Proposed Logos for the IFSO

23rd February, 2004

Here are a few ideas for a simple black-and-white logo for the Irish Free Software Organisation.

Celtic Font 1
IFSO - Irish Free Software Organisation

This design is based upon the uppercase letters from the pre-standardisation Celtic font. Among the lowercase letters, the letter 's' looks like an 'r'.

Celtic Font 2
IFSO - Irish Free Software Organisation

A similar design, but with the letter 'F' pulled up, so that the 'I' and the 'S' nest into it, drawing attention to the elegant angle of the serifs.

IFSO - Irish Free Software Organisation

A free-flowing logo drawn with a brush. Very distinctive looking. Thanks to my brother for this one.


Why no gnu?

I mentioned the issue of a logo privately to Ciaran O'Riordan after seeing his proposed 'gnu playing a harp' on the fsfe-ie mailing-list, and since then I read up all mentions of it on the list archive. It seems no-one but Ciaran came up with any other suggestions, and several IFSO members liked the Gnu and harp combination.

While I like the gnu as a logo for the FSF and the GNU Project (it's charming and playful), I can see many reasons not to use a gnu for our logo.

Other Ideas

I know these logos seem a little plain. I had played about with adding some graphics but nothing quite seemed to work as well as the plain initials. The first idea I had was to include some simple Celtic knot-work on the Celtic Font logo (where the full organisation name is now), possibly including the head of a bird pointing out to the right. A bird is a very popular symbol for freedom, the AFFS uses one on their logo. Next I thought, maybe a swan in flight, as in the Children of Lir (although in fact, being swans represented imprisonment for the children, rather than freedom). Anyway, I came up with a nice silhouette shape, but it didn't fit well with either the Celtic Font or the Brush-Drawn lettering, and it seemed to mean too little by itself. (Perhaps it might yet work as a very-pale-tinted background to the Brush-Drawn logo.)

If you have an further suggestions for logos, or suggested modifications for the ones here, feel free to e-mail me: cathalmcginley at eircom dot net

How the logos were produced

I used SANE to scan a page of Celtic type for the first two logos, and my brother's brush-sketch for the third. The scanned images were cleaned up, scaled to size and blurred slightly with the GIMP. I used potrace to convert the bitmap images into SVG. The rest of the work was done with Sodipodi. The images used on this page were grabbed from Sodipodi by the simple expedient of using KSnapshot when they were at a scale I liked. The smaller versions of the logo, without the full organisation name, were produced using GIMP.

You can mess about with the SVG images in Sodipodi if you like. They're GPL'd, (and why not?). Please send me any interesting variations.

Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.

Copyright © Cathal Mc Ginley 2004