(Est. 1993) “Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver high-performing Linux, cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies. We help you standardize across environments, develop cloud-native applications, and integrate, automate, secure, and manage complex environments with award-winning support, training, and consulting services.”
Designed in-house with consultation from Pentagram
Originally called “The Red Hat Man,” then later, “Shadowman,” the figure under the red fedora personified the company. Red Hatters knew Shadowman was a benevolent, liberating figure, introducing then-taboo open source software to the mainstream. In a way, Shadowman was a playful and defiant comment on the vilification of open source. As Red Hat grew into a mainstream company and open source began gaining trust and traction in the marketplace, the image no longer made quite as much sense.
We didn’t start over. We kept the most recognizable and important elements and collaboratively crafted a logo with more resonance with our truth.. We thought through the connections linking our story with our symbol. Now, we are more Red Hat than ever.
Images (opinion after)
I had never heard of Red Hat but given the number of tips I got about it, it seems like I should have. Oh well. The old logo, known as “Shadowman“, was interesting because it was so different and weird but it was a slightly creepy dude and the typography was really bad. The icon was so loved that a number of employees had gotten it tattooed. The new logo is quite literal: it’s a red hat, but it’s red AF and hat AF. It’s a great, simple drawing and the angle it's drawn at not only maintains a reference to the old logo but keeps the mystique and “Tip of the Hat” gesture that makes fedoras so cool. On a black background it looks superb. The new wordmark is fine, with the generic geometric sans serif vibe slightly offset by some Interstate-ness that helps make it a little more unique. The logo’s flexibility for lock-ups and sub-brands works as it should and works surprisingly good when paired with other logos. The video shows that the hat can take on different textures and executions which is all fine and fun but so far looks like MTV lite. Overall, having no sentimental attachment to the old logo, I dig the update as it makes the company look more put together and not like an underground hacker group.
Thanks to Paul Tuorto for the tip.