I like the current logo as well! I think it’s unique & recognizable. IMO it bucks the modern style, but that’s great! I think of it like SEO for the eyes
The cutoff was an experiment whose goal was to reduce complexity even further. Also, I wanted to go away from the obvious ‘R’ to achieve a more abstract look and to make it unique. Just an ‘R’ in a circle is not that unique.
The intent of the circle is to give the logo a solid and closed shape, which symbolizes reliability and safety. It was not a primary goal of these designs to retain the idea of a gear. Instead, these designs aim to be as minimalistic as possible.
While to me it does make sense to include a gear in the logo (it may symbolize strength and the feeling of having access to all the inner workings), a gear is still an undistinctive and “obvious” symbol. In contrast, bold lines and solid geometry are more subtle way of conveying strength and robustness that does not require large amounts of detail.
The point of the gear was chainrings often are rusty, visually distinctive, and looking awesome. This is an acceptable reason to include a chainring, but it’s not a strong reason to throw away alternative designs without a chainring.
The current logo should probably be less detailed. Everyone knowing Rust will recognize the current logo, but if you ask anyone to actually draw it from scratch, they will only draw an R inside a generic gear. It’s not a terrible logo, but it could be improved.
Of course, we should really consider many alternative designs, some of which could possibly try to keep the idea of a chainring.
I don’t know that there’s a reason to consider anything at all. There is a logo, it is established and recognizable.
As I already said, the logo is not terrible, but it could be improved. Of course, changing an established logo has massive downsides. But we will never find out if that improvement outweighs the cost, if we don’t do some experiments with other ideas first.
Yes, I like the current logo because it intentionally evokes an old-fashioned cast-iron style of engineering, back when things were solid, designed to last, and built with care.
Edit: and also ornate, e.g. image search for “Crossness Pumping Station”, a Victorian sewage pumping station in London.
I like the current logo but it doesn’t scale down well (at least with my display). Even the logo on top of this forum more like a weirdly pixelated circle than a cog. At favicon sizes it looks worse.
Personally I’d be in favour of a stripped down version for smaller sizes / resolutions.
What kinds of displays are people using? Even at favicon sizes, I find the small details of the current logo easily recognisable on all of the devices I use.
At favicon size, the current logo looks good on HiDPI displays, but probably not on 96dpi displays. At twice the size it is recognizable on those “standard”/“old” displays. Anything printed is usually at around 300dpi.
I’d just simplify the current one and reduce the number of cogs around it to 5 to match the screw holes on the inside. It will look less busy and be displayable on varied DPI screens.
The current favicon of users.rust-lang.org is just the R in a circle, without cogs and screw holes. It looks clean and it’s really hard to even notice that those elements are missing.
OTOH if the logo had only 5 cogs, those had to be much bigger, which leaves no space for anything else. I would look weird if you ask me.
Ok, lets try to start from the current logo instead of trying completely new ideas.
The current logo:
Maybe try to reduce the number of cogs. Also, try to not let the upper left screw hole slightly interfere with the R.
Note: I wasn’t able to find the original font, so I’m using the font of the official website instead. That font looks really bold, but I think that’s good because it suggests stability and robustness.
The sharp angles on the cogs and screw holes may feel argessive, like the chainring could be trying to keep the R in place by poking it. Okay, maybe that’s just too imaginative Anyways. Here goes my try on a more friendly look:
The R may look a little too loose, possibly because it is not touching the ground. Let’s try getting the R’s feet on the ground. For that, I am going to try and build a custom from scratch. Keep in mind however that I am not experienced in glyph design.
Well, that does look very bold indeed. Maybe that should be reduced. The readability of the R could probably be improved. Also, the characteristic saloon font is gone. Maybe we can tweak our custom R to look more like that again.
Now, these changes might seem rather aesthetic on first glance. However, the shape of a logo sends a message. I don’t think Rust would want to be presented as too complex, or argessive, or unstable. Also, I am not saying the logo must be changed. I’m currently just trying out some ideas to improve the current logo, even if it will never be used.
We could even try to give the R a real solid ground:
Well… this looks more like an R slowly sinking into quicksand.
Maybe more like this:
See this earlier post on the subject.
Personally, I feel that the capital letter “R” in the above logos is too coarse, without adequate visual separation from the surrounding “gear” shape. If you want a suggestion for an appropriate font, I can obtain that from a widely-recognized professional in the field as soon as you have determined the rest of the shape (so that they have suitable context).
Yes, I have read that thread. Thanks for your suggestions.
I tried simply scaling down the “R”. It doesn’t look too bad, however the left serifs extend really far that way.
Do you think simply downscaling is enough? I didn’t want to separate the bottom serifs from the gear to maintain the stability. However, the bottom part of the chain looks really massive now if viewed from far away.
Thanks for offering support considering the font.
As for my experiments, I have not checked the license of the font. I assumed it was okay to use if for the sketches, because the official Rust website uses it. It’s called Alfa Slab One.
I could also imagine removing the screw holes, however this makes the logo look less unique because it’s now just a gear instead of a chainring. It looks way cleaner though.