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Open Letter: Blender Brand Identity Refresh Proposal


Hynuen contributed a proposal for a Blender (and Blender Artists). While Ton has already indicated Blender isn't due for a brand refresh for the next 3-5 years, it IS interesting to see how Blender's visual identity could develop, and how it changes over time.

With 3.0 being around the corner I'd like to present you my proposal to refresh the Blender brand for 2022 and beyond.

It wouldn't be a complete redesign, just a long overdue refresh!

I hope to win the community's approval so it might happen in the end.

Please check it out here, and tell me what you think about it.


      • Don't agree that it's long overdue and your proposal looks like fat fingers, everything's overweight. Are you trying to suggest Blender is bloated?
        The current design isn't crooked! It's representative of a 3d environment and demonstrates that depth. Back off and let the team focus on development, of which they're doing a great job, not some inane proposal like this which averts that focus. Congrats on your recent commission for IKEA, but a logo is not a brand, it is one component of an identity which has many other factors. The current volume of inward investment shows a level of trust in the way things are being managed and more importantly delivered. If the timeframe is 3-5 years then that's it, start messing with the programme and detracting from what's already in the pipeline you risk destabilising the momentum and focus. Remarks about things being out of date, long overdue serve no useful purpose. Whenever the time is right for a rebrand, I hope it's a worthwhile exercise which encapsulates more than just a logo, such that the new identity showcases the depth and breadth of what is possible and any components of that identity must be created/generated using Blender. The last thing it should be is flat, like every other 'rebrand' since 2011.

  1. Why is this needed or desirable? Why is it "long overdue"; that's just an empty term like "dated" which is completely subjective.

    If it ain't broke, don't "fix" it.

      • Old design is great imo.
        Also can't see 'childish'.
        And that wouldn't even matter, since Blender is for everyone, anyway.
        Teenagers are an important segment.
        I think Blender logo is one of the few that has always been 'timeless' in design - not anything like Instagram logo, for example.

  2. Sergey Metelskiy on

    Much better than current design, that hopelessly stuck in 00's.
    Really hoping the developers will at least take a look at your mockups. Nice, clean and modern refreshment!

    • I like this. I think I'd prefer to keep the blue inner circle, but the cleanup and rounder font do well for the design I think. I could get behind a variation of this with another pass or so.

  3. Russell Wulfenstein on

    I agree that the visual identity could possibly use a refresh. The proposed concept is a step in the right direction -- stronger and less playful -- more fit for professional work. While I like the proposed concept and see it as a viable option, I wouldn't be quick to jump on a single concept. This would need to be a serious undertaking with lots of exploration and research.

  4. Hey guys,
    I made the refresh proposal.

    Thanks for all your comments.
    They are similar to what I got everywhere else too where I shared this. All very-very polarized reactions.
    But to be completely honest I expected exactly this from our great Blender community :)
    I'm a proud part of it for many years but I know how hardheaded, or - as I learned from a friend - how NIMBYs can Blenderheads be.

    Thank you for all of you who like it, it means a lot honestly.
    To those who don't: you don't have to love / like my proposal the way I do, but in the end it doesn't depend on any of us if it's used or not. :)
    So don't be upset, please. Think along instead.

    Look, here's a few ideas for starters:

    1st. You say don't change what's not broken. You mean don't change what doesn't bother you.
    But it does bother ME since I started using Blender 6 years ago and many other artists who has an eye or affinity for branding.
    I worked in graphic design for years, designed countless logos, I do know how a good brand or logo look like. I was an addict of logos before.

    2nd. I love Blender as much as you do but I would never ever wear a Blender t-shirt for example.
    Not because I wouldn't wear a software branded tee, but because of the logo!
    The one I proposed I would wear not because it's made by me but because it aligns with my quality expectation!
    I do hope that you, who don't like it now, would get used to it with time and would wear it with the same proudness as you would the current one. Then we can all be happy and advertise Blender on our bodies!

    3. The current Blender logo IS dated by all design standards and when it wasn't dated it was already a pretty bad design. It falls apart on many levels. This is not a question of taste but a question of profession.

    4. Please for the God in Heavens stop with the "I hate logo oversimplification trend" this is just a sentence you can use any time a brand decides to reinvent iself. Many times for its benefit. Also "simplification" is the best thing ever. That's how we humans put sense into anything. I LOVE simplification, my whole life revolves around this word. But over-simplification is a concept very much dependent on the one who says it. And I have to disagree with you on this.
    I do not think I oversimplifed the B3D logo. :)

    5. Although yes. You can miss the dot, that really is a personal preference.. For you.
    I removed it for practical reasons. The Blender logo is used in tiny scale very often and in that scale it works much better without the dot.

    Thank you for reading all this.
    I hope I brought you closer to my ideas and ideals instead of alienating you more.

    To ease the tensions - if you are interested - check out my new portfolio piece I co-created with Pokedstudio. We just posted it today :)

    Thank you again and please don't fear of change!
    It is - most often than not - a good thing.

    • Sergey Metelskiy on

      Really, my personal opinion - blender community is not the place to discuss this kind of topics, and you don't really have to explain anything to anyone here except:
      1) people from blender foundation who are actually responsible for these kind of decisions
      2) community members who are really have an authority and expertise in graphic design and branding.

      I mean, no offence to anyone here, but I've never seen the developers asking wide community about the quality of their code. So why bother presenting and ask an opinion on a design from people who most probably won't tell a good design from a bad one?

      • The artwork is... fine. We can agree the old logo and its type do look dated.
        And it is a good starting point for a discussion. It is just... misplaced.

        I happen to like a more minimal approach, and I am behind your design in that sense.
        What worked years ago for Andrew Price was positively disruptive and lead to a shift in Blender's GUI (by way of iteration) - if memory serves. But Blender offers places for design (forum, discord server, etc). You have a much higher chance being noticed by the developer community – no offense BN.

        Your logo revision is "chubby". That's the best in relatable terms. The proportions may seem correct (eliminate perceived vertical stretch), but I think it's mainly the thickness of the logo body.
        The font is modern – not a good thing. The equal height of the letters is way better than the current type, but I disagree vehemently with the missing indicator of the letter "n". Small, perhaps, but the font becomes more part of the logo in a way that it would matter. And it shouldn't (also a disadvantage for the old font). I'd search of a typeface with a more traditional flair. Please note that I don't mean Helvetica or Comic Sans.

        As it so happens, I have been designing for years as well. And it means diddly squat. Like you and others, I can more or less verbalize my choices and thus justify my designs, but that's generally just about opinion. "Slick", "Simple", "Modern", and similar are meaningless in the greater scheme of things. Y'all use the same words 5 years down the road for the next "big thing".
        Modern trends are often shoved under the umbrella of "design principles". Skeumorphism, parallel shadows, whatever Apple calls its confusing minimalism. Chasing that modernity, and all that. This is why I highly recommend the people closer to the project – which includes people that give you authoritative feedback.

        I think you'll find the collaborative design process quite interesting... and quite unavoidable. I'd tip my bonnet to you, young man, if the logo is accepted as-is.

      • People don't have to "understand a design principle" to know whether or not they like something. Everyone's comments here, including YOUR'S, are opinions. Just because someone went to school for something like design or art, doesn't take away the totally subjective aspect of design or art. It will ALWAYS be subjective. Art and design may move towards a trend....but being the latest and greatest, or even on the cutting edge of a current trend, does not make something intrinsically good...or even better.

        I'm sure someone will disagree with support from whatever they "learned" is good.

  5. crankyfoxinabox on

    No one asked for this. Blender is becoming recognized as it is. Why throw that all out for something that looks weak?

    • Provide ONE single desgin priciple that supports the word weak in this statement.
      Some could say it is stronger (monolithic) some may say it looks like metal, which is strong, so please provide anything that you think evoques weakness in this desgin

      • The fact it looks corporate. Straight lines, no 3D look, and overall blandness. The current logo is far more unique and recognizable than ever before.

      • The new font is worse. However goofy the actual typographic version of the logo looks, at least it's readable and grounded, as opposed to the suggested one which is floaty as heck harder to read without the serifs in the smaller examples in the post and daaamn that 'N' sucks a lot.
        Ppl need to understand that 'flat' design was a silicon valley fad that doesn't fit every single case in the world, along with oversimplification (the 'eye' on the blender logo is what makes it stand out actually, the circle with the pointy bits by themselves are simply too generic.)
        You seem to be way too passionate about this proposition, so I won't explain myself further here.

    • The blender artists one might have something to it. Might be a little nicer than the current one. Otherwise blender's logo is very nice as it is.

  6. Hey David - just a word of advice, if people are telling you they disagree with your design choices and prefer the old one, it's a better look to just accept the criticism gracefully. Good design stands on its own, you won't convince anyone to prefer your design aesthetically with a retaliatory response. Having been a professional graphic designer and made logos before doesn't make your opinion/perspective inherently superior to all the other designers criticizing your work, and indeed, there are pros who disagree with you here.

    You contradict yourself here - in #3, you state that the current logo's design being poor is not a question of taste, and that you are objectively correct. Yet in #5, you admit that whether to keep the dot or not IS ultimately down to personal preference. And the dot isn't nearly as big of an issue as you suggest at small sizes. I'm seeing it in 64x64px right now on my desktop, and the dot is still clear clear - there are a number of other very successful logos right next to it as well that include even smaller dots, like Discord, Substance Painter, and more.

  7. no... just no,

    I'm fine with a change to the font but just don't oversimplify the actual blender logo itself, it's already a simple and clean logo, so there's no need to no simplify it more

  8. Although I do have a tendency to stick with the original, I must say that I very much like the new identity put forward in this proposal. It's slick, simpler and more modern. Since Blender got a complete overhaul as of 2.8 onward, I doubt that this would hurt the face of this wonderful software.

  9. I really hope this is a message from April Fool's Day. Why not focus more on development, but on bad design. Without blue dots, it's like eyes that can't see the future, becoming featureless, with rounded fonts more like a children's style. This will lose the brand image that has taken decades to build. Please keep the original.

  10. I do not like!
    Hopefully the period of "flat interfaces" is over or will end soon.
    Exaggeration with minimalism isn't always good.

    PS. I had to log in "once in a thousand years" to write this )

  11. This discussion here looks like the yearly article in CGpress when the new "features" of MAX are announced :)

    - Do the logo need a rework? Maybe.
    - Is our salvation threatened if we just keep the old desing? I don´t think so.
    - Are there are other more pressing thing on blender development? Pretty much all other things.
    - Does the suggestion looks better? Yes. Except the missing dot is a no-go ("life without this dot is possible, but useless).

    So relax and look forward to the release tomorrow. *Hooray*

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