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We're contributing to a new audio compression technology called "Opus" and we'd like to have a logo and other design materials to help brand the upcoming release. This is co-development effort between Mozilla, Skype, Xiph.Org Foundation, and others, coordinated through IETF.org, so it shouldn't feel like a Firefox thing. While we want branding for the project effort, where a technology piece like a codec is concerned, the most important things to communicate are support and compatibility. So we'd like something small and iconic, which also works, or has a version in, black and white, so it can be used as a certification mark on devices. The project website is http://opus-codec.org/ Distinguishing aspects of the Opus codec are: both speech and music (earlier codecs only do one or the other), chatting with your friends, real-time connection, open web, anyone can use it, interactivity.
Some design input from the codec developers, to get things started: http://jmvalin.ca/misc_stuff/opus_logo5.png http://pirmann.quuxuum.org/gif/opus.gif http://people.xiph.org/~greg/opusg7.png Sites which contributed technology: http://celt-codec.org/ http://developer.skype.com/silk
Another possibility is something like a headset for the O (e.g., like http://www.makita.com/en-us/Assets/Images/Company/feel_headphones_icon.gif), in conjunction with the eighth note for the p. Leaving the "us" in a normal font also has some nice connotations.
So far the best I managed to come up with is http://jmvalin.ca/misc_stuff/opus_logo6.png
There is also: http://bemasc.net/~bens/opus-q.svg (notions including the Op from whole and eighth nodes representing music and high and low latency, the ʊ IPA phoneme and the speech bubble representing speech, and the integral sign for integration. This is all just random musing, no one is particularly married to any of these silly ideas… unfortunately they seem to clutter the mark)
Hey Ralph. Could you let us know what your desired timing is for this?
The big release push comes with the publication of the draft specification, which is happening ASAP, but probably not before the end of the month. Much of the timing is out of our hands, but I'll be able to give two weeks notice or so on the real event. I'd say the end of October is a good deadline for now.
To clarify a bit, we'd like to have something in time for the next IETF meeting, November 13th. That would be a chance to familiarize the technical community with the new site. We're unlikely to have RFC publication, and the associated public launch, until December, so there's a time for teaking things. However, there are a number of stakeholders who will want to review the design ideas, so I think we really need some ideas we can share in October to get the buy-in we want in time for launch.
Sean, are you cool with taking this (as discussed earlier in the week)?
Hey all, Please review http://cl.ly/1Y3O3F2Q433o2k3N0D3N and let me know your thoughts. Used the simple shape of the note and kept it clean and subtle. I think it works very well!
Thanks Sean. I like it. It does look very clean. I prefer he version on the left with the elipse. It looks more dynamic. I do worry that it looks like Opus is just about music, and we're not communicating the chat/interactive aspects.
I'm also a bit concerned about the logo being a bit too oriented towards music. Otherwise, I like the general design of the ellipse+note on the left, but I feel like it's not really connected with the rest of the logo.
Thanks for the feedback! Stay tuned for another round of creative soon.
I like this design a lot. One of the things I like about it is that it naturally generates a small iconic logo for when there isn't room to spell out the name. It would be nice if the small-icon version of the logo were still able to represent the "(voip/speech) + music hybrid" idea.
Hey guys. Great feedback on the logo...glad you like the initial direction. Just to set expectations, we'll be able to do one more rev with Sean, but he has some pressing projects lined up after this so we won't be able to go much more beyond that.
Thanks all! Here's another round making the shape more like a chat bubble: http://cl.ly/2W0o2p2x0D3I0W2R0v3Z Let me know what you think!
The chat bubble is a brilliant idea! I really like that as a way to combine the two ideas. I think it's too subtle though; the note is so stong it's hard to see the outline as a speech bubble. The version on the left is more successful here, I think, because it's using the note as negative space only on one side, but I like the solid feeling from the orientation of one on the right better, It feels more balanced.
Sean, the speech balloon + note thing is really genius. I may be a bit slow, but it was too subtle for me to perceive clearly, even after being prompted by your description, so I whipped up a small mockup of a blatantly obvious version: http://bemasc.net/~bens/opus-q2.png (I'm not an artist/designer; this is about the limit of my artistic ability.) There's a tricky problem here of equalizing the emphasis/obviousness of "speech" and "music". Overemphasizing music is not ideal, since Opus will mostly be marketed and used for VoIP and other speech applications (probably).
Created attachment 570080 [details] Sean's mockup Attaching Sean's design from Comment 15 as a more permanent reference.
Created attachment 570081 [details] Koen's mockup Another chat-bubble oriented design idea from Koen Vos at Skype.
It's half a year later; the standards publishing gauntlet was longer than we thought. The Opus draft has passed working group last call and is making its way to the IETF editors over the next month or two, so we're spinning up our release marketing efforts again in expectation of publication in July. Any more thoughts on the logo design?
Assigning over to Matt who will help us finish this with Sean's guidance.
Thanks Tara, I would be glad to lend a hand with this! I've had a look at some of the previous logo examples here, just wondering if the ask is to build upon these ideas, or I should I be focusing on a completely new concept? I can also loop in with Sean as suggested to see if he can give me any further insight. Otherwise I am good to get started on this right away. Matt
Hi Matt, thanks for taking a look! Depends on how much time you have, I guess. Xiph and Mozilla folks prefer the left-hand design from Sean's mockup so far, so we'd be happy with just a refinement of that. IIRC word from Skype was less positive, so we can look at new ideas as well.
No problem Ralph...I've had a bit of time to work out another option. I took more of a minimalistic approach with this one, working in a subtle way to display a musical note and speech bubble together. I liked the natural note shape that the p makes which was mentioned early in this thread as a possible idea....thought I could mirror that subtle note shape into a stylized speech bubble shape, which is built from elements such as the O and the base of the P. The goal was to keep things minimal and subtle, hopefully it is not to subtle of an approach for you. Also, I have not been in touch with Sean as of yet in regards to this design as well as talks about a variation on his design. I am hoping to chat with him soon.
Thanks, Matt! Opinion among the devs is positive on your mockup. The text, especially, is an improvement. Really says "Audio Tech" to me. I worry that without the text as an anchor, the icon by itself looks too much like a 'Q' and we'd loose the connection to 'opus' in those contexts.
Thanks for the feedback, I understand the concern with breaking up the two elements. I can explore some other options for the icon part....I think the text is pretty neutral and will be able to work with other icons... I'll try some other ideas!
I really like the icon— It's a O and a P and a Note and a Speech bubble and a person with headphones. ... but unfortunately it's also a Q. :(
Yes, I think the icon in this one is a definite improvement over the previous iteration.
Hi guys, I've taken another stab at the previous Opus concept and focused on tweaking the icon. With this version I've kept some of the previous elements; the negative space note within the O shape, which as Gregory pointed out has a headphone look to it. The challenge was bringing in a way to represent the speech element...I thought other than using a speech bubble, perhaps using quotations could be a recognizable way to portray this. The quotations also double as sound waves flowing from the note/headphone...thought this could be a interesting way to tie the two together. Please let me know how you feel about this version. Cheers, Matt
I really like both of these new versions, though I'm not sure which one I prefer. Thanks for the really good work.
Nice work, thanks Matt. Opus team, we need to proceed toward wrapping this one up so Matt can clear through a few other bugs on his list. Do you feel like the version in comment #31 is ready to go? If so, Matt can post the files and we'll be all set. If not, let's try to give him a list of actionable feedback so he can nail it in the next round.
I don't really like the second one better than the first one. I was hoping we could see a third idea.
I think I like the version in comment 25 better than the one in comment 31. I'm not opposed to seeing a third idea, but I think that one is workable. What we're really waiting for is feedback from the Microsoft side of the team.
Ok, we have a thumbs-up from the Microsoft side for Matt's first mock up, from comment 25. Let's go with that one. Matt, if you can refine it a bit, we've had several comments that the 'puck' icon is too faint, at least for some media. Can you try increasing the contrast a, or play with shading? I would also like to see how it looks in a black-on-white and white-on-black version for print and device silkscreens.
Great news! I've attached a PDF with 3 versions, including the original (with a darker contrast on the puck), a white on black and a black on white. If everything looks okay with this round I can also provide the final Illustrator file with each of the versions. Please let me know if the contrast on the puck is reading better. Thanks, Matt
Yes, the contrast reads better now. Thanks! I was going to ask for optical correction on the note cutout in the puck, but I actually like it looking a little smaller. The gradient version also works on some darker backgrounds, so it's simpler not to tweak it. I think we're ready for final files, if you're happy with it. Can you export SVG versions as well as the Illustrator originals? That would be helpful.
No problem! I agree with you on the smaller note version, I think its more refined looking and reads better as a note...overall I am happy with the look of the logo, so unless there are any further requests, I have attached the final files zipped, including various SVGs, EPS' and the master Illustrator file. Please let me know if I can provide anything else.
Thanks again, these look really good!
Created attachment 626952 [details] tarball of the final design files This is the same set of files as Matt's final version, just arranged in a flat tar file.
Thanks again, Matt. Logo's up on http://opus-codec.org/
Thanks for having me on board guys!
Nice work Matt!