We need a logo eventually

We’ve needed a logo for a while. It’s not urgent, but I bumped into this logo on Twitter today, and I desperately wish we had grabbed it, but it’s already gone.

This is the core idea behind our site, so ideally we can evoke it somehow in our logo.


I’m gonna ask the logo.pizza person if he/she has ideas, in case they like what we’re doing.

After talking to the logo.pizza person (Dave DeSandro), he’s not able to make a new logo for us. I’ve asked him to send my contact info and the mytake.org website to the logo’s current owner. He doesn’t seem very comfortable with that, so unlikely that we’ll grab it.

It’s too bad because we were already thinking in this direction (since Feb 2017), but now it’s gonna be tough to navigate the available space without stepping on this logo’s toes.

Another issue to consider is the U.S. flag code. We can incorporate stars and stripes, but the full flag is a no-no. Some useful links:

Here are some other “eye” logos that are for sale:


This one could incorporate the “political mind bicycle” angle, but it’s a stretch http://www.logoground.com/logo.php?id=61495

I took a hack at a “venn-diagram-pupil-eye”, but it doesn’t seem promising.


Another angle to take is the “document” angle. The Philadelphia 76’ers (aka 1776’ers) recently unveiled a new jersey designed to be “Constitution-parchment-color”. I think it’s got some cool design elements.

There are some logos for sale that emphasize the document angle:


I think my favorite so far is the TreeEdition scroll. $275. It’s optimistic, and really hits home for our “foundation of documents” idea. There’s lots of experiments we can do with it too, e.g. “We the people” on the first line of scroll, and maybe make the leaves red and blue:


Our most pressing need for a logo is for Facebook and Twitter embeds, like this:


Here’s the TreeEdition logo at that size, seems pretty recognizable:


I like the tree logo, agree with changing the color of the leaves, but should be red, white, and blue. Love the 'We the People" at the foundation page.

Trouble with white leaves is we’d need a black background. Worth exploring though.

Playing around in Inkscape here

Ooh, I like the concept of the venn-diagram applied to speech bubbles. I also like the frayed edges on the scroll. Inkscape skillz.

I’m a little concerned about the “.org” being an afterthought rather than a key part of the logo. I think it’s fine if the words are not in the logo at all (e.g. venn-diagram speech bubbles on their own), but I’m a little nervous about TM issues if users could reasonably assume that our name is “My Take”, rather than “MyTake.org”.

I think we can subdivide our users into three groups

  1. Reader Only interaction with MyTake.org is via reading (either a take or just a foundation permalink)
  2. Author, no account Posts foundation permalinks to facebook / twitter
  3. Author, has account Publishes and shares takes

All our users are going to start as Reader, some will become Author, no account, only a few will become Author, has account.

It seems we have a few brand themes that make sense, which we can mush them together. Here’s the order that we “discovered” these themes in this thread

  1. common-ground (venn-diagram)
  2. see for yourself (eye)
  3. patriotism (red white & blue / stars & stripes)
  4. stable truth (foundation / trunk / scroll)
  5. discussion (speech bubble)

We aren’t really building a discussion product. We discussed this option in the past (4, 5), but decided against it because we don’t have anything novel to offer. It would be nice if people wanted to compromise and discuss nicely, but they don’t - building a site for nice discussion isn’t going to have many users. We’re building a self-advertising research tool, which self-advertises via published takes and foundation permalinks on social media.

In terms of the themes above, I think all 5 are important to us, but I’d personally rank them them in this order:

  1. stable truth (foundation / trunk / scroll)
  2. see for yourself (eye)
  3. common-ground (venn-diagram)
  4. patriotism (red white & blue / stars & stripes)
  5. discussion (speech bubble)

Here’s how I think we should decide to commit to a brand.

  1. We’re all confident that we don’t have any more ideas for themes.
  2. We’re all confident in the ranking of the themes.
  3. We’re all happy that the logo we’ve selected manifests the most-important themes, and is easy to identify in the 48x48 circle that social media allows us.

Personally, I’m quite satisfied with the “TreeEdition” logo. I think it hits our most important theme, and offers lots of opportunities for variants that emphasize the other themes which are important to us.

But there’s no rush, so until we’re all happy with it, we should keep looking.

Love the deliberative decision process. As you can see above I did like the tree with a strong foundation because it speaks to our desire for expanded thinking from a strong foundation. The document with script awesomespeaks to the authoring part of it, but I’m not sure that it can function as both foundation and as author of new opinions. Have to have a think about it and come back to it.

I pulled the trigger and purchased the TreeEdition logo. I asked the designer to change the name to
"MyTake.org", and also to make the leaves red and blue - we get those by default in the purchase contract. I also asked the designer to read this thread and give other ideas / variations if she has them. That would be going above and beyond the purchase agreement, not sure if she’ll have time/interest for that.

I made the purchase because the sting of wasting $275 on a logo we don’t use will be much less than the sting of not being able to use the tree-as-foundation theme because we decided we wanted it after it had already been purchased. So look for an incoming version in full vector format and with no watermark, but don’t be shy to keep finding new themes or pushing for a different logo structure.

Thanks to Melanie (the designer of the tree logo), we’ve already got 4 different directions to head towards:

A is a great experiment. I don’t like the eye, and I also don’t like “MyTake.org” on the scroll. I think it’s fine if the logo doesn’t contain the words “MyTake.org”, but it’s good to see them tried-on for size.

Between A&D vs B&C, I much prefer the “we the people” of A&D. It’s more compact, which gives us more space for other elements. I think the trees probably have too much trunk, especially for the 48x48 circle size. The compact “we the people” of A&D gives us space to move the scroll up and shrink the trunk if we want to, or to have a big flowery “MyTake.org” through the middle like C. I think C as it is has too much fighting between “We the people” and “MyTake.org”, which would be resolved if the “we the people” were more compact as in A&D.

I propose that we ask for the vectors for D, and then we can mess with it ourselves over time. I think we’ll definitely need to make a “mini” version that eliminates the minor branches and has a smaller number of bigger leaves.


I agree with all of your thoughts. In addition I believe we should have a red white and blue leaves because otherwise it looks like it’s just red and blue for Democrat and Republican. It might mean we need the tree to be in a circle of a color that will allow those 3 colors to show, or if it’s just outlined that would be fine too. I also struggle a little with the gold-ish color of the tree, it doesn’t compliment the primary colors.

We often don’t control the background that the logo is placed on. For example, here is my favorites bar. Light background is normal, dark background is incognito mode:

Here’s the logo with a black background so the leaves can be white:


And here’s a white trunk:


At the 16x16 size, it’s really busy to have more than 3 colors, and unless you’re using a background fill, white can’t be one of them. With red/white/blue, you need a background fill, so you’re forced into 4.

I think the color scheme / layout of the original has the best chance at shrinking to a recognizable 16x16 logo, but we’ll see if Todd is able to work some magic :slight_smile:

Thematically, I think it’s okay if we’re evoking a hint of Democrat / Republican. Having different shades of red / blue hints at different opinions on the liberal / conservative spectrum, with a-political “document-color” as the neutral ground that they both draw from. White is also a good neutral color, but it only works if we also control the background, which leads to 4 colors at 16x16 size.

Tough to achieve all our thematic and aesthetic goals within our technical constraints :confused:

Logo vectors available here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=19tsvtRYVW6LluGigfNbRVLToAmhFyHVM

Here are 3 variations based on the comments. There are fewer branches and bigger leaves, which will help with the tiny sized use-cases. One with white leaves with borders. Another with all the brown removed and replaced with a greyscale gradient from the red/blue color palette.

And here ----> favicon <----- is one possible 16x16 representation we can use.

How do they look at facebook embed size? 16x16 favicon size? I think at both of these embed sizes, the outlined leaves are not going to visible.

Also, our logo vectors need to be different at different sizes. I think the original branches are better than these at large size. But I bet these simplified vectors look great at 64x64 or even 32x32, where the original looks bad. But I bet it’s still too complex for 16x16, and will need further simplification at that size. e.g.

I had the same thought process as you. The ones with fewer branches and larger leaves are meant for the higher resolution tiny sizes, like 64x64 and 128x128. In these cases, the resolution is good enough to be sharp, but small enough to force us into a simpler design.

I posted several options so we can discuss what we like, what we don’t and then I’ll pop out the numerous pixel perfect images from there.

The tiny group of 5 leaves favicon is exactly 16x16 for the favicon, which will be as small as we can go and there’s no way to fit more than a few leaves at that size. Another option is to try the scroll at 16x16.

Gotcha. I think it’s hard to say if they’re working unless we can see them at their intended size, next to their other-sized compatriots. The little “wheat stalk” above is very pretty, but I don’t think it’s immediately obvious that it’s the MyTake.org logo. What if the leaves aren’t individually visible at 16x16, but become more stylized. Can we evoke the tree and red/blue mottle at the size, if we give up on individual leaves?


I tried fitting a whole tree into a 16x16 space, but it’s just a mottled mass of color. Even with just a single pixel of color representing a leaf, it doesn’t look right. A common approach for favicons is to use portions of the logo, so I think it will make sense that the 5 leaves represents our logo when our logo is also at the top of each page and on social media sites.

I followed this link for guidelines: https://web.archive.org/web/20140514001949/https://www.creativebloq.com/illustrator/create-perfect-favicon-12112760

You can see how mailchimp has an entire monkey for their logo and just the head for the favicon, another company had a 3d perspective box with a star on the side and just the star is the favicon, etc.

I’ll work on 32x32 and up from here. We should start to see more detail at that size.

The wheat is very distinctive, and fairly on-brand, so I’m 100% good with using it. One tweak - if you bring up a 16x16 grid on the vector, it looks like there are some minor position changes that could make it a bit less fuzzy. The left side of the top leaf should either be mostly in its column of pixels or out of it - right now it’s fuzzier-looking than it needs to be.

That said, I think monkey -> monkey head is easier for the user to follow than tree -> wheat. I think we can definitely represent a tree at 16x16, but it may well be that the red / blue mottling makes it impossible to be as good as the wheat.

I’d expect that one-pixel red and one-pixel blue would be bad, but I’d think there’s space for blue on the left, red on the right, and a jagged transition that makes it look overall mottled…