Last summer, I teased that a new Ubuntu logo was on the way — today that logo was made official.
Don’t panic too much; Ubuntu’s new logo still uses the orange and white colour scheme we’re all familiar with. But what about the iconic Circle of Friends motif (CoF). That’s right. IsIt is now more cohesive and tighter than its predecessors.
Perhaps most strikingly of all is that the CoF no longer sits inside a circle (’roundel’ in design speak) but is now housed at the bottom of a solid orange rectangle:
I previously described the new CoF as a “huddle”, noting that it’s a “powerful and emotive representation of the interdependency that Ubuntu has as an OS, platform, community, project”. The new logo makes it seem that people are not holding hands but are actually embracing one another. It’s more intimate embrace.
“While it is important to have a respectful continuity with the previous Circle of Friends, the updated version is leaner, more focused, more sophisticated,” Canonical says of the its new design, which it adds is more of an ‘evolution’ rather than an out-right revolution.
“It also makes a little more sense that the heads are now inside the circle, facing each other and connecting more directly.”
The new Ubuntu logo mark also features the new logo more prominently. It is now a dominant strip on the left, instead of a superscript dot on its right-hand side.
The Ubuntu word mark also thins down its bold font weight to a lighter, sleeker one, uppercasing the ‘U’ in ‘Ubuntu’ as part of the process.
Why did Ubuntu change its emblem?
Why reinvent the logo? Ubuntu last underwent a rebrand in 2010. Canonical reasons say that Ubuntu and the technologies underpinning it change over time. Therefore, the brand that represents it should also change.
I’d say that’s fair; there is nothing wrong with the old Ubuntu logo to my eyes (it’s certainly not as dated-looking as the original CoF from 2004) but I can’t argue that a bit of attentive upkeep is healthy. It helps keep things pacy and fresh.
Ubuntu’s new logo was designed by the same person as the 2010 revamp, Marcus Hallam. He explains that although he and Canonical CEO Mark Shuttlworth explored some ‘left-field’ ideas explored they ultimately felt “…updating the Circle of Friends to a more contemporary look and feel”It made the most sense.
This video shows you an animation for the new logo.