Ubuntu has nearly the same logo as the Microsoft Alumni Network

Bug #63890 reported by Daniel Robbins
6
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ubuntu
Undecided
Unassigned
Dapper
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

Ubuntu appears to have a logo and color scheme nearly identical to that of the Microsoft Alumni Network. See http://www.msanet.org. I have no idea who created which logo first, but wanted to report the issue. Since MSA is an alumni organization and not in a software-related industry per se, there is probably not a meaningful trademark violation by either party, but it should probably be looked into. I have to say that I find this situation strangely ironic, especially considering Ubuntu's bug #1 (https://launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/+bug/1)

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Andrew Hunter (rexbron) wrote :

Ugg,

This is something that Cannoical needs to deal with.

But I am subscribing the ubuntu-marketing team.

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Corey Burger (corey.burger) wrote :

Umm, right. This really isn't important, but the MSA logo appears to be fairly recent. The old logo can be seen here:
http://www.planeteria.com/portfolio_brand.aspx

Given the front page of the MSA lists a merger this year, it might have happened in 2006.
However, wayback machines give the date of Nov 2003, which does predate ubuntu:
http://web.archive.org/web/20031118173611/http://www.msanet.org/

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Eitan Isaacson (eeejay) wrote :

Maybe we are not approaching this right.
Maybe MSA _is_ Ubuntu...

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Daniel Robbins (drobbins-funtoo) wrote :

I think this is the result of two designers applying identical design "rules":

1. a logo to imply community - 2 people would imply a 1:1 relationship, 3 is minimum number of people. 4 is too busy and distracts from the visual message.

2. Have people holding hands - this gets the message across. Show heads so that we recognize them as people. This is the bare minimum required to create the "human" model.

3. Use a red/orange color palette to support the human analogy but also have print-friendly and more vibrant colors (saturated versions of natural skin tone)

4. The logo is visually more interesting if two heads are lined up vertically.

5. Create negative space around graphical elements to keep them distinct.

Two similarly-minded people trying to communicate the same basic concept visually with as little graphical elements as possible (which is generally the goal for a corporate logo) would arrive at nearly identical designs and color palettes.

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Said Babayev (phoenix49) wrote :

>However, wayback machines give the date of Nov 2003, which does predate ubuntu:
http://web.archive.org/web/20031118173611/http://www.msanet.org/

That doesn't mean that it didn't change its logo. Their logo may was different, and then they change to Ubuntu's. We all know how this firm likes stealing artwork..

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PaulSchulz (paulschulz) wrote :

Browsing through the dates on the wayback machine, shows that the MSA logo changed on the website sometime between 2005-06-29 and 2005-07-31

http://web.archive.org/web/20050629234701/www.msanet.org/

http://web.archive.org/web/20050731012333/www.msanet.org/

Where as Ubuntu logo's appear as early as 2004-10-14 (small icons)..

http://web.archive.org/web/20041014050911/http://www.ubuntu.com/

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Freddy Martinez (freddymartinez9) wrote :

Can we close this bug report now?

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Matthew East (mdke) wrote :

Yes, this isn't a bug.

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