Apache OpenOffice

Friday May 10, 2013

Results of Apache OpenOffice 4.0 Logo Survey

A quick update on our recent logo survey for Apache OpenOffice 4.0.   We called on community members to submit proposals for a new project logo.  The response was huge.  We received over 40 logo proposals.  To narrow down the choices we sought out feedback from users.   We created a survey asking users to rate each logo on a 5-point scale, from Strongly Dislike to Strongly Like, as well as give an optional comment on each logo.  The survey ran for one week and 5028 responses were received.  Full details of the results can be found in the Apache OpenOffice Logo Survey Report.  In this blog post we want to highlight some of the highest scoring logos, recognize the designers, and talk about next steps.

Samer Mansour, a software developer and an engaged citizen in his community in Toronto, aimed for "simple and flat" with his designs, "I had an a-ha moment when I saw another volunteer's flat logo. I had learned from design experts at work that thin font is the trend and is appealing to users, so I narrowed it down to put together a wordmark from an Apache licensed font that fit the bill."

Two of the top-scoring logo proposals came from Kevin Grignon, an OpenOffice contributor and a user experience designer with over 15 years experience designing user interfaces and application graphics.  In his submissions, Kevin aimed to leverage some aspects of the existing branding, while modifying and enhancing other elements.   As he explains, "Given the large number of graphic assets that would require updating in a refresh, my submissions retain familiar and recognizable elements including the orb element and logo type layout, which would allow a scaled rollout of the new logo. Other elements of the logo submissions were enhanced, including the curvature of the document/gulls or the use of a a stylized feather, a colour palette which harmonizes well with proposed individual product icons, the use of a globe element, and logo type colouring which emphasizes the word "open" - which is our differentiator."

Michael Acevedo is a college student studying Aviation technology in Florida, how humans and technology interact while the aircraft is in operation and finding ways to improve that relationship.   He explains his design process as, "I aimed in the design of the new AOO 4 logo for something that was simple (hence why I went with a non capitalized design for the OpenOffice name) yet being something refreshing to reflect the rebirth of Apache OpenOffice. The challenge was how to create a logo that could reflect that philosophy yet being respectful and familiar to the outgoing Apache OpenOffice logo. Taking that into account, my proposed designs offer just that, something refreshing and simple, while at the same time staying true to the brand and image that has made OpenOffice their default office suite for the last 13 years or so."

You can see the top scoring design above, by Chris Rottensteiner, a webworker and genetic genealogist from South Tyrol in the Alps. He supports the free digital data flow and open elaboration trough FOSS software. "I'm a clean flat style fan and tried to make something without glossy or other "modish" elements: the brand should speak for itself. For this second and much better proposal from me I got inspired by Kevin Grignon and the Source Sans Pro font. If the consensus is v4 should receive a logo built on the existing version, I would be happy to work on possible improvements. P.S.: the work was done in Inkscape (SVG), a piece of software I love."


This design, and the next one, although they were not top scorers when measured by average score, were the logos that received the most number of "Strongly Like" selections.  So they had more enthusiastic support than the other logos.  The above design, from Robin Fowler, takes the traditional gulls element of the OpenOffice.org logo and makes them dynamic, while also suggesting the form of an open book.  In Robin's words, "My goal for the logo was to take the traditional elements of the OpenOffice logo and give it more of a connection to the software itself. I kept the sphere similar to the original, adding a border to make it look more like an app icon. My initial idea was to take the birds and use them to form a book. The first attempts were fairly crude but I got some valuable feedback from the mailing list and managed to improve it somewhat. The feather was added to resemble the new 'Apache era' of OpenOffice."

Vasilis Xenofontos, a visionary art designer from the small island of Cyprus aimed for a modern and easy to remember logo design. "I did this design trying to show that OpenOffice will be here forever and that’s why the logo has the infinity circles in it forming the letters AOO. The two colors in it symbolize the sea and the sky showing that this software is free and all over the world."

So what are the next steps in this logo exploration?   The designers of the above logos have been invited to review user comments from the survey and based on that feedback submit revised logos.  We'll then review the revisions, discuss and pick the new logo.   As usual at Apache we try to reach consensus by discussion wherever possible, and only vote if necessary.  The above logos already show a good deal of sharing of ideas.  The constructive feedback among the designers and the Apache OpenOffice community should lead us to a wonderful new logo for a wonderful new release, Apache OpenOffice 4.0.

Congratulations, obviously, to the top logos, but thanks go out to all those who contributed logos for consideration, as well as to the 5000 users who took time to rate and comment on these designs.


These logos deserve to here. They are pretty much resembling the power of Apache OpenOffice. I'd like to congratulate the designers; very well done.

Posted by Julian V. Jupiter on May 10, 2013 at 01:13 PM UTC #

Figures, all the logos featured above were logos I had rejected, either for being either flat, boring, difficult to relate to, or for having the Apache feather in the logo. There were some truly nice logos up for rating and comment.

Posted by Tristan Young on May 10, 2013 at 01:19 PM UTC #

Hearty thanks to all the designers who submitted logos. I am particularly taken by Samer Mansour's designs which are strong and appealing yet with a simplicity that is a perfect complement to the Apache OpenOffice suite.

Posted by Hubert Taylor on May 10, 2013 at 03:13 PM UTC #


Posted by ED BURGESS on May 10, 2013 at 03:18 PM UTC #

The choice should be between Robin's and Vasilis'. They are great designs and communicate well what the software is all about. Vasilis' is the best design without a doubt but it reminds me of the Olympic rings, but what a great designer this Vasilis is. Robin's is great too and makes me think only of the software and that's a good thing.

Posted by Victor Ramon Mojica on May 10, 2013 at 03:18 PM UTC #

my top rated is Samer Mansour's logo on the top (Open no bold)

Posted by alberto brasioli on May 10, 2013 at 03:19 PM UTC #

An advantage of being retired after forty years of drudgery on the US Highways, it is fun to have time to participate in a creative blog. Go Apaches!

Posted by John Tolleson on May 10, 2013 at 03:27 PM UTC #

BECAUSE...and only because, I am fearful that OPEN OFFICE will, in the unforeseeable future, become a "For-Profit" Competitor of Microsoft WORD.... ( It is already as good ! ) Because of this.... I LIKE the 1st Example. AND, I like it because it emphasizes, in CAPITALS - BOLD, the word "Apache"....which reminds me that the Indians are about to attack again. my opinion.... (NO. I have NOT "upgraded".)

Posted by Carl Copnstant on May 10, 2013 at 03:29 PM UTC #

I like Michael Acevedo's smaller logo (the one on the right). Large logos in general appear to overpower the page where they are located and give the impression of shouting. I also like the idea of incorporating the base version number in the logo for clarity (a simple "4" in this case). As for having capitals in the logo, that should be determined by the configuration of the words in accordance with the copyright registration.

Posted by Igor Kusec on May 10, 2013 at 03:38 PM UTC #

I like the design by Chris R because it is open, clear and simple. This design says more by saying less.

Posted by John H Hutchinson on May 10, 2013 at 03:41 PM UTC #

I really like the entry from Robin Fowler. The open book incorporating the gulls is a masterful concept and inclusion of the "Apache" feather is icing on the cake. It speaks volumes on the expansiveness of the software. I think I'd like it more if the border on the cicle were a tad more narrow--as it would make it more airy.

Posted by Ellyn Nelson on May 10, 2013 at 03:51 PM UTC #

I much prefer Samer Mansour's logo, the thin version. This is simple, fresh and uncomplicated and is very attractive. I don't think it is a good idea to show the version number as in several of the other logos.

Posted by David Motkin on May 10, 2013 at 04:09 PM UTC #

Are these logos received the highest votes? What I remember is the one with red colored one.

Posted by V.Kadal Amutham on May 10, 2013 at 04:12 PM UTC #

Very nice design, a blue pacman

Posted by Andre R on May 10, 2013 at 04:57 PM UTC #

I agree with Ellyn Nelson, indeed every word. Samer Mansour's logo is much the best, clean and simple.

Posted by W A Smith on May 10, 2013 at 05:06 PM UTC #

I'd go for Robin Fowler's: distinctive and not over large. Vasilis's one is very good indeed but I feel it takes up so much space that it gets in the way of the software.

Posted by Niall Martin on May 10, 2013 at 05:08 PM UTC #

Vasilis, Robin, and Chris R hands down are the top 3 logos here and it isn't even close in my opinion yet I respect we all have different ideas. Vasilis - favorite most unique and strong going forward. Best design if you want to reinvent and have cool elements of meaning attached to the logo. The initials, infinity, 4 the version can be updated easily, yet retains the original look for the text. Gets furthest away from microsoft style branding. Robin - awesome fresh design that looks very professional and "desirable". Best design to keep the original elements and be different. Different from microsoft branding. Chris R - best close to original logo simple option. It is clean and fresh and a simple update if you want to update the "can of soda" so to speak.

Posted by MartyH on May 10, 2013 at 05:21 PM UTC #

My first vote was for Samer Monsour's thin font logo. I have to say though that seeing all the high quality logos together I'm very drawn to Robin Fowler's. I think it's a very strong graphic - the traditional seagulls becoming a book and the feather reminding a would-be writer of a quill. I agree with David Motkin, too, though - I'm not sure adding the version number is the best idea. Congratulations to all the entries, some excellent work here.

Posted by Philip Jones on May 10, 2013 at 05:38 PM UTC #

I am a bit confused about the last logo with the triple O, althought is well known that OpenOffice.org used 3 O's, with the supression of the extension that third O remains a mistery. It would make more sense to just have 2 O's.

Posted by JZA on May 10, 2013 at 06:13 PM UTC #

First, is this Open Office available NOW or will it be available ever? Second, can it be used on my Samsung tablet? Third, what will I, a retiree, have to pay for it?

Posted by James Pickup on May 10, 2013 at 06:47 PM UTC #

I prefer the first design of Samer Mansour for logo, but I like very much Robin Fowler's idea (picture) for icon, with the birds like Mansour's proposal. Thanks to all the designers.

Posted by José Antonio Morí on May 10, 2013 at 07:02 PM UTC #

I'll admit that some logo designs appeal more than others, but as a committed Open Office user, the design is of little consequence. Please just get on with release 4 - I can't wait!!

Posted by John Hunter on May 10, 2013 at 07:21 PM UTC #

Thanks for letting us know the results! Of the choices you've provided, my ranking of favorites is: #1 is Samer Mansour's "on the left" with the thinner lettering. #2 is "anonymous" I like Mansour's better because the blue circle is larger, and with the thinner lettering it looks lighter and more "open" which is in keeping with the name of the app. Likewise, "anonymous" has lighter ("weight") lettering than Mansour's other submission.

Posted by Karen Gleeson on May 10, 2013 at 07:32 PM UTC #

Hearty thanks to all the designers who submitted logos. Particular congratulations to Samer Mansour whose two logos are strong and appealling, with simplicity that complements the Apache OpenOffice suite perfectly without distraction. If I must chose between Samer Mansour's two logos, I would chose number 1 [or perhaps number 2, or perhaps spin a coin (smile)].

Posted by Hubert Taylor on May 10, 2013 at 09:02 PM UTC #

Well done to all contributors ! You demonstrate well the community-base of this entire effort. I like all these logos: simple, uncluttered, retains the established Open Office legacy. My one query relates to the use of '4'. That suggests a new logo when we progress to the next stage.

Posted by Doug on May 10, 2013 at 11:53 PM UTC #

'simple and clean' says it all and disqualifies both Robin's and Vasilis'. However, I think the seagull book looks good. Maybe it can be used somehow? I'm old enough to have actually used the old metal dipping pens and even I didn't notice the feather/quill/writing connection. Would anyone below the age of 50? Down with feathers!! (No apologies for the pun.) Thanks and congratulations to all the artists. I just wish I was clever enough to come up with something as good as even what I consider the worst of them.

Posted by Paul Jeremy on May 11, 2013 at 12:49 AM UTC #

Sincere thanks for this review of these feed-backs; I really appreciated this echo of the reactions of so many people to this logo project. I'm impressed. A. Bisson

Posted by Antonio Bisson on May 11, 2013 at 02:28 AM UTC #

LS Sorry, I lost OpenOffice by changing platform and the name is now LibreOffice... Nevertheless, it works fine! Regards, Dick

Posted by Dick Stomp on May 11, 2013 at 06:03 AM UTC #

Robin Fowler's design takes top marks for me. Very strong graphically as well as symbolically. It may be improved by placing the feather diagonally within the circle and behind the 'book', symbolizing an old fashioned writing instrument (pen) and cleaning up the logo at the same time. While the concept of adding the feather separately gets full marks, I find that it has a somewhat cluttering effect. Well done Robin!

Posted by Jan Scholte on May 11, 2013 at 09:57 AM UTC #

Love the bottom logo, but really dislike the font of the wording... really needs to be something more modern and clearer, and probably without serif's

Posted by Pete Williams on May 11, 2013 at 10:59 AM UTC #

I like the results. I think the next step would be to ask the designers to render their designs in strict black and white, since it will be used across different collateral. Consideration should be given to how the symbol communicates when the type can't be present as sometimes it will need to do this. (think Nike, Apple, Amazon) Sometimes the pretty one doesn't always solve the problem.

Posted by Kevin Doyle on May 11, 2013 at 05:17 PM UTC #

the last one and make it green = enjoy nature

Posted by George on May 11, 2013 at 06:47 PM UTC #

I am one of the Senior group, age 80 this year! So don't make assumptions about not knowing the year of my birth. As a former Quality Assurance Officer for a State agency, I believe that you are doing a great job in trying to evaluate the responses to your Logo survey. However it would be interesting to see where you are going next. My suggestion is to reduce the logos evaluated to a smaller (top) set and repeat the evaluation. I use OOo both at work www.seniorboxoffice.org and at home.

Posted by Art Lepley on May 12, 2013 at 02:19 AM UTC #

Please opt for more Metro Type flat designs instead of Glossy Circle logo .... More flat more colors more fun.... No Gloss or 3D... Please

Posted by vikas123 on May 12, 2013 at 06:56 AM UTC #

Top left. Simple is clear, comforting and easy to recognize ... which is a real plus in our world of too much information.

Posted by MFPicou on May 12, 2013 at 11:55 AM UTC #

I personally prefer the "Chris R." logo out of the lot. The general theme seems to be a more metro, flat redesign of the original one, without any significant changes or additions. Which is fine, but the chosen typeface, line weight, and placement is extremely critical. Most of the "simple" designs above are rather horrible with a few exceptions, even the ones mentioned at the very top. Also would it be too much to ask for if you removed the trademark and the Apache branding from the main logo itself? We get it, it's yours, but it still feels a bit too intrusive. There isn't any rule or law requiring it either.

Posted by Q on May 12, 2013 at 06:40 PM UTC #

As for the theme of the actual logo itself, I'd personally go with either a properly designed and adjusted flat, simplified one with the birds, or something completely radical and new. The book icon for example is extremely well done, although without the feather or the asymmetrical text. Still, I could see it working as a complete redesign, plus I love the idea of the current bird shapes forming the outline of a book. Go with either of these two guys. That's my 0.02$ anyways.

Posted by Q on May 12, 2013 at 06:41 PM UTC #

I agree that a clean, lean font is most appealing. "Chris R."'s design is indeed worth the prize - imagine forgetting his contact info! I recall leaving my name off an exam at University -- it is too easy to do! I think a shallow logo is best, i.e. one that doesn't take several lines of layout to insert.

Posted by Alan Campbell on May 12, 2013 at 07:18 PM UTC #

Vasilis has a clean modern design that evokes many positive connotations. I quite like it.

Posted by Johann George on May 13, 2013 at 04:37 AM UTC #

i like the logo of Vasilis Xenofontos aoo and its cool

Posted by vinob on May 13, 2013 at 06:19 AM UTC #

Just blogged about on linuxbsdos.com The design by Robin Fowler is my top pick. Suggestion. Change the feather so that it appears to be writing on the open book, which will put it inside the circle. That will also reduce the vertical footprint of the logo.

Posted by finid on May 13, 2013 at 08:53 AM UTC #

Definitely either of the designs from Vasilis Xenofontos or Robin Fowler. These obviously received the most strong votes because they are so much more developed and polished than the other contenders. IMO the other logos look extremely dated and underdeveloped; as in they look like some rough rudimentary logo and some text slapped next to it.

Posted by cewood on May 13, 2013 at 10:26 AM UTC #

I actually like the Vasilis Xenofontos one because its different; its the only one with signifigant deviation from the original design, and that's a good thing. It might be a little tricky to make into program icons, but I'm sure we'll find a way.

Posted by Jubatus on May 13, 2013 at 04:47 PM UTC #

The design from Vasilis Xenofontos definitely needs to be included in the group for last selection. It is the most innovative. I like the triple loop icon. The inferences to "Object Oriented" combined with infinity and yet attached to the "a" are clever. The gulls have been beautifully retained and are like shadows that lift the icon. I assume that the main Version number is only used where appropriate. Like Robin Fowler's submission the logo can be squared off or given a portrait shape for a desktop shortcut or file association icon. Questions: Does Apache have to SHOUT? Can the three words be stacked and centered when the logo is required for portrait or square mode?

Posted by TerryS on May 14, 2013 at 04:19 AM UTC #

IMHO you should name it Apache Office and make nicer logo

Posted by on May 17, 2013 at 12:49 PM UTC #

The design by Robin Fowler is just beatiful! In my opinion the most professional and clean looking! It also seems to be of the highest quality design wise. One also needs to add, that he did a whole concept and not only a logo!

Posted by P.J. on May 17, 2013 at 05:23 PM UTC #

I am particularly fond of Kevin Grignon's design. It is very simple, and has a professional look. If there's one design I'd like to see as the new OpenOffice logo, Kevin's design is the one.

Posted by on May 20, 2013 at 11:55 AM UTC #

Acevedo's design is the only one, which graphically expresses the version number 4. And it is also very modern and iPhone-ish. Of course, this logo could be a bad choice on the long run, but it can be a perfect choice now.

Posted by DJS on May 20, 2013 at 10:23 PM UTC #

I was amazed at how easy the program is. I am here because I changed computers, bought Microsoft office, and hate it. Now I want it on my new computer.

Posted by Charlie Courtois on May 21, 2013 at 12:22 PM UTC #

I like the one done by Vasilis Xenofontos. The only change I would suggest is remove the two "birds" above the aoo. Then from my mind's eye its perfect.

Posted by Alphonso Whitfield III on May 27, 2013 at 05:55 PM UTC #

Very good designs. I like the one from Vasilis Xenofontos best. It's new. It looks very nice. The only disadvantage I can think of it right now is how will you fit that in square-ish icons?

Posted by marky on June 02, 2013 at 03:18 PM UTC #

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