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RE: Emacs icons (was: Suggestions for the temporary windows usedfrom the

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Emacs icons (was: Suggestions for the temporary windows usedfrom the minibuffer)
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 15:56:04 -0700

        Or  E = m c          (for relativity fans)

    It is a nice idea, but can that much be expressed clearly in so few
    pixels?  I think probably not.

No, surely not. I was partly kidding.

My serious 2 cents:

- Understandability and recognizability are #1 for icons. Representativeness
is #2. Aesthetics is #3 - it works only if #1 & 2 work. Forget about Grandma
Moses; aim for clear, simple, and catchy.

- Icons are not logos - you can only show so much in an icon. Save the fancy
gnu for an Emacs logo, perhaps combining it with something that represents
Emacs itself (see below).

- There is no reason to put a gnu on the Emacs icon. There is no room; it
won't be recognizable; it's not necessary. GNU will ultimately have lots of
apps and features - it makes no sense to put a gnu on the icon for each. If
GNU itself were an app, it could have a gnu icon (if it could be made

- Complex images don't work in icons. Remember the gnu that became a
mushroom - great folklore, but otherwise, not a great icon. Firefox's icon
is also bad, as an example - you can't recognize the animal etc.

- The best symbol for Emacs is plain, typewriter-font _text_. A single
letter is good as a representation of a text editor (no flames about how
Emacs is so much more). "E" for Emacs is good, clear, and recognizable.
Don't add anything else (no pencils, notepads, or gnus). Make it stand out,
so it screams "EMACS" - nothing else. The icon's tooltip can say "GNU
Emacs" - no need to show "GNU" or a gnu on the icon itself.

- An Emacs logo (not an icon) along the lines I suggested earlier
(relativity, e M-a Cs, M-x, etc.) would be OK, but it would not make a good
icon (too small - see attached). Possible logo: a large "E" and a small
"M-x" under it (or a small "M-a C-s" under it). If such a logo is used
everywhere for Emacs (e.g. splash screen), then the corresponding icon
should have just the "E", and it should use the same font and color scheme.

- I like a red E on a bright green background. In a year, RMS would have a
green T-shirt with a HUGE red E on the front and a prancing gnu on the back
with the Emacs relativity equation (or with just "M-x").

- Some E icons are attached. (Also two e M-a C-s icons, showing that the
text is just too small. It would be the same for "relativity Emacs".) Sorry
for the GIF format.

Attachment: emacs-E-embossed-brightgreen.gif
Description: GIF image

Attachment: emacs-E-red-green-boxed.gif
Description: GIF image

Attachment: emacs-E-red-green-split-horiz.gif
Description: GIF image

Attachment: emacs-E-red-green-split-vert.gif
Description: GIF image

Attachment: emacs-E-red-green.gif
Description: GIF image

Attachment: emacs-M-x-C-s-16x16.gif
Description: GIF image

Attachment: emacs-M-x-C-s-16x16-black.gif
Description: GIF image

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