Please fix kerning in new logo

For reference, this is the current logo as seen on GitHub:

The kerning (spacing between characters) is... not good; the spacing in "OpenWrt" bugs me the most.

I suggest something like:

The spacing for "WIRE" in "WIRELESS FREEDOM" is also a touch tighter than the rest of the line. I'd like to see this line evened out as well.

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Only a typographer could catch that (lc ‘n’ followed by cap ‘W’)

Once upon a time I wrote pagination software that manipulated point size, line spacing, and kerning by 100th’s of Pts within the allowed parameters to composite a requisite page.

John Q. can’t see any difference between 9.8 and 10 Pt type let alone poor inter-letter kerning. Hey, think about how it would look in hot metal!

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Should I report this to openwrt-devel or to Flyspray?

Should I edit the SVG and submit a patch? I think the project is working with a designer on the logo redesign; it would be better to fix this in the source file(s), and better to involve the designer and get their expertise.

I hope this can be fixed before the logo is more widely used/shared. Having bad kerning does not make our project look good. Ordinary people may not be able to pinpoint exactly what is wrong but they will feel that "something is off".

BTW Kern Type is a fun game where you can test your letter spacing skills.

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@ynezz Do you have contact to the designer who created the styleguide?
I would be interested in hearing his opinion on the kerning issue.

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I hope we can fix this issue and apply the new logo to the forum and wiki.

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I've just forwarded link to this thread to the designer.

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Thanks to @jefferyto for bringing this up. I guess I sent my thoughts regarding the new logo a couple months ago to the wrong venue. In particular, I was asking two questions about the new logo (#2 and #3 in my original note).

  • The text (the "wordmark") of the logo appears a bit too low to my eye. You can see the original logo, and compare it to the new by clicking between the links at: https://richb-hanover.github.io//LEDE_Download_Index_Page/origlogos.html

  • It would really be helpful to get advice from the designer re: the padding around the logo. As I noted in my original note:

    The logo usage guidelines (https://openwrt.org/_media/docs/guide-graphic-designer/openwrt-logo-usage-guidelines.pdf) are a little difficult to interpret. The recommendations for breathing room use 1/4 X for the padding, but the X dimension itself is awkward (that is, not easily measured). I wonder whether we could ask the logo designer to give advice for the padding based on an exterior dimension of each of the four variations shown on Page 4.

So, please, if we can get a bit of attention from the logo designer, would you ask these questions as well? Many thanks!

PS That repo also has samples of the download pages that incorporate the new logo. You can see the full set of proposed pages at: https://richb-hanover.github.io/LEDE_Download_Index_Page/files.html

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As XKCD says, "If you really hate someone, teach them to recognize bad kerning". Have a wonderful day! :slight_smile:

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Well, that daily chuckle was a good start :smile:
Sarcasm aside, and FWIW, I fully agree with both yourself and the OP’s assertions. Both of your suggestions improve the logo aesthetically.

@ynezz - any response from the designer? Thanks.

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@richb-hanover-priv Thanks for your input - I haven't seen the logo usage guidelines before.

I see the wordmark is vertically aligned with the inner edge of the "Open 'O'", but this should be aligned with the bottom (flat) edge of the letters "n", "W" and "r" (the true baseline of the wordmark) not the bottom (round) edge of "O", "p", "e" and "t".

Regarding the tagline ("WIRELESS FREEDOM") kerning: Horizontally aligning the "I" with the outer edge of the above "p" is not my preferred choice, but if you want to do that you need to also adjust the kerning for the rest of the tagline to match.

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@jefferyto Thanks for your thoughts.

As someone who's not involved in a lot of the "doing" in this volunteer open-source project, I am learning not to second-guess the experts who are making the decisions. (For example, I have no standing to ask for a change to the C compiler version.)

However, I do reserve the right to point out problems, and note possible solutions. That's why I am anxious to hear the designer's response to all of our comments.

@richb-hanover-priv I'm not sure if the designer will have answers for your questions so thought I would add my thoughts:

  • Bottom vs middle align for wordmark/tagline: This appears to be a deliberate design choice. It's up to the client (i.e. the OpenWrt project) to say whether they like it or not, and since the choice has stuck I would assume no one else in the project has objected to it.
  • Padding around logo: The "x" measurement for each variant is derived from the design itself. I don't think it would be reasonable to ask the designer to redefine it in a way that makes it easier to compute using a formula. It's also not necessary since the specified padding is only a minimum; make the actual padding at least a quarter of the full height of the logo variant and you have satisfied the minimum requirement.

Hope that helps :slightly_smiling_face:

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I'm asking for the graphic designer's response to our questions before deciding whether to ask the project to consider changes. Here is my understanding of the outstanding questions:

  • re: Your comments about kerning...
    I totally agree that you have detected a problem. If the designer says, "No, I purposely made this kerning choice." then the project admin's are free to make a choice for change or not.
  • Bottom vs middle align for wordmark/tagline: This appears to be a deliberate design choice. It's up to the client (i.e. the OpenWrt project) to say whether they like it or not, and since the choice has stuck I would assume no one else in the project has objected to it.
    I suspect no one in the project actually tried to put the logo into service. When I did, the "too-lowness" of the wordmark jumped out at me. That's why I want to get the designer's thoughts.
  • Padding around logo: The "x" measurement for each variant is derived from the design itself. I don't think it would be reasonable to ask the designer to redefine it in a way that makes it easier to compute using a formula. It's also not necessary since the specified padding is only a minimum; make the actual padding at least a quarter of the full height of the logo variant and you have satisfied the minimum requirement.
    "Just put more padding around it..." doesn't make a strong graphical design standard. To the contrary, I believe it is reasonable to ask the designer to come up with a simple rule such as, "Make the padding X% of the .svg's height." The fact that you and I (who are both fairly careful about graphical appearance) have spent so much time on this question means the designer is not being sensitive to their customer's (that is, our) time. See also [1] below.

In all these cases, I would like advice from the designer responding to our observations. Only then can the OpenWrt admins decide what to do. Thanks again.

[1] Here is my understanding of the measurements, based on a close reading of page 4 of the logo guidelines. I willingly accept any corrections if I have missed something:

  1. (logo over the wordmark) The X height is measured from the top of the "fan" to some indeterminate distance below the bottom of the "O" (or the top of the "OpenWrt" wordmark. But their spacing is not specified.
  2. (wordmark alone) The X height is measured from the baseline of the wordmark to the top of the ® symbol. The ® seems to be vertically centered on the top of the "O", but its font size seems to be considerably reduced from that of the rest of the wordmark, so its font size is unclear.
  3. (logo beside wordmark) The X height is measured from the baseline of the wordmark to the top of the "fan". It is uncertain how those objects relate to each other, or how to derive the X height.
  4. (logo alone) The X height is measured from the bottom of the "O" to its top. If that glyph is actually a circle (I think it is), it is straightforward to compute the X height using the width of the .svg.

TL;DR For this third question, I would be completely content if the designer would say, for each of the four, "Set the padding to a minimum of X% of the height of the .svg." That would eliminate any confusion.

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Last time I got Oh! I'll fix it right away from him, so pinged one more time just now.

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Thank you!