FreeBSD Logo Concept

31 March 2005 | 0

FreeBSD is an operating system which is currently looking for a new logo design. The contest doesn’t close until the end of May, but I wanted to get a jump on it. They don’t really have a logo, but they do have a mascot, a daemon named Beastie, who looks like this:

The reason they’re looking for a new logo is threefold (from their logo contest details page):

  • The Beastie mascot is not unique to FreeBSD. Instead it is a mascot for the entire collection of BSD-based operating systems including 4BSD, NetBSD, and FreeBSD.
  • The Beastie mascot has been combined with the text “FreeBSD” in several different ways. While the various combinations are nice, the lack of a consistent logo leaves an unprofessional impression.
  • The current informal logos generally do not work well in two or three colors (such as black and white) or when scaled to small or large sizes. These requirements are important for use in the press.

Two and three are easily solved by coming up with a standard icon and type treatment, and creating variations based on color and format (horizontal rectangular vs square). What is interesting about the first point is that there are three open source BSD-derived OSs: FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD. Both FreeBSD and NetBSD have traditionally used the Beastie/daemon icon (OpenBSD uses a blowfish). NetBSD just changed their logo to use a flag instead of the daemon(s), so that leaves FreeBSD as the only open source BSD that still has ties to Beastie. From another of their pages, it sounds like they want to continue to use him as a mascot, and that the logo should in fact work well with him when placed together.

Thus, I wanted my first logo concept to pay homage to Beastie, but still act as an iconic, professional, symbolic mark. Here is where I am currently at:

If anyone has any comments from a design perspective, please let me know. I can be reached at jesse | at | jesseross | dot | com. If you are a FreeBSD user and you want to weigh in on where this is at and offer some suggestions before I submit it to the contest, that would be much appreciated.

EDIT: This logo is now available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. If you use this logo, please provide my name and a link to my website in the below format in a location appropriate for your use (Acknowledgment document or site footer, for example):

Logo designed by Jesse Ross,

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