Kazam needs a logo

Bug #643146 reported by anonymous815 on 2010-09-19
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Kazam Screencaster

Bug Description

I really like how visually simple and pleasing this program is and that it includes uploading within the program. I think it has a bright future in Ubuntu and as a result I think it needs to be well represented. People need something to remember this program by when it's reported about on sites like OMG! Ubuntu. Ubuntu is more visually pleasing than ever, so this needs a face and a good looking one at that. Hence this bug. It's got a name after all, why not an identity too.

Andrew (and471) on 2010-09-20
Changed in kazam:
status: New → Confirmed
Andrew (and471) on 2010-09-20
summary: - Logo/Branding Concept
+ Kazam needs a logo
Magnun Leno (magnun-leno) wrote :

Well, I'm not a designer. I'm just a pyGTK developer that draws in the spare time. I liked the project a lot so I decided I'd try to help out.

I'm not sure of the name's origin, but it reminds me 2 things: A magic word and a lightning. Based on this I've drown 2 icons, one is a basic spiral trying to represent a "magical" spiral (a little based in Debian's swirl, I admit) and another one showing a lightning. Both are available in the attached svg file (I've used Inkscape), for a preview in PNG check this link: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/365419/kazam_propose.png

Just contact me for any change! I'm waiting for suggestions.
Thanks and good luck, this project is awesome!

Andrew (and471) on 2010-09-22
Changed in kazam:
milestone: none → 0.11
omgjoz (omgjoz) wrote :

I'm not a designer either but I have a lot of hope for this project and thought I'd make a contribution.
I liked Magnum Leno's idea of a lightning bolt, but I thought it might need to relate more with what Kazam does.

So this was my first time really utilizing Inkscape and I've come up with the following:


Of course I'm open to any suggestions and if you'd like the svg file, its yours to modify.

omgjoz (omgjoz) wrote :

I thought the yellow lightning bolt might bring up some negative feelings for that music player we all know, so I changed it up a tad:


omgjoz (omgjoz) wrote :
tags: added: logo
tags: added: icon
removed: logo
tags: added: logo
description: updated
Magnun Leno (magnun-leno) wrote :

I forgot to mention that in the spiral icon I tried to give the sensation of a record button. I also tried to draw a lightning and a record button but that looked too much like Flash's (superhero) symbol, so I gave up.

I don't want to criticize the presented logo/icon, but when I started drawing I tried to create icons using scene slates, video cameras and film rolls. After a cold look I had the felling that those logos were giving the impression that the software was a movie editor. I have the same felling about omgjoz logo's. Of course the decision isn't mine...

Other suggestion, the logo may be used as an icon in the notification area, so it needs to be simple and sleek. When I draw an icon I always think about the Gnome HIG. In the section that discuss about icons and Problems to Avoid (http://library.gnome.org/devel/hig-book/stable/icons-design.html.en#icon_problems) they say something important:

"Do not include extraneous information

Remember that icons will often be viewed in a smaller form. Too much information may render the icon unintelligible when it is shrunk in size (e.g. to be placed on a panel, or in the tasklist).(...)"

Of course, those are just suggestions. This amazing project deserves a really incredible icon, like Amarok, Arch Linux, Docky and many others. I think if we all work together we may create a better icon. I'm open and available to help in any idea or brainstorm you may propose. But if you guys have already decided It's just OK for me.

omgjoz (omgjoz) wrote :

Magnum brings up two great points, both of which I had considered while designing my icon:

 1) Does the icon represent what the application performs
 2) Is the icon bloated

I think my icon manages to slip by on both of them. I tried to make the inner part of the slate look a bit like a CRT monitor to give the impression of a screen. Also, the icon looks pretty rad on the Applications menu (small) and on Docky (large) - give it a whirl!

Either way I'm completely open to changing it to something else should that be the popular opinion. I like the idea of the lightning bolt, and I'm really liking the purple.

Throw in some more ideas and I'll make another proposal. Thanks!

I've been biding my time to comment again, hoping that I'd have another proof of concept before I did. Alas, quantity wins over quality sometimes. So, I agree completely about the philosophy of logo/icon designing. It's got to be unique enough so that when enlarged it's recognisable but simple enough to not become distorted when it's on a 20 pixel Panel.
I love the idea of a lightning bolt but I think, as in Magnun Leno's Designs, the lightning bolt should be at such an angle as to appear to be the letter Z.
Also, I always love the idea of using film cells, clapper boards and aperture's to represent things to do with viewable media, but I do completely agree that it's a misrepresentation. Sure it records your desktop but it's not a video editor for your amateur films.
What I wanted to do for my next design was to get the record button from the current icon (it's on and471's deviant art) and put the lightning bolt over the top, as I said representing a Z. This way it includes the idea of quick and simple, it's relative to the result and it keeps the bolt :)
I'll try and do it today but likewise I'm not an artist and I've only just gotten started on Photoshop.

Andrew (and471) wrote :

Thanks for this work guys, I really appreciate this.

Just one note about the sizes etc., the logo will be used in the main GNOME menu, the titlebar and the about dialog - the ones on the panels will remain the same. Hope this helps :)

I'm sure I can speak for everyone by saying we really appreciate you making this :)

Here's an update on my icon idea I mentioned.

omgjoz (omgjoz) wrote :

I'm liking your ideas on the record button, but I think the yellow bolt is tacky and is too similar to "The Flash."

So hear's my latest proposal:

Record button, lightning bolt at the angle that you guys preferred (Z - ish), very simple, but nice!


Magnun Leno (magnun-leno) wrote :

I'm posting just as a reference the icon I've done using a video camera image (icon 3). Based in the idea to represent the desktop and using the Z lightning bold I've done a new icon (icon 4).

Hey Jamie thats a nice logo. I've tried to do something like this (a record button and a lightning) but everything I drew reminded me Flash's symbol. But that one doesn't.

Now I'll work at my logo: https://launchpad.net/tiamat


Magnun Leno (magnun-leno) wrote :

Ok, thats the last one :).

Mixing a little of everything and changing the lighting so it won't be mistaken with "The Flash". Ok, the fonts isn't the best, but I have only the defaults here. It's an SVG so is easy to change or remove the letters.

Thanks again...

Thank you :)

I really like all of these! @Magnun Leno, I know you only put those other two up as proof of progress but a little refinement and you should find another application to put them to. Especially the Dock style camera one, it's really aesthetic.
I think both of your's are spot on what I was thinking of and without the thick squared end mine had they look even more like Z's. And as Magnun Leno pointed out, it forms part of the title perfectly symmetrically. As far as I'm concerned the idea's good enough to refine, polish up, and present to Andrew.

So, colours. If the circle represents a record button, it goes without saying it should be red. But what about the bolt? Red and yellow are iconic (and I think I read on an article recently they're part of a spectrum of the most powerful colours on the internet [Windows, Chrome]) but iconic sometimes teeters on the brink of predictable. After all Lightning, nor Z's for that matter, aren't yellow. I like omgjoz's purple idea, but with two such colours they often cause me to experience a stereogram effect with my eyesight and the image. So maybe keep it deep (deep purple :P) and the red not too offensive.

I really like the idea and I think it's worth pushing it, despite "The Flash" and Adobe Flash.

Magnun Leno (magnun-leno) wrote :

Hey Jamie...

As I said, I'm not a designer, so I don't understand about colors and etc. So when I need something I search for some "guides". One that I use a lot is the Tango Palette: http://tango.freedesktop.org/Tango_Icon_Theme_Guidelines

All the icons that I posted I used it. Also, if you use Inkscape to edit the SVG files that I posted you can simply choose the Tango Palette in arrow at the write of the colors bar.

Since yo said that you liked the purple but bot that one, I've changed mine using the Tango colors. Hope you like.

ttk1opc (ttk1opc) wrote :

Is this going to be open for a while? I would like to contribute but I don't want to put a lot of time into something and then it be over when I'm done.

Well it could be open forever. The creator has an icon from the Elementary set and could just stick with that, or someone here could do something he likes. It's up to him. But I'm sure we're all willing to put in our two cents and see what comes out. It's a nice project and has a nice learning curve so why not just do it anyway? None of us have the right to decide which logo is final an dI assume Andrew wants the best looking one he can get, as opposed to the first one offered.

@Magnun Leno, that site might be quite useful as I use the elementary icon set and use some Token set's but I don't like how some icons are missing and just replaced with the original ones, so I might have a go at making my own set.
I definitely like that design, maybe like omgjoz's idea, it could be placed over the top of a monitor/screen icon, like the current elementary one?

omgjoz (omgjoz) wrote :

Here is another mockup using your suggestions for the Tango palette and a darker purple. Thanks guys, I think we're getting somewhere. Here is a link: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9256509/Launchpad/Kazam/kazam6.png

Andrew (and471) wrote :

Yes this may be open for a while so please do contribute :)

Vish (vish) wrote :

A quick edit of the logo idea i had shown earlier to Andrew... Just an idea, not fully done..

This is from my drop box > http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1325768/kazam.png
I just re-installed.. so i need to check where i kept that source..! ;-)

Joan Jimenez (joajimenez) wrote :

omgjoz wrote 4 hours ago: #19
Kazam Icon - omgjoz mockup (v6) (14.9 KiB, image/png)
Here is another mockup using your suggestions for the Tango palette and a darker purple. Thanks guys, I think we're getting somewhere. Here is a link: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9256509/Launchpad/Kazam/kazam6.png

This one is amazing. Got my vote.

I think the one by Vish is wicked, but like Magnun Leno said earlier in this post, it seems a bit misrepresentative when using camera's and (like my original idea) film cells. It does look great though.

As with Joan Jimenez, my votes for Omgjoz's latest iteration. Maybe without the darker band around the edge? Maybe fade to darker red instead of such sharp tiers?

omgjoz (omgjoz) wrote :
Magnun Leno (magnun-leno) wrote :

Hey guys I gotta admit, these last ones from omgjoz looks just great! Like the old phrase: "less is more"
Congrats bro...

An off topic question, are you accepting new developers?! I'm also a pyGTK programmer (not a great one, but I'm making my way) and I believe that the best way learn is by getting my hands dirty.

See ya...

ttk1opc (ttk1opc) wrote :

My input, I need to work on it some more, want to make it clear it's the screen, maybe a mouse pointer, or record button? Input would be helpful. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1204764/kazam.png

Andrew (and471) wrote :

I am starting to like these more, perhaps play around with the colours though? And thanks for putting the word out on OMGUbuntu! :)

@Magnun Leno
Yes sure, we are always accepting new developers, send me an email or ping me on IRC (and471 on irc.freenode.net) if you need any help getting started :)

Wow that looks very professional, yes I think it suffers from the same thing Vish's does as Magnun Leo said earlier. Perhaps you could include something to do with screencasting, like you say a pointer or record button, include some desktop icons/windows to make it more like a screen?

Magnun Leno (magnun-leno) wrote :

Wow!! thats not an icon! Thats an almost perfect splash screen! Maybe if you take the ideas already discussed here or even take those last icons from omgjoz to exchange the icon, you will impress everyone here. Also, whats the name of that font? it looks gorgeous.

Thanks, I'll take a look at the source code and we talk later. I want you to give me some directions or point me something to do. When finished I'll push a branch and you decide the merge.

ttk1opc (ttk1opc) wrote :

Thanks, I was just trying to display how it could be used, it is fully vector so I can easily adapt the colors and even make a mono tray icon with it. The font is called lobster, I agree it is gorgeous, it uses the Open Font License as well. http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/Lobster

Here's my take. Done in Inkscape.

Andrew (and471) wrote :

I think the kazam2__smoke.png is the best out of those. I wouldn't give up, but know you will have to work hard for your one to be included, or you could help out with other submissions

Andreas Esau (andreasesau) wrote :

Hello Andew,
when I've first read your proposal for kazam I was really impressed by your idea!!
I am glad that the first release is already out. My Idea was based on your little tray icon.
Here is my first idea for a Logo. I tried to keep it simple. A very clean look with just a small color note of this red record button.
The grey background stands for the desktop that is being recorded and the first letter of the productname "Kazam".
I think this Logo will also be easy to create as an mono trayicon.


So tell me your thoughts guys.

Greetings from germany

Andrew (and471) wrote :

So ttk1opc is there any progress on this? I wish to release 0.11 soon and I would like the logo to be available with that release?

If you are stuck for time, could you attach the source so that others could use it?

Andrew (and471) on 2010-10-05
Changed in kazam:
status: Confirmed → Triaged
ttk1opc (ttk1opc) wrote :

I've made some changes, I could be off base depending on your intention of the word kazam washttp://dl.dropbox.com/u/1204764/kazam.png I also included different ideas for the tray icon. Though the icon is visible at 16px I think alternate tray icon would be a better idea.

Andrew (and471) wrote :

Wow, that is really good ttk1opc!

My thinking was that we could use this icon on the Launchpad page, in the about dialog etc. but then for the panel, to use the current icon as I feel it is less pretty (!) than the logo you have made, however it is more descriptive to the eye - it is more immediately obvious to a user what it is representing.

If you could have the sizes 16x16, 22x22, 24x24, 32x32, 48x48 and then a very large one (preferably all in SVG) and then send them to me I would me more than happy to accept them as Kazam's new logo!

PS: To everyone else that submitted ideas, thankyou very much for your time and effort. I have no doubt your ideas and submissions helped to form what will become Kazam's icon :)

travisman1994 (travisman1994) wrote :

If I was good at making a logo I would make one. But I have a good idea. I was thinking maybe like this one http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9256509/Launchpad/Kazam/kazam.png but with a magicians wand with lightning coming out of it. That would be awesome

Andrew (and471) wrote :

Again, thanks for all of your help, however I have chosen ttk1opc's logo and this will be included in the next release :)

Changed in kazam:
status: Triaged → Fix Committed
Andrew (and471) on 2010-10-10
Changed in kazam:
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released


I feel like I shouldn't have bothered starting this thread. The main point was to brainstorm for the benefit of the creator, many hands make light work and all that. The main points discovered generally, that would extend into any area of logo design, were that the icon should be simple, yet iconic, enough to fit a mono tray icon but should also represent the actual program.
Unfortunately, just about the first idea everyone had was a film cell. Then it was soon realised that it's been done a thousand times and is more suited to Pitivi or the such. Honest criticisms? What's with the wand? Kazam isn't some kind of magic solution. The icon makes me think this program fixes broken .avi files. Sure it was nice having something designed for you specifically, but at what cost? Wasn't it just worth sticking with the borrowed one? Seems like good looks won out over other sensibilities.

Andrew (and471) wrote :

Sorry you feel this way Jamie, I really do appreciate all the effort that went into this and I can understand your frustration at "good looks won out over other sensibilities." , however I definitely feel the points that you made were valid and taken into account when choosing the icon.

For example, the film cell in ttk1opc's is a hybrid of a film-cell and a user's desktop (note the desktop icons). This takes into account your point of "[film clappers, ] it's a misrepresentation". As it shows that it is the desktop that we are recording.

Your criticism of the purpose of the magic wand is fair, however it is the one thing in the icon which is not intended to tell the user what is does, but what the program is. 'Kazam' and 'screencaster' all hint at magic or magicians and so I believe this is the reason for choosing.

I also feel having the icons and then the magic wand, the distinctive pink and then the film cell all come together to make the icon "unique enough so that when enlarged it's recognisable but simple enough to not become distorted when it's on a 20 pixel Panel".

Alas, I would have liked to have a record button in there so were were absolutely definite in what we wanted the user to perceive it as, but your can only put on so much :)

So finally I guess I want to say don't be disheartened by this, I have to admit I may have been a bit too eager to get the logo done so that I could put out a new release, however I am very happy with what I have chosen and want to thank everyone again for their help.

Thats what matters in the end, that you like it, because as much as it is the end users tool, it's your creation.
I'm glad you didn't misconstrue what I said as petty or argumentative, after all, you know someone would have started this if I hadn't. I just wanted to give my opinion and I'm not much for censoring myself when it comes to the internet.

After having time to experience the icon I can now clarify my view.
When I first saw the design I thought it looked amazing but threw out all our ideas. I thought with a bit of tweaking it would not only look as a beautiful as ttk1opc intended but as representative as everyone wanted.
And, as I said, having had time with the logo, I noticed how the one in the main menu is horribly ugly. It looks like paint between train tracks with some kind of black smudge across. It is indecipherable, I cannot work out what it is even having seen the enlarged ones.

This is exactly why Magnum Leno posted links on How-To's and why everybody was preaching simplicity, because when you scale it down everything is compacted to a size and shape beyond recognition. Unless, they are barely more than simple shapes.

Like I said, it's handsome and as you explained, if fits your criteria. But if I have any last input, please reconsider the smaller versions. They're no longer slick like their bigger brothers, but clunky.

To post a comment you must log in.
This report contains Public information  Edit
Everyone can see this information.

Other bug subscribers