The Drupal Logo, Drupalicon and Brand - Drupal Swag
For those of you that don't know, Mark Boulton Design was chosen by the Drupal Association for the re-desing and re-branding of Drupal.org.
During a session at the conference that introduced Mark Boulton Design to the Drupal community Mark talked about "Brand" being much more than just a logo. A Brand is about consistency. A Brand is a reflection of the attitude and ideals and the essence of a company / group / product. (I am paraphrasing).
At one point during the session, someone asked what he thought about the Drupalcon Szeged logo. Mark's response was basically that the logo itself was fine, but he had serious concerns that the Druplicon was allowed to be changed and manipulated for different uses. The concern being that there was no consistency of Brand.
That's the interesting bit. For good or for bad, the way the community is 'playful' with the Drupalicon (the Drupal Logo) is part of the community and a reflection of "who we are". The Drupal logo is licensed under the GPL. As a result there is nothing that can stop people doing what they want with the logo - and such freedom afforded by the GPL is very much a part of what Drupal is all about.
On the other hand it is inconsistent to have a logo that constantly changes. I can clearly see how that would make it difficult to create a consistent Brand beyond the logo itself. I'm just guessing here (pure speculation - unfounded in any fact or even rumor), but I suspect that there will be a new Drupal Logo that will come out of the re-branding of Drupal. The new logo will be a part of the new Brand that will serve as the consistent public facing Drupal. Despite the fact that the introduction of a new logo will be contentious it would not be unprecedented. Take a look at FreeBSD, their new logo and their beloved beastie. I'm not opposed to a new logo, because the old logo would live on in its role as mascot and inward (community) facing Drupal.
Which brings me to Drupal swag. I always marvel at all the different t-shirts and pins and dodads that adorn drupalers at usergroup meetings, Drupalcamps and Drupalcons. Each their own take on the Druplicon. Most designed for a specific event in mind, but others just 'cause someone had a cool interpretation of the logo. (If anyone has links to on-line stores for some of this swag I'd love to hear about it). No matter what comes out of the new Drupal.org re-design, I don't think anything will change the community's desire to create some of the coolest swag in the open source world.