[Tor www-team] Graphic Design thoughts

Robert Charlton rectec at mail.com
Thu Jan 23 06:28:07 UTC 2014

Hello, community. I should first introduce myself to this list. I'm a
semi-long time exit relay operator. Although I'm still a newcomer, I
have a few years of graphics design experience, I'm good with Linux
systems and decent with servers, I do a bit of web development and
design, and I'm currently learning Javascript. In addition, I can be
useful when it comes to writing. Although I have a lot on my plate at
the moment, I'm a big fan of the Tor project and I'm willing to help out
wherever I can (whenever I can).

I have a total of 1 (one!) website, which is a Tor exit relay notice
site ( that I've put way too much work into,
since it's the only thing that I can work on as far as websites go.

I thought I'd offer some input into this discussion. As has been said
before, we really should get a style guide going before we design any
actual branding, logos, etc. I'm not too sure about where we're at in
this undertaking, but has anybody tried reaching out to the EFF about
this? They have a knack for good design, and they've done artwork for
Tor before. They're never reluctant to help out the Tor project. Maybe
they can help with this. Just an idea.

Now, in complete disregard for what I just said, I'd like to talk a bit
about the logo. This is, I think, the most important part of our
project's presentation. Once the style guide is finished, it should be
one of the first things to (re-)design.

Marck Al's visual identity mockup is a start. Thanks for putting in some
work, Marck. The onion layers concept is something I'd like to see be
kept in the new logo. It's an homage to the design of Tor itself. I like
the 'O' design. In a way, it gives an impression of the layers of an
onion (which is the goal of this design, of course). It's alright, but
it would be better to give more emphasis on the concept of layers.
Perhaps add more 'layers' to the 'O' and make them less thick? I also
like the way the layers get darker as they move outward, once again in
homage to the way Tor itself is designed (more and more layers of
encryption added as data moves through the circuit).

As noted in a post to the Tor subreddit
the rest of the logo is a bit generic. It's a bit corporate-looking as
well. I prefer the rounded corners of the original logo's typeface; it
gives off a more friendly vibe. As a sidenode, getting more involved
with the subreddit about the redesign is a great way to get some
discussion going and opinions formed.

I'm not much for designing from scratch, but I've attached a little
something that I threw together which replaces the middle onion symbol
with Marck's 'O' symbol. We haven't yet decided upon the new color
palette, but I've colored it a nice earthy blue color (blue chill to be
exact) for now. Inkscape SVG and regular PNG versions are attached.
Don't be too hard on it. It's just a rough mockup. :)

Hope this wasn't too long of a message. Interested in your feedback.
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