Talk:APL logo

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This page records discussions that happened prior to establishing the final logo.

Nested bitmaps comment by LdBeth

I love the bitmap style font used in this logo, and this one comes with many variations. Might be great if combined with the dot halftone style logo used for APL Wiki.

Parallel lines comment by RGS

The “parallel lines” logo is very hard to read and it's hard to understand that there's an “APL” written in there. In general, I would go for things that are easy to read.

Display matrix comment by PaulMansour (talk)

This is an excellent starting point, but rather than the exact output of the DISPLAY function, a good graphic designer could stylize it a bit, perhaps removing some white space, a little kerning on the letters, some color, etc.

Cube apple comment by Ros (talk)

Stylistically, I like this logo the best - but it is my least preferred option: for me, it is too reminiscent of the Dyalog application logo to be a general and independent APL logo. Ros (talk) 09:17, 8 October 2021 (UTC)

Script apple comment by Fiona

Although I rather like the "hollow" version of this, Dyalog Ltd have already adopted a slight variation of this for use as the APL Seeds logo (user meetings, events and information specifically for new APLers) – see here for an example and the detail makes it harder to shrink. The filled version is slightly more reminiscent of a bell pepper than an apple to me – I prefer the shape of the (otherwise similar) 50 Years one further down the page.

Cube apple comment by Fiona (talk)

I like the cube representation and its array implications but it's maybe a tad too similar to the Dyalog product logo. I really dislike the text – on first impression it looked odd, and when realising that it's APL glyphs instead of letters it just seemed a bit of an inside joke that might alienate those who are not in the know (the same comment applies to the "Lamp Rho Downstile" and "APL matrix" logos).

Parallel lines comment by Fiona (talk)

This might appeal to those who have fond memories of the rather brilliant book, but it looks very dated, is hard to read unless you already know what it said, wouldn't render well when small, and wouldn't work in black-and-white.

General comment by MichaelBaas

It would be useful if the icons were shown in the same size(s), perhaps 32x32 as a miniature version (favicon etc.) and 192 x 192, and maybe each on a black and on a white background - so 4 versions per icon.

Plain Ellipse comment by PaulMansour (talk)

Very nice. Simple, clean, should be good at all sizes. Gets my vote!

Display matrix comment by DanHirschi (talk)

I actually like this one. If placed in the matrix of other logos above, it would stand out a bit because of its simplicity (I think the white space actually helps). Possible changes (that might improve it): - make the letters and box a bit thicker - use the older font where the characters are more italicized - use the old underscored font - as mentioned, adjust the spacing between the letters

Plain Ellipse comment by Fiona (talk)

I agree with Paul's comment on the clarity and simplicity of this design but would suggest that it is not taken forward in this colour due to its similarity to an existing logo: APL Media's logo is a lower case "apl" in a red circle – – but perhaps a different single colour (green?) would introduce more differentiation.

APL Rotated Array comment by Adám Brudzewsky

I quite like this one. It is simple and timeless.

However, I will dispute that the APL Wiki logo is "the most established APL logo to date". It was in fact recently changed from its previous logo, as seen on, which was shared with APL Team.

Furthermore, APL isn't a well-recognised language, and so I think it is important that the logo spells out "APL" such that people can at least go search for it.

APL Wiki comment by KSK (talk)

The APL Wiki would be my preference, followed by the Display matrix (which would be nicer if it were boxed up without breaks and maybe slightly slanted), then the Cube Apple.

General comment by Adám Brudzewsky

I think we should avoid a logo based on an apple, to avoid any legal issues with Apple Inc. See justification here.

Display matrix comment by Razetime (talk)

I'd say this is the best one and then simplest by far.

General comment by Adám Brudzewsky

I think the letters "APL" should be clearly legible, and their order be obvious. Some logos are ambiguous if the name is APL or ALP etc. Stylising them as ⍝⍴⌊ might be fine, but APL isn't well-known, so the logo must give away the name such that people can go search for it.

General comment by Dr. Jürgen Sauermann (GNU APL author and maintainer)

All apple based logos: not really vendor-agnostic (too much similarity with Apple Inc.)

My preferred one: Lamp Rho Downstile. Not sure where the logos are being used but if I think of e.g. favicon.ico and similar usage (i.e. icons) then the logo should have a simple structure without tiny details that looks good even as a 32×32 pixel image.

General comment by Peter Cyriax (talk)

I like almost all of these Logos; but I think we really need to focus on what we are trying to achieve here and then choose a Logo that satisfies those objectives.

As I understand it, we want a Logo that is used to 'Promote the Use of APL'. If so, the Target Market is people who commision, design or implement IT sytems that could (or should?) be written in APL. Within this group and their influencers, those we most want to reach are the ones who have not even heard of APL, far less know anything about it. We need to sell them the benefits - robust, well functioning sytems with rapid development timelines, flexability and low maintenance. These benefits are what matter the them: their job is to get things done, so they typically have little interest per. se. in the beautiful technology that we care so much about and which gives rise to these benefits.

As far as I can make out we propose that the APL Logo will be used to "brand" demonstrations, presentations and systems plus associated documentation; and the core purpose of the Logo is to proclaim to the Target Market: "This is APL in Action", i.e. to promote the APL brand. Also, as far as I can make out, we anticipate that the APL Logo will typically display at a size of around 120 x 120 pixels - not a lot of space for such a big message. Because, what we have to fit into that space is:

1. This is written in APL                                       - Brand Recognition
2. APL is (and stands for) "A Programming Language" - the Target Market will not know this; plus we have to distinguish our "APL" from other uses of 'APL'
3. APL is a sophisticated IT Tool: it delivers huge benefits... - the Core Message.


Nested bitmaps comment by Dnm (talk)

+1 for this logo, as my first choice (FWIW).

Display matrix comment by Dnm (talk)

Maybe my second choice preference for a logo (again, FWIW).

Lamp Box comment by Soveran (talk)

This logo is simple, direct, recognizable, and beautiful. I would love to use it.

Lamp Box and Lamp Rho Downstile Box comment by Adám Brudzewsky

These two could be used in combination, with Lamp Rho Downstile Box being the official logo and Lamp Box being used at small sizes like for favicons.

General comment by Richard

Personally I think the logo should be as simple and straightforward as possible. The logo also represents how we see ourselves in the community. It's difficult to express myself with these kind of subtleness in English, but I'll give it a try.

We should see APL as a major language.There are several YouTube Video's about esoteric languages. And APL is always mentioned in these videos... That is not where it belongs. APL is not a synthetic or artificial language just for fun.

This must also be reflected in the logo. No cryptic or nerdy design which reflects on the niche people think APL belongs to. No offence meant to other designs!!! Don't put yourself in a place you don't belong or want to be.

If you google APL, the first hit (in my case)is a ocean transport company. And it's logo is the three APL letters. Same goes for some shoe company (third hit), also the three letters. The APL programming language is not representing some kind of company but a serious programming language with its own applications and territory where it is sublime!

I am not a programmer and do nothing with software development for my job. I learned myself programming in C during my study (many years ago) to solve problems I encountered. However, what I experienced in C (and the same goes perhaps for a lot of other languages) is that you can start programming right away, and on the way start thinking about the solution. I started with APL three week ago. And this is completely different. First you have to think about the solution and then you start programming. (maybe it even shouldn't be called programming!). And again, I might be very wrong about this because of my lack of programming experience.

For me, APL is:

Back to basic. Think first, act (program) later. A direct approach to the solution of your problem.

And the language reflects this way of thinking. Even the (for a novice) cryptic symbols forces (helps!) you to pick up this mind set. So should the logo.

Letters From the Cube comment by Mlliarm (talk)

This could be read as `APL` but also as `ALP`, so it might confuse those that are not aware of the language name or people outside of the community.

APL Wiki comment by Mlliarm (talk)

I like this one actually.

- it is very modern as per design. - it's been used already in the APLwiki page (even though maybe the version with the traditional name in the middle is better) so some of us already feel used to it.

- It could be decided to use the traditional name APL with the nice curvy font, which will keep a connection with the past of the language this way.

- If the name was used I'd prefer the Lamp Rho Floor symbols or the curvy font mentioned earlier.

- If the name was used I don't think if like it to be anywhere else than in the middle. That's only where it's possible to enclose the letters with a bubble.

- The symbolism might be visible only to those that can recognize a matrix when they see it, but for me it has a deep and important symbolism: everything in APL is an array, be it 0-dimensioned (scalar), 1-dimensioned (vector or array), 2-dimensioned (matrix), n-dimensioned where n greater than 2 (tensor).

Quad APL comment by Mlliarm (talk)

This imho is too cryptic.

It carries the message that APL code can look like arcane ancient voodoo spells or incantations to Cthulhu and Yog Sothoth.

So I don't think it'd be a good idea to use this one, no matter how original is the idea of the creator.

It'd probably scare a beginner off. But I think the general feelings one should get when they lay their eyes on the logo are:

- aesthetic pleasing: it must have symmetry, be curvy and avoid many angles

- it has to make them curious or lure them to look into the language.

Not sure how the APL community can solve the issue that the glyphs bring math traumas to the surface (this is my naive "theory") and so, only those that can see the beauty of it all beyond the weird symbols will stay.

But I guess this is a problem (or a non problem) that the logo cannot solve, no matter how good and pleasant to the eye it is: for some people the glyphs will scare them away (possible math trauma in the past) and for others (the few mathematically inclined, or those that can handle any math anxiety that a total alien looking language can create to a new user -- like a westerner that tries to learn Japanese) it is this that will attract them to the language.

I suppose one needs to have a fair amount of weirdness in their mind/psyche to appreciate APL and decide to learn it, and keep pushing through the math anxiety it creates, like learning Japanese.

50 years apple comment by Mlliarm (talk)

Classic, but not very modern. Also keeps the APL/apple pun around. Not sure how good this is.

Display matrix comment by Mlliarm (talk)

Even though the design is a bit dated, I like a lot the fact that it can be created using the APL REPL and a few chars from the APL character set.

Maybe with some vidual artistic polishing it could be a strong contestant.

Modern comment by Mlliarm (talk)

I'd avoid the star in the logo...

In my eyes it makes look like it's an extremist left revolutionary group...

Cube apple comment by Mlliarm (talk)

I like this very much:

- it has the apple looking design, so here's the connection with the past

- the apple looks like a design from a cubist painter, and very modern, so here's the connection to the present and the future. Also being a cube, it has a strong reference to the basic data structure of the language (array) and suggests that APL works with n-dimensional data too

- finally, it has the curvy APL name in the center that looks good to the eyes, makes it very clear of how the language is called plus it introduces the newcomers to their first three glyphs: Lamp Rho Floor.

Very strong contestant too imho.

Letters From the Cube comment by John niss hansen (talk)

I like this logo based on a plyomino and coded in APL

Letters From the Cube comment by AplProgrammer148 (talk)

I like this because it showcases APL's array-oriented programming.

50 years apple comment by Bill Early (talk)

If I may make a suggestion... - Use the same general shape of this logo - Red apple, not green - Maybe a little green leaf or two - No worm - "APL" in the thicker 2741-like font, like in a nearby logo

Parallel lines comment by RLevine (talk)

The basic design is strong. A font designer could simplify the letters inside the black parallel lines, perhaps while keeping the parallel lines motif in the letters.