Two important things before you get started:
Logo & brand marks
The relationship between logo and brand
How people think of the Wikimedia Foundation and the work that we do is our brand. Our logo is the trigger, or symbol, for feelings about our brand. Our logo is the signifier. The values and projects and people associated with the symbol are called the signified. For example, when I smell chicken soup (signifier) I think of my grandmother (signified). She made really good chicken soup, but that smell reminds me of all the other wonderful things she did as well. Her brand is strong. In fact, “grandmother” may be the strongest brand in the world.
People see our logo and they think of all the good things the Foundation does. We’re collecting all of the world’s knowledge! We’re fighting for open standards! We’re suggesting for the rights of people to tell their own stories!
What form those thoughts take has more to do with the actions of our organization than the mark itself. The same logo can come to signify good or bad things depending on how the represented organization behaves. And if an organization’s brand is rotten no amount of pretty logos can save it. But if an organization’s brand is healthy—if that organization does good in the world, and does it in a positive way—then its logo will always be viewed in a positive light.
Let’s keep Wikimedia’s brand in a good light. So far so good.
It’s a nice logo. It’s got a friendly non-gendered vaguely human shape on it. The human looks to be raising their arms in celebration. It’s consistent with the joy of the Wikimedia movement as a whole. These are good things. They evoke the joy that people feel in using the foundation’s projects to give we humans around the globe a hand in writing their own story in their own voice.
The foundation’s name is spelled out in a nice, wide, easy-to-read-and-translate typeface. And, for the first time, it’s an open source typeface! So that’s pretty Sweet.
We designed this to be open to constant evolution. Because that's what our brand is about.
We have a few suggestions we encourage everyone to follow to keep the brand and logo consistent. The more we're consistent, the easier it is for everyone to understand what our brand is about. Consistency is about maintaining familiar concepts. Reusing common patterns and concepts enable people all over the world to benefit from the good feelings about our brand.
- Keep the relationship of the shape and the text the same.
- Keep the font in Montserrat. (it’s a font licensed under a free, libre and open-source license!)
There are different situations where one of the lock-ups works better than the other. (For example: that stacked one looks really nice on posters and letterheads.)
Let’s talk about color. We reduced the logo down to only one color. That makes it more flexible and much easier to use in different situations. For example, here it is on black:
We can drop that logo down on any color background, and even on top of a busy background like a photo, and it reads pretty well. The forms are clear. The type is wide. The contrast is high. You just need to decide which color to use. Want to make it red? We can’t stop you. So go ahead. Wanna tie-dye it? I suppose we can’t stop you from doing that either.
We have however, come up with a system to use the previous color palette to show specific categories.
Wikimedia is an open platform. So our logo needs to be an open platform as well. Changing the font to Montserrat, is a right step in that direction. We also want to make it easy for everyone to make your own Wikimedia logo when you need to. (But first, check if there’s already one in the repository. And please add yours to the repository after you’ve made it.)
To make sure that the Wikimedia logos share a common DNA, we have a few suggestions.
- The relationship between the mark and the word WIKIMEDIA shouldn’t change.
- The space between the mark and the work WIKIMEDIA is the same as the space between every line of type.
- The country or organizational name under WIKIMEDIA shouldn’t go beyond the width of that word. For example, the letters in BRAZIL can have loose spacing, but letters in longer words like LUXEMBOURG cannot.
- In the horizontal logo, the second line is aligned to the leg of the W, not the left-most edge. Because Ws are weird and it looks funny the other way.
- When a third line is added to the horizontal logo, it goes above the word WIKIMEDIA and lines up with the third line, not the second.
- You like circles? BOOM. The mark is the same height as the text in a three line logo.
These seem like really relaxed logo guidelines
You’re correct. Then again, if they were strict we wouldn’t put up with them.
We can’t keep anyone from doing any of these things! We’d rather they didn’t do things like that, because ultimately they ruin the brand. But telling people what they can and can’t do isn’t who we are. We’ve built our success by trusting the people who build and edit and read our projects. And it’s worked. So we’re building our style guide the same way. (But seriously, don’t do that stuff up there.)