Opinions on corporate and brand identity work.

A division of UnderConsideration.

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This is a very old entry — images are small, formatting is off.


Open Source with a Heart

Reviewed Apr. 9, 2009 by Armin

Industry / Technology Tags /

Symbian Foundation Logo, New

I think I can get this right, but please excuse my lack of acquaintance with the world of open source software for mobile devices. Originally developed in 1998 by Symbian Ltd., the Symbian Operating System has (I think) powered much of the software in phones for Nokia, Ericsson and Docomo and has remained largely unknown to users. Last year, Nokia purchased the Symbian Ltd. and its OS in order to contribute it to the newly formed Symbian Foundation, which aims to provide the software platform as open source to all of its members. So, more or less, that’s the story. In other words, Symbian Foundation is attempting to feel highly approachable and transparent doing it in a back-to-basics, can’t-we-all-just-get-along, no-fuss way.

They have designed an identity that truly captures this approach. At first glance, the yellow heart logo and its blocky typography look unfinished and childish as if they had gone back to the very, very basics and just learned how to draw and write. But the visual execution is by no means unintentional. It portrays a sense of innocence in an industry (mobile devices) governed by shiny, overconfident designs and it’s a nice change of pace — even if they remain behind the scenes in contrast to the Ericssons and Nokias of the world.

What completes this identity is the range of fun and wacky illustrations that express the idea of innovation and exploration. This Flickr set has all the illustrations, which are amusingly named with monikers like “jetpack moo.” The photo at the bottom here shows the illustrator at a party drawing up a storm. Anyone know who he is?

Symbian Foundation Illustrations

Symbian Foundation Illustrator at work

Thanks to Pauli Ojala for the tip.



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