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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2018

    As was mentioned recently in another thread, the logo shown on nLab pages is not specific to us, but is just the logo of the instiki software. This seems suboptimal! The nLab ought to have a distinctive and unique logo, ideally one that has something to do with our aims and subject matter. Any ideas on what it could look like?

    We could incorporate something that looks higher-categorical. Possibly the simplest such would be a globular 2-cell. We could go crazy, but simple is probably better to be easily recognizable.

    We could also incorporate something suggestive of the “lab book” metaphor (and the word “lab” in our name, for that matter). Like an image of an open book, or a laboratory flask.

    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2018

    Something like a clean version of the third oriental would be nice (ie not the one at that page). It’s both higher category theory and was important in the early days of the n-category café and the nLab, what with the rudimentary higher gauge theory that was a lot of inspiration at the time.

    • CommentRowNumber3.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2018

    Could we draw the third oriental three-dimensionally as an actual tetrahedron?

    • CommentRowNumber4.
    • CommentAuthorUrs
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2018
    • (edited Apr 24th 2018)

    I like the present logo in itself. To my mind it nicely illustrates how the nLab reaches out to connect all kinds of different regions to a common core.

    • CommentRowNumber5.
    • CommentAuthorRichard Williamson
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2018
    • (edited Apr 24th 2018)

    Whatever we decide, one consideration may be that the present logo fits quite well, to my eyes, with the colour scheme of the rest of the nLab; if we change it, it might be worth choosing something which can be noticeably coloured, and which looks OK when coloured in the green used on the main nLab.

    I am with Urs that the current logo does seem fine per se, but on the other hand I agree with Mike that it would be nice to have a logo that is specific to the nLab! (An open book seems like a nice idea, together with something noticeably higher categorical, as well, if possible, as with something that captures the idea Urs expressed).

    • CommentRowNumber6.
    • CommentAuthorDavidRoberts
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2018

    @Mike - I don’t see why not, with a good design, a tetrahedron can be made distinctive and visually “easy” to recognise and parse (even if not mathematically (-: ). On one hand, if something like this is adopted it is a big change in style from the friendly blob, which is probably more seen as the logo of the nLab rather than instiki, but it does at least indicate the subject material in a way that would be instantly recognisable by mathematicians as having something to do with (higher) category theory. And the friendliness of the blob likely doesn’t outweigh the reputation the nLab as being challenging material.

    • CommentRowNumber7.
    • CommentAuthorDmitri Pavlov
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2018
    • (edited Apr 24th 2018)

    May I suggest as a possibility for the nLab logo that we extract one of the pieces from Henri Matisse’s La Gerbe: http://www.henri-matisse.net/paintings/ex.html

    The advantage of this is that they look somewhat similar to the current nLab logo (and some have similar color), yet are sufficiently distinct to be a completely new logo.

    Additionally, gerbes are extremely relevant for the nLab!

    • CommentRowNumber8.
    • CommentAuthorzskoda
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2018

    I am conservative as usual and agree with Urs 4.

    • CommentRowNumber9.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2018

    I think it is a bad idea to allow people to continue to conflate the nLab and instiki. It’s true that we are probably the largest installation of instiki, and probably the only installation of instiki that most users of the nLab will encounter. But (aside from the general principle of confusion being bad) we also have personal webs on our installation. People shouldn’t confuse material on my personal web, or on Joyal’s catlab, or on the hott wiki, with material on the main nLab, in particular as regards attributability, responsibility, the community who created it, etc. At present the only real visual difference between webs is the color scheme and a bit of text up at the top; I suspect that for most users this is much too subtle. Choosing a new logo for the main nLab (only) would help clear up this confusion – as long as it is noticeably different!

  1. The forum also has a logo (the superimposed n and f in a circle). If the nLab logo was changed to match (i.e. a superimposed n and l) or if they were both changed to the same or similar things then it would help to indicate that the two sites are connected.

    • CommentRowNumber11.
    • CommentAuthorMike Shulman
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2018

    Yes, that occurred to me too. But I would be more inclined to find a good descriptive logo for the nLab and change the nForum logo to match it than the other way around; the current nForum logo doesn’t really have anything to do with our mission.

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