Re: Linux Logo prototype.

Linus Torvalds (
Thu, 9 May 1996 17:48:56 +0300 (EET DST)

On Thu, 9 May 1996, Dale Scheetz wrote:
> I was unable to find a globe that displayed more than the Americas. As a
> result I resorted to a map of the world instead. This is just a cut and
> paste prototype made from available clip art (I am no artist) but I think
> that it portrays the right idea.
> Give me some feedback on this and I'll see if I can find a technically
> good artist to work up a better version.
> Sorry that I don't know a better place to put this.

Somebody had a logo competition announcement, maybe people can send their
ideas to a web-site..

Anyway, this one looks like the poor penguin is not really strong enough to
hold up the world, and it's going to get squashed. Not a good, positive logo,
in that respect..

Now, when you think about penguins, first take a deep calming breath, and
then think "cuddly". Take another breath, and think "cute". Go back to
"cuddly" for a while (and go on breathing), then think "contented".

With me so far? Good..

Now, with penguins, (cuddly such), "contented" means it has either just
gotten laid, or it's stuffed on herring. Take it from me, I'm an expert on
penguins, those are really the only two options.

Now, working on that angle, we don't really want to be associated with a
randy penguin (well, we do, but it's not politic, so we won't), so we
should be looking at the "stuffed to its brim with herring" angle here.

So when you think "penguin", you should be imagining a slighly overweight
penguin (*), sitting down after having gorged itself, and having just burped.
It's sitting there with a beatific smile - the world is a good place to be
when you have just eaten a few gallons of raw fish and you can feel another
"burp" coming.

(*) Not FAT, but you should be able to see that it's sitting down because
it's really too stuffed to stand up. Think "bean bag" here.

Now, if you have problems associating yourself with something that gets
off by eating raw fish, think "chocolate" or something, but you get the

Ok, so we should be thinking of a lovable, cuddly, stuffed penguin
sitting down after having gorged itself on herring. Still with me?

NOW comes the hard part. With this image firmly etched on your eyeballs, you
then scetch a stylizied version of it. Not a lot of detail - just a black
brush-type outline (you know the effect you get with a brush where the
thickness of the line varies). THAT requires talent. Give people the
outline, and they should say [ sickly sweet voice, babytalk almost ]"Ooh,
what a cuddly penguin, I bet he is just _stuffed_ with herring", and small
children will jump up and down and scream "mommy mommy, can I have one too?".

Then we can do a larger version with some more detail (maybe leaning
against a globe of the world, but I don't think we really want to give
any "macho penguin" image here about Atlas or anything). That more
detailed version can spank billy-boy to tears for all I care, or play
ice-hockey with the FreeBSD demon. But the simple, single penguin would
be the logo, and the others would just be that cuddly penguin being used
as an actor in some tableau.