[Pythonmac-SIG] MacPython logo redux

Kevin Ollivier kevino at tulane.edu
Tue Nov 4 13:46:58 EST 2003

Hi Bob,

On Nov 4, 2003, at 9:58 AM, Bob Ippolito wrote:

> You may have a point with regard to people disliking/being afraid of 
> snakes.  However, I'm not sure how much weight that really carries.  
> Python isn't named FuzzyBunny, and even though the language was not 
> named after the snake, it seems that most people (even the people that 
> know the reference) make the snake association.  Also, most (all?) 
> software developers/researchers/hobbyists/etc are mature enough to not 
> have a problem with a depiction of a snake.

As far as it may affect people's desire to check out the language on 
Mac, I think it carries a lot of weight. Certainly I personally am more 
interested in convincing people to consider using Python than I am of 
making sure the snake reference is adhered to. And on the flip-side of 
the coin, it isn't named DangerousBadassSnake either. I guess I 
actually see the Python community as playful, light-hearted - i.e. Tim 
Peters' Zen of Python. The Windows snake, the PyGame logo, and the 
16-Ton icon (though an obscure reference) keep this feeling of 
playfulness/silliness - this new icon doesn't say "playful" or 
"light-hearted" at all. I don't associate it with my own experiences 
using Python. It makes me think 'tough' and 'dangerous', and I don't 
see why one would want to convey the Python software/community that 

Also, I personally don't think it's an issue of maturity - I personally 
find spiders creepy, and would like to avoid looking at or touching 
them if at all possible. ;-) Does this mean I'm immature? I don't think 
so. I can't say that my perception of spiders is rational; but its 
there and I'd guess it's built-in. And I'd bet it's why you don't see 
many "realistic" spider-based logos - the ones you do see are 
'abstract' ala Spider-Man.

> Yes, the logo is detailed, but scaling is not an issue because I have 
> access to the designer and can have him tweak an icns file to get the 
> low res versions right.  Besides, it's layered photoshop, and 
> organized well enough so that even I could rather painlessly remove 
> enough of the detail to have it gracefully scale down to 32x32 just by 
> hiding layers.
> As far as the apple goes, it's a separate layer and can be replaced 
> with other things for customization purposes -- i.e. you could 
> potentially put something that looks like a console there for 
> PyInterpreter.  I'm not terribly concerned with Windows XP, I just 
> want something to work for OS X.

Still, I think brand consistency is important, and if we're going to 
change the logo, we might as well make it consistent. For example, the 
'Tux' image is pretty consistently used with Linux. (Sure some folks 
have taken a picture of a penguin and turned it into an icon, but we 
all know what Tux looks like.) Having different snakes on different 
platforms dilutes the brand, and icons are definitely about promoting 
the brand/product/whatever. That's my two cents, anyways.



> On Nov 4, 2003, at 12:28 PM, Kevin Ollivier wrote:
>> I have to say I will always vote against anything that looks like a 
>> real snake, art or picture. The problem is that some people find 
>> snakes creepy (the scales, eyes). A picture that *abstractly* looks 
>> like a snake or is playful, i.e. the PyGame or Windows Python icon, 
>> is OK, but something that is quite realistic (i.e. the O'Reilly 
>> Pocket Reference), even if not intentionally spooky or creepy, 
>> nonetheless is so to people who dislike or are afraid of snakes. (And 
>> the media does play on this - you're most likely to see snakes in 
>> horror movies or wilderness shows like "Crocodile Hunter" - they 
>> present the image of dangerous, creepy, menacing.)
>> And after reading an article from Linus last night, I have a slightly 
>> new perspective on this issue - after all, just WHAT does a penguin 
>> have to do with an operating system kernel? ;-) But there is little 
>> doubt that 'Tux' is well-liked in the community and is now clearly 
>> associated with Linux and open source. And it really is a good icon 
>> design - bright colors, cute-looking, and heck, most everyone likes 
>> penguins. So I think a realistic snake icon may just be swinging the 
>> pendulum in the other direction - going from too abstract to too 
>> realistic.
>> On the more 'practical' side, I think the icon is too detailed to 
>> show clearly at small sizes, like 32x32, and I'm not sure the Apple 
>> reference is really needed. A good icon could be used on XP as well, 
>> and plus Mac users know they're on Mac - I've seen very few icons (if 
>> any) which use the Apple logo in them. I think it really needs to be 
>> kept simple.
>> Kevin
>> On Nov 4, 2003, at 8:33 AM, Bob Ippolito wrote:
>>> Sorry to bring this up.. but it took a couple months to get this :)
>>> I had my roommate ( Evan Mathis - http://www.morevisual.com/ ) come 
>>> up with a new MacPython logo:
>>> 	http://undefined.org/python/py_mac-sq-256.png (the original is in 
>>> Photoshop format, and is much higher resolution than this)
>>> Which is a potential replacement for:
>>> 	http://homepages.cwi.nl/~jack/macpython/pics/MacPyBanner.gif
>>> 	(look at it from http://homepages.cwi.nl/~jack/macpython/ -- the 
>>> transparency on that gif is.. weird)
>>> Another suggested candidate was:
>>> 	http://gandreas.dsl.visi.com:8000/IndyIcon.tif (Glenn Andreas)
>>> So, anyone like it, hate it?  I know that some people are opposed to 
>>> the snake, but this one is not a photo of a real Python.  I like it, 
>>> and other Python-the-language-related-things use 
>>> Python-the-snake-related-identities and I think it's important to 
>>> keep that kinda consistent.  A 16 ton weight takes quite a few leaps 
>>> to get there and I don't believe other 
>>> Python-the-language-related-things use 16 ton weights.  And as 
>>> discussed before, the cool Python text featured on 
>>> http://www.python.org/ does not work at small resolutions, so that 
>>> is not an option.
>>> -bob
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