[Design-team] Fedora, and the fedora

Máirín Duffy mairin at linuxgrrl.com
Sun Oct 25 03:06:09 UTC 2009

Hi Kamisamanou,

On 10/24/2009 09:20 PM, Kamisamanou Burgess wrote:
> Hello,
> I might be beating an old horse, but I have a question:

You're quite correct, it is an old horse. :) But that's okay, you're
free to ask the question.
> Why can't the blue fedora be used in reference to the Fedora project?
> Now before everyone starts dancing to the rattle of their keyboards, let me
> clear up a few things.
>    1. I don't want the hat to be the logo
>    2. I like our current logo
>    3. I've seen "The making of the Fedora Logo" on redhat.com
> Why do I want to use the hat?
> The answer really stems from an artistic standpoint. Characters such as
> os-tans, linux penguins, etc. look really good with the hat. I like those
> characters. I understand that the logo could be affixed to those, but it
> looks weird as anything other than a badge for a shirt.

>From a legal perspective, and also for me a matter of taste, it's a bad
practice to mix elements of logos from different entities in the way you
suggest. If you are curious as to why this is the case I suggest some
readings here:

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genericized_trademark

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disparagement

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark_dilution

You'll note that it is an uncommon practice generally, likely due to the
reasons above. Usually I only see such brand mix & matchups in
treatments that are clearly amateur.

> What follows is my counter to the page on the Fedora wiki.

>> . You might have seen the red hat that was passed down from Fedora's Red
>> Hat Linux lineage
> I don't want to use a red hat.


>> Other hats have been community creations and never had any official
>> connection to Fedora. Use our logo and avoid using hats to represent Fedora
>> since we want Fedora to have its own independent brand.
> I understand the need to seperate ourselves from Red Hat Linux, but Fedora
> is a fork of a former version of Red Hat. Furthermore, Fedora is in the
> name, making a direct reference to the shadowman's topper. Lastly, when
> combined with the official colour scheme, the fedora(not referencing the red
> hat design, most logos don't use it) does an extremely good job at
> representing Fedora Linux.

Basically, Red Hat owns the trademark to Fedora, and Red Hat as a
corporate entity decided that they would not be comfortable with a hat,
blue or red, being used to represent Fedora. Rather, they preferred that
Fedora have a more distinct brand. Since they are the trademark owners,
as the community design team, we responsibly respect their wishes, since
it is only with their permission that we're enabled to produce artwork
involving the logo at all.

Since I did not set the requirement and have no strong feelings about it
either way, I'm not really qualified to defend it. If you would like me
to inquire as to the rationale from the folks within Red Hat who manage
our trademarks, I would be happy to to do so. I am pretty sure, however,
if you search around the web you'll find they already provided their
rationale in the past on mailing lists and such.

I will also note that Red Hat, excepting the considerably minor
'no-hats' requirement, has bestowed upon this community design team a
commendable degree of freedom in determining the Fedora project's brand,
look, and feel. Red Hat funded the design of the Fedora logo and an
initial set of usage guidelines to set us off on the right foot, but
from there they have not only agreeable but encouraging us to set a
direction for Fedora's signature artwork and other branding collateral.

 I'm very grateful for Red Hat's trust in us as a community to take
proper care of the Fedora brand.


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