because there are too many options and everyone has their favourite.  Nothing will attract a majority of the community. 

I agree with this, which I why I would propose using Condorcet-voting. Personally I find the current logo horrendous. I think it's ugly and intimidating at the same time. I don't really care too much which one of the proposals should win, just so long as I can weed out some of the ones I really hate.

Condorcet voting will pick a good compromise, where someone like me could just put all the acceptable ones at shared #1, and all the ones I dislike at #2., and someone with stronger opinions could flesh it out some more. The point being that the "least disliked" logo wins out. Maybe nobody will be happy, but hopefully most people won't be deeply unhappy with it.

It would be a shame if there's lots of votes that are spread out over a large group of fairly similar logos that are good, and then a crappy one wins out with 6% of the vote because there weren't any others like it so the votes for that "style" weren't spread out over multiple entries.


Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condorcet_voting

--
Sebastian Sylvan
+44(0)7857-300802
UIN: 44640862

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Re: The Haskell re-branding exercise

Don Stewart-2
Would you be willing to set up a little online voting system (or do you
know of one) so we can implement this?

Assume there'll be < 10 candidates.

-- Don

sylvan:

>    2008/12/21 Paul Johnson <[1][hidden email]>
>
>      This suggests that the current effort to find a new logo for Haskell
>      needs to go back to the basics.  Its no good expecting consensus on one
>      of the suggestions because there are too many options and everyone has
>      their favourite.  Nothing will attract a majority of the community.
>
>    I agree with this, which I why I would propose using Condorcet-voting.
>    Personally I find the current logo horrendous. I think it's ugly and
>    intimidating at the same time. I don't really care too much which one of
>    the proposals should win, just so long as I can weed out some of the ones
>    I really hate.
>    Condorcet voting will pick a good compromise, where someone like me could
>    just put all the acceptable ones at shared #1, and all the ones I dislike
>    at #2., and someone with stronger opinions could flesh it out some more.
>    The point being that the "least disliked" logo wins out. Maybe nobody will
>    be happy, but hopefully most people won't be deeply unhappy with it.
>    It would be a shame if there's lots of votes that are spread out over a
>    large group of fairly similar logos that are good, and then a crappy one
>    wins out with 6% of the vote because there weren't any others like it so
>    the votes for that "style" weren't spread out over multiple entries.
>    Wikipedia:
>    [2]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condorcet_voting
>
>    --
>    Sebastian Sylvan
>    +44(0)7857-300802
>    UIN: 44640862
>
> References
>
>    Visible links
>    1. mailto:[hidden email]
>    2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condorcet_voting

> _______________________________________________
> Haskell-Cafe mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe

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Re: The Haskell re-branding exercise

Sebastian Sylvan-2
I am very shortly travelling abroad for several weeks and will not have (reliable access to) a computer, but isn't this a task for one of the haskell web-apps people (HSP, HAppS, Turbinado, etc.) to show us once and for all why *their* library is better than the competition? :-)

On Sun, Dec 21, 2008 at 9:23 PM, Don Stewart <[hidden email]> wrote:
Would you be willing to set up a little online voting system (or do you
know of one) so we can implement this?

Assume there'll be < 10 candidates.

-- Don

sylvan:
>    2008/12/21 Paul Johnson <[1][hidden email]>
>
>      This suggests that the current effort to find a new logo for Haskell
>      needs to go back to the basics.  Its no good expecting consensus on one
>      of the suggestions because there are too many options and everyone has
>      their favourite.  Nothing will attract a majority of the community.
>
>    I agree with this, which I why I would propose using Condorcet-voting.
>    Personally I find the current logo horrendous. I think it's ugly and
>    intimidating at the same time. I don't really care too much which one of
>    the proposals should win, just so long as I can weed out some of the ones
>    I really hate.
>    Condorcet voting will pick a good compromise, where someone like me could
>    just put all the acceptable ones at shared #1, and all the ones I dislike
>    at #2., and someone with stronger opinions could flesh it out some more.
>    The point being that the "least disliked" logo wins out. Maybe nobody will
>    be happy, but hopefully most people won't be deeply unhappy with it.
>    It would be a shame if there's lots of votes that are spread out over a
>    large group of fairly similar logos that are good, and then a crappy one
>    wins out with 6% of the vote because there weren't any others like it so
>    the votes for that "style" weren't spread out over multiple entries.
>    Wikipedia:
>    [2]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condorcet_voting
>
>    --
>    Sebastian Sylvan
>    +44(0)7857-300802
>    UIN: 44640862
>
> References
>
>    Visible links
>    1. mailto:[hidden email]
>    2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condorcet_voting

> _______________________________________________
> Haskell-Cafe mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/haskell-cafe




--
Sebastian Sylvan
+44(0)7857-300802
UIN: 44640862

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Re: The Haskell re-branding exercise

Matthias Kilian
In reply to this post by Don Stewart-2
On Sun, Dec 21, 2008 at 01:23:33PM -0800, Don Stewart wrote:
> Would you be willing to set up a little online voting system (or do you
> know of one) so we can implement this?
>
> Assume there'll be < 10 candidates.

What about www.doodle.com?

Ciao,
        Kili
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Re: The Haskell re-branding exercise

Don Stewart-2
kili:
> On Sun, Dec 21, 2008 at 01:23:33PM -0800, Don Stewart wrote:
> > Would you be willing to set up a little online voting system (or do you
> > know of one) so we can implement this?
> >
> > Assume there'll be < 10 candidates.
>
> What about www.doodle.com?

That looks like it might be an option, embedded in a page with the 10
candidates.

Thanks!

 Don
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Re: The Haskell re-branding exercise

ajb@spamcop.net
In reply to this post by Sebastian Sylvan-2
G'day all.

Quoting Sebastian Sylvan <[hidden email]>:

> Personally I find the current logo horrendous. I think it's ugly and
> intimidating at the same time. I don't really care too much which one of the
> proposals should win, just so long as I can weed out some of the ones I
> really hate.

I guess this is one difference between the Haskell rebranding exercise
and other corporate rebranding exercises: Nobody especially likes the
current logo.

(Disclaimer: It would be fair to say that there are some who don't hate
it as much as Sebastian, but nobody really "likes" it.)

Cheers,
Andrew Bromage
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Re: The Haskell re-branding exercise

Eelco Lempsink-4
In reply to this post by Sebastian Sylvan-2
On 21 dec 2008, at 22:26, Sebastian Sylvan wrote:
> I am very shortly travelling abroad for several weeks and will not  
> have (reliable access to) a computer, but isn't this a task for one  
> of the haskell web-apps people (HSP, HAppS, Turbinado, etc.) to show  
> us once and for all why *their* library is better than the  
> competition? :-)

Hmm, right.  I started on a thing in HAppS.  See http://github.com/eelco/voting/ 
  for the source code (contributors more than welcome!) and http://code.tupil.com/voting/ 
  for a live demo.  It relies heavily on javascript, needs some work  
on the UI and there are a lot of features that could be added, but "it  
works".

--
Regards,

Eelco Lempsink


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Re: The Haskell re-branding exercise

Loup Vaillant
2008/12/22 Eelco Lempsink <[hidden email]>:
> Hmm, right.  I started on a thing in HAppS.  See
> http://github.com/eelco/voting/ for the source code (contributors more than
> welcome!) and http://code.tupil.com/voting/ for a live demo.  It relies
> heavily on javascript, needs some work on the UI and there are a lot of
> features that could be added, but "it works".

Great.
Could it be further hacked to accept ties, as suggested by Sebastian?
Something like:

thingie1 thingie1bis
thingie3
thingie4 thingie4bis

Regards,
Loup
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Re: The Haskell re-branding exercise

Isaac Dupree
In reply to this post by Paul Johnson-2
(responding with just a bit of possibly relevant context,
not always directly)

Paul Johnson wrote:
> I've lived through a couple of corporate rebranding exercises in my time, and
> I've read about some others.  They follow a pattern:
> ...
>    2. The new branding is released with as much fanfare as possible.  Press
>       releases are released.  Staff are given briefings about the significance
>       of the whole exercise and the bold new future that it symbolises.

I don't think our choice of logo is quite as significant as
a corporate logo.  We could even use more than one logo if
we wanted (maybe different people or different places).  The
current logo is prominent on the haskell.org (and
wikipedia), mainly... places I rarely see, when working on
Haskell.

I see a couple things people are trying to do

-> Self-descriptive, without trying to change the way we are
as a community or a language

-> Inviting to newcomers, mostly independent of how we
actually work (although better if we advertize things we can
actually provide, of course)

I don't think it's trying to create a change in the language
or the community, mostly it's to reflect the change that has
already happened.

>    3. The staff universally agree that the new logo is not a patch on the old
>       one.  The old one was a much loved friend; it stood for something; people
>       have spent years working for it.  The new one is obviously a piece of
>       cheap gimcrackery

yup, I'll miss the old logo.  To me, it still looks
beautiful, clean and fitting.

> A paradox of the Haskell world is that, while the language is Vulcan, the
> community around it is dominated by Warm Fuzziness.  Clearly the two are not
> mutually exclusive.

nice observation!

> A rebranding exercise needs to start with a short list of adjectives that the
> brand is to represent,

good idea... although we could just be attracted by whatever
proposed logo happens to have beauty instead, if our only
purpose is not to be stuck with an ugly logo.

> and I think that the Haskell community needs to decide
> this before it fires up Inkscape.

or in parallel with :-) -- random creativity can help us
start thinking about what we don't want to see, and why we
don't want to see it, too

-Isaac
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Re: The Haskell re-branding exercise

Eelco Lempsink-4
In reply to this post by Loup Vaillant
On 22 dec 2008, at 19:14, Loup Vaillant wrote:

> 2008/12/22 Eelco Lempsink <[hidden email]>:
>> Hmm, right.  I started on a thing in HAppS.  See
>> http://github.com/eelco/voting/ for the source code (contributors  
>> more than
>> welcome!) and http://code.tupil.com/voting/ for a live demo.  It  
>> relies
>> heavily on javascript, needs some work on the UI and there are a  
>> lot of
>> features that could be added, but "it works".
>
> Great.
> Could it be further hacked to accept ties, as suggested by Sebastian?
> Something like:
>
> thingie1 thingie1bis
> thingie3
> thingie4 thingie4bis

Yes.  Done.  It's quite tricky to get the dragging and dropping  
interface to work nice, but I think I'm getting close.  If anybody  
with jQuery experience has some ideas how to improve it, please do :)

--
Regards,

Eelco Lempsink


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Re: The Haskell re-branding exercise

Don Stewart-2
In reply to this post by Eelco Lempsink-4
eelco:

> On 21 dec 2008, at 22:26, Sebastian Sylvan wrote:
> >I am very shortly travelling abroad for several weeks and will not  
> >have (reliable access to) a computer, but isn't this a task for one  
> >of the haskell web-apps people (HSP, HAppS, Turbinado, etc.) to show  
> >us once and for all why *their* library is better than the  
> >competition? :-)
>
> Hmm, right.  I started on a thing in HAppS.  See
> http://github.com/eelco/voting/ for the source code (contributors more
>  than welcome!) and http://code.tupil.com/voting/ for a live demo.  It
>  relies heavily on javascript, needs some work  on the UI and there are a
> lot of features that could be added, but "it  works".
>

Yay! Yes, let's do something like this.

-- Don
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Re: The Haskell re-branding exercise

Paul Johnson-2
In reply to this post by Paul Johnson-2
Paul Johnson wrote:

> A call has gone out
> <http://www.haskell.org/pipermail/haskell-cafe/2008-December/051836.html>
> for a new logo for Haskell.  Candidates (including a couple
> <http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/Image:Haskell-logo-revolution.png>
> of mine
> <http://www.haskell.org/sitewiki/images/f/fd/Ouroborous-oval.png>) are
> accumulating here
> <http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/Haskell_logos/New_logo_ideas>.  
> There has also been a long thread on the Haskell Cafe mailing list.
>
So what's happening about this?

Paul.

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Re: The Haskell re-branding exercise

Don Stewart-2
paul:

> Paul Johnson wrote:
>> A call has gone out  
>> <http://www.haskell.org/pipermail/haskell-cafe/2008-December/051836.html>
>> for a new logo for Haskell.  Candidates (including a couple  
>> <http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/Image:Haskell-logo-revolution.png>  
>> of mine  
>> <http://www.haskell.org/sitewiki/images/f/fd/Ouroborous-oval.png>) are  
>> accumulating here  
>> <http://www.haskell.org/haskellwiki/Haskell_logos/New_logo_ideas>.  
>> There has also been a long thread on the Haskell Cafe mailing list.
>>
> So what's happening about this?


We need a voting site set up. There was some progress prior to the end
of the year. Updates welcome!

-- Don
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Re: The Haskell re-branding exercise

Andrew Wagner

We need a voting site set up. There was some progress prior to the end
of the year. Updates welcome!

-- Don


Can't we just use the haskell proposal reddit for this?


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Re: The Haskell re-branding exercise

Don Stewart-2
wagner.andrew:
>
>     We need a voting site set up. There was some progress prior to the end
>     of the year. Updates welcome!
>
>     -- Don
>
> Can't we just use the haskell proposal reddit for this?
 
Hmm... not ideal. Would make a backup should all else fail.


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Re: The Haskell re-branding exercise

Andrew Wagner
Um, ok. Glad we could "discuss" it

On Sat, Feb 7, 2009 at 1:12 PM, Don Stewart <[hidden email]> wrote:
wagner.andrew:
>
>     We need a voting site set up. There was some progress prior to the end
>     of the year. Updates welcome!
>
>     -- Don
>
> Can't we just use the haskell proposal reddit for this?

Hmm... not ideal. Would make a backup should all else fail.




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Re: The Haskell re-branding exercise

Don Stewart-2
    Oh, we had a long discussion about the need for condorcet voting,
    not a system like the reddit which is prone to abuse.

    Also, it would be good to have the images inline.
   
wagner.andrew:

> Um, ok. Glad we could "discuss" it
>
> On Sat, Feb 7, 2009 at 1:12 PM, Don Stewart <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>     wagner.andrew:
>     >
>     >     We need a voting site set up. There was some progress prior to the
>     end
>     >     of the year. Updates welcome!
>     >
>     >     -- Don
>     >
>     > Can't we just use the haskell proposal reddit for this?
>
>     Hmm... not ideal. Would make a backup should all else fail.
>
>
>
>
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Re[2]: The Haskell re-branding exercise

Bulat Ziganshin-2
In reply to this post by Don Stewart-2
Hello Don,

Saturday, February 7, 2009, 8:20:23 PM, you wrote:

> We need a voting site set up. There was some progress prior to the end
> of the year. Updates welcome!

i think that there are a lot of free voting/survey services available.
the last one i went through was LimeSurvey available for any SF
project and on separate site too

http://apps.sourceforge.net/trac/sitedocs/wiki/Hosted%20Apps
https://www.limeservice.com/


--
Best regards,
 Bulat                            mailto:[hidden email]

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