Talk:Light bulb and butterfly

From FreeMind

Jump to: navigation, search


Color Scheme Can Be Drastically Improved

(Picture at bottom of page)

The design looks great but the color is a blue that is too commonplace, so it contradicts the creativity message intended by the light bulb figure. Perhaps use some orange to have some continuity with the previous logo and have a more unique color? With freemind being about creativity, it makes more sense to have a bold, imaginative color scheme in the logo using some less commonly used colors, like orange, pistachio green, or any one of the millions of colors available.

The default colors in freemind are generally great, except there is too much commonplace blue everywhere.

I liked the mind map in the background of the title logo as it did show what it was used for. The color scheme is a little common place, but sometimes common place can be re-assuring.

There's a reason that pretty sky-blue color is so popular these days: it's soothing, entiticing and screams "Web 2.0" - which is a good thing. I think, either way, the new look is 1,000 times better than the old. Well done.

The colors are fine on the new logo, but what I like is the imagery. It's obviously a light bulb, but with a pi symbol (the element) and a circle (the bulb) tied to it. Very cool.

For me the bulb is to technical, mathematical. I'd like to encourage you guys to re-design the butterfly and give up the bulb. From the design view, the warm colors are much better and I think you can have more success using the butterfly. Re-designing is good, but watch out not to leave the track. In your case perhaps redesign means a more abstract version of the butterfly (for example: I don't understand why you use two differnet Icons? The Splashscreen and the document icon?). "Free" is the butterfly, not the bulb which stands for "idea" ...

Really like the bulb! Understand (now) about the butterfly being free, but I use FM for developing ideas. Lightbulb is almost universally "idea" while butterfly is...? I agree that too much of everything is blue, and while it does scream Web 2.0, I like the idea of distinguishing it from every other thing out there. What if it were the new image based in orange. Orange and blue are complementary colors that work well together (e.g. Firefox logo!) so an all orange logo in a sea of blue would stand out without hurting the aesthetic sensibilities. Re two icons: I like one for program and one for documents.

I think the bulb is great. I would definitely endorse different colors however. Blue connotes stability and seriousness, which I don't think are FreeMind's aspirations. Deep, saturated green or orange would better communicate the application's uses and strengths. The beveled globe style is just fine; just change the hue.

I like the new design, makes it more fresh. Actually I like the new colors too, but would better prefer old colors, so maybe you can make it with blue background, and old butterfly color for the bulb, or second version - the new logo as it is, but keep a little butterfly with old colors (maybe a bit brighter though) inside the bulb. uldics

How do you like this? Mindmap.png Icon3.jpg

I've always liked the butterfly but can also see why the bulb makes sense. My very quick hack is shown below which combines the 2 images and uses the butterfly as the light within the bulb. I know several on the blog have mentioned this but have not seen any work to date, so apologies for any copyright-type violations. This is only a hack of the small icon. If I could get a high res file, then I could do this a little more justice.


Hi -- Bill McClain on 4/10/2007 with a quick note: I'd like to suggest to anyone more artistically inclined than myself that the butterfly logo could, instead of having plain wings, have light-bulb-esque markings on them. Anybody game for trying this?

I Like the Light Bulb...

but either way this is a fantastic, indispensable program I use daily. Thank you. Atsakiris 06:10, 17 Apr 2007 (PDT)

Keep the Butterfly

Although I only came across this a few weeks ago, I have to say, keep the butterfly. The light-bulb is too overdone, and doesn't represent the "freedom" aspect of FreeMind too well. In addition to this, I think the butterfly shows the shape of what you can do a lot better, whether this was purposeful or not. Just my $0.02 on the issue. Slokunshialgo 17:07, 17 Apr 2007 (PDT)

Best of both...

The light bulb with the butterfly as the filament is an awesome idea. Keep the butterfly as simple as possible. The light bulb represents wisdom and the butterfly suggests the freedom that is gained from and is encompassed within that wisdom. The clean lines represent organization and the overall drawing is simplicity itself. Enlightening, Powerful and Easy to Use!


I like both, but ..

.. freemind is about growing ideas; relations of thoughts. A butterfly is a nice metaphor for lightness and beautiful fragility. A bulb puts light into darkness and shows allready existing things, previously hidden. So imho, kind of a plant would be an appropriate metaphor for freemind.

Problem with the lightbulb

The lightbulb is pretty, but it's about as generic a logo as I have ever seen. The white on that color blue scheme that was chosen is present in generic looking sites all over the web, and the lighbulb as a logo/metaphor for thinking has been done a million times. A logo is supposed to give you identity, not help you blend in with the crowd.

The icons of the butterfly logo are pretty ugly, but the butterfly used on the splash screen is just as pretty as the lightbulb, and the shape of it actually resembles the symmetry of a mind map, so it's easier to identify the logo with the program. It's also unique enough that you don't feel like you've seen it before, and it's color scheme has more personality.

Ideally, I would go for a new logo that actually incorporates the specific idea of a "mind map" rather than the vague ideas of freedom(butterfly) or of an idea(lightbulb). For example, look at mindjet's logo[1]. If you have ever seen or used mind mapping software, you immediately identify their logo with a node from a mind map. (I don't think their logo is really that great, but it does illustrate my point.)

But if I'm restricted to the lightbulb vs butterfly, I would say take the butterfly from the splash screen, use it to make some nice icons and go with that.

I do like the new font much better, so maybe use that. Here's a quick hack of what I'm picturing.

Fm spash.jpg Fm web logo.jpg Fm logo.jpg

--Busy 15:19, 26 Apr 2007 (PDT)

Filament bulbs are on the way out

Just another thought - the incandescent filament light bulb is an inefficient item, currently being replaced by the more efficient energy saving bulbs. Might be a mistake to use such a symbol for the Freemind identity? The butterfly is an established symbol too, one which my pupils recognise at school. I like the idea instead of keeping the butterfly (Free) and map. I'd suggest losing the 6 words from that design. I like the blue and white stylised butterfly button which has been suggested.

Looks great

I like the lightbuld idea. "Ding! New idea" is what is says to me. I've used Freemind for about 3 years now, and have found the tool and its open-ended approach to be without parrallel. Icons and the splash screen are a small time-slice of what every user of Freemind sees, and I would posit that the only truly meaningful impact of the graphic is first impression and product branding on places like Sourceforge. With that said, and the minimal impact I perceive the graphic to have, and my preference of the lightbulb over the butterfly, I would have to say that I am fairly ambivilant about the decision to switch graphics, since the power of Freemind has alot more to do with rasterized (?) line graphics and bubble-graphic text boxes than with a small image that is associated with the application.

Why Butterfly is better than Light Bulb (unconscious symbolism)

My argument is the butterfly works better and feel free to question me but I do make my living as a mythological consultant so I study symbolism for a living.

Here is why: The lightbulb is good but highly overdone. It is also carries themes unconsciously of technology.

The butterfly on the other hand is organic. The symbolism which not only carries the idea of an "Easy to use" program, which is organic and user friendly (I mean come on look at Apple's marketing campaign) you're going to want to use something organic, and simple. Butterfly does that very well.

Furthermore, butterflies manifest a deeper unconscious level as it permeates our psyches for ages. The greek word 'psyche' traditionally is thought to have meant 'soul' but it also means butterfly, thus carrying the elements of transformation which I don't doubt you wouldn't mind having associated as well.

The lightbulb carries good idea and all that, it is very shiny and can mean consciousness, etc. but its a relatively new symbol to enter our collective unconsciousnesses and also lacks personality. If you look at examples such as FireFox or Thunderbird, the logos are highly prized. You don't see people drawing windows logos on cement @ universities. The re-connect with a totem character if even slightly is highly powerful.

I believe that would be my $0.02 but after all it is your decision. Be well and thank you for a wonderful product, I use it for Myth making! :)

Fancier design and better symbol.

In the first glimpse, the light bulb sympol is much fancier. I still prefer the butterfly, which (I think) has the better symbolism: organic, ... (see above). Is anybody out there who can transform the butterfly symbol into the fancy light bulb theme?

Taking advantage of the both metaphors

(5th of June 2007) Hi there everyone, i'm new on the wiki and i know that i'm a little bit late in this discussion... However, like MB, i guess we could use both metaphors, that's why i tried a variation on the old logo, where i switched the colors and added an incandescent filament between the antennas of the butterfly, as while as a rough light bulb base on the right... Note that the butterfly is flying from darkness to light... Anyway, this is a rough sketch, any comment is welcome !

Cheers, Dyvim

(edit on the 11th of June : here's a second proposal based on thpope's comments on the sourceforge forum)

first proposal : Freemind logo by dyvim.png second proposal : Freemind logo2 by dyvim.png

Shape of the butterfly

I'm a musician and can give verbal suggestions only. I prefer skewed picture. It simulates flight. Straight image looks like from musuem collection. The coil between antennas isn't necessary. Enlightment effect is enough. And the shape of the butterfly could be not so rounded, towards this example.

Antanas Budriƫnas Everyday FreeMind user:)

Oh no !

Not another light bulb please - I have seen light bulbs symbolising "Ideas" in a thousand programs, so it does not give a feeling of originality at all -. Also, as someone has pointed, it refers to an outdated and energy-wasting technology. The sketches using a butterfly posted on this discussion are great. Regards, Tom Goldschmidt

lightbulb or butterfly ?

When I saw the new logo the first time, I was very well surprised ! An idea, a way to shine my brain, a light icon (a thin draw)...

In the other hand, the butterfly's wings show me the two brain's hemisphers (left & right) !

==> No preference about logo form

However, the blue/orange is IMHO too overload and these colors aren't "quiet" (they're opposed) so, the blue and white colors are better.

Last point, the drawing style is better with lightbulb than butterfly.

Maybe an idea : why not drawing a butterfly in a human's head ? I'm not graphist but a 3D view from bottom to top could elevate the vision

Brain Butterfly

I'm very fond of the butterfly myself, though the words on the startup screen detract from the simplicity. I entirely ignored them as further technical specifications the first few times I used the program. Software tends to have a lot of things to keep track of, so the less you have to ignore the first time you use it the better.

I like the brain comparison mentioned above. How would a butterfly imposed over a brain to appear like the hemispheres as mentioned look? Sort of to suggest a flight of ideas.

The askew angle example does look more like flight, at the very least less uniform.

I'm a new guy around here, but I think the new logo is really nice, and to me the light bulb image makes sense for the application.

My 2 cents worth...

If you lose the butterfly, you lose me.

If you lose the butterfly, you lose me.

OK, that may have been more dramatic than need be, but seriously, like most everyone is saying...

The butterfly represents the freedom to express ourselves and I have used this software for so many mind expanding things it is pathetic. I actually use this to create road maps for software, table of contents for my writings, goals and plans, and the list just goes on and on.

The light bulb is representative of me having some grand idea, and that is simply not the case.

The butterfly represents a gentle shove to expand upon your thoughts in a neat and categorized fashion. Something I simply cannot achieve in any other program.

I cannot even use Visio as well as I can use this program to put together ideas. FreeMind allows me to make a mistake and in less than a second correct it *without* losing my existing data.

I do not know... maybe I am making too much out of it. But I will just say this -- if the butterfly goes, so do I.

Actually... I'll just stick with my version 0.8.0. I mean, I have been using it for over a year already so...

New idea from Butterfly splash designer

I was surprised to see that the orange and blue butterfly splash screen/logo is still being considered. I like the butterfly too, although the lightbulb design is very nicely consistent and visually striking.

I thought I'd give the butterfly another try. Please let me know what you think:


I considered a lot of fonts but I tried to work with Gentium as it is an "open" font and fits the open source philosophy.

I am willing to consider any license the Freemind developers would like to submit (or any changes), and the source file is an Inkscape SVG. Maruchan 22:09, 1 Sep 2007 (PDT)

Turn off the bulb, free the butterfly from the box

I'm a brand new set of eyes on the matter - just discovered FreeMind today, haven't even downloaded it yet. The bulb had me baffled - I kept reading the words FreeMind and trying to figure out if it was supposed to be a drawing of a brain. No lightbulbs went off here. Too round. Overused concept.

Skimmed the discussion, saw the post with the image of the butterfly flying out of the box, like that one quite a bit. Speaks more clearly to me. Get away from the limits, fly. It's positive, free.

Gotta go download and try the software, sounds great.

Support for Marc Carson's Butterfly from the Box

I also want to vote to keep the butterfly. It is to me (a long standing Freemind user) an already strong brand association. It also (as many people have already said) correctly represents the freedom assoicated with this application. I positively dislike the proposed lightbulb logo. It is, as has already been stated, far too over used. The symbolism of the lightbulb is far too unsubtle.

The one thing that stands in favour with the new images is the continuity of brand between the Web Icon, the Splash Screen, the Icon in Window, the Application Icon and the Document Icon. However surely this level of matched images and continuity could easily be achieved using some variation on the butterfly logo.

I particularly like the butterfly from the box designed by Marc Carson. If further supporting images could be developed in this vein I think this set would definately have the edge over the proposed new designs and be a dramatic improvement over the old ones.

I can' believe it...

Hi All, I'm sorry, that my very first forum-contribution is of such trivial nature. But I have to let it out: Please leave the bulb or at least an option to use the Bulb logo/icons alternatively in new versions! I GREATLY prefer it over the Butterfly one and can not believe that you want to change back! The bulb made Freemind one of the very few Opensource Programs (I know) with an acceptable design. However I found also the attempts to blend between the butterfly and the bulb far superior to the origial design.


Thank you for this great piece of software.

Re: Butterfly coming from the Box

A few notes on this discussion.

I love Freemind, and am using it extensively for product design brainstorming as well as some pretty nifty interactive websites (html tags, form fields...) and have just taken a look at the release notes for 0.9, WOW!!

Lightbulb looks ok, pretty good concept, thinking.... all the right connotations. But as someone else has said its not unique. Also the colour choice of blue is very dull and non-energetic, its a safe colour that does not associate with creativity (which mind-mapping does associate with)

Butterfly original... pretty static front on view. but the brand image of the butterfly is great, and existing.

Marc's Orange Butterfly Fantastic work. The colour is very energetic, and very creative (good connotations to energy and creativity). I'm not sure about it coming out of the box, but by itself or perhaps just on the swirling background I think its awsome and hits the spot, great colour selection on the off-greys towards the cream colour range, so much fresher than pure white, but clean enough to not look muddy.

Font.... I like the font and nice use of an "open font". For some reason I think the text could be arranged in a different way though.

Marc if you are willing to upload the SVG file I'd love to hack your beautiful work, and hopefully not destroy it, are you willing to take the risk?

Hi, sure - as I mentioned, I'm willing to work out a good license. Let's call it CC-BY for now. That means you can do what you want, only attribution is required.
Freemind Inkscape SVG
You'll need Gentium installed (Maybe Gentium Alt too, can't remember). You'll also need a version of Inkscape capable of the blur feature. I'm willing to help with anything you need - just use the contact details on my website. Looking forward to remixes! :) --21:44, 11 Oct 2007 (PDT)Maruchan

Well here is the first Remix. I tired a lot of things.

Icons/ Brand thinking The Icon created by Marc I think hits the spot, great colours and very simple clean form, when importing the SVG the drop shadow did not come up, the resulting white outline was an element that I really enjoyed, I thought it was a nice accident. I moved away from the cream background after messing around with it for a long time.

I hope the development is seen as elegant and professional looking without loosing the fun of Freemind.

The icons are broken down as follows (none are to scale, this is just an idea).

Left: Application Icon, totally black background, the black background would be used as an indicator of the software side of the offering, whenever the icon is being used to refer to the software the background would be black.

Second: Web Icon/banner icon. This is showing the project, and like the previous icon has a black background to show that it is the software being talked about

Third: This is the splash screen, the Black at the left is again referring to Freemind the software, and the right hand side is talking about the Content, the splash screen is the first transition point between the software and the content. The white background was chosen to reflect the white of the document space/paper this is where contributors or information that is not related to the software. Freemind and the version number, because its referring to the software would be on a black background.

Right: The last image on on the right is the document icon, and again has a white background. The MM can be changed to FM, but I figured it made more sense to go with the file extension rather than the software name here.


Hope you enjoy it, I can upload the source files if anyone wants (as well as my development). I can also develop the concept based on feedback from others. Marc I would love to hear back from you with any feedback you have for it, whether you love or hate what i have done.

Nice work, thanks for sharing. It's really good to see more revisions come out of this. As I mentioned to you earlier, I do like the b/w splash screen best out of what you've presented - the black/white contrast is very strong, and it seems like the butterfly is "cutting through" in a way. A lot like the out-of-the-box idea. My only question is a techical one: are the devs capable of making a custom cut-out splash screen? Or better yet, do they have time? :-) It would be cool if they could...I know other Java projects that could use the code. Maruchan 15:44, 1 Nov 2007 (PDT)

Butterfly vs light bulb vs mind

mind = alive, free, beautiful, endless, power, spirit, natural, interesting, priceless, unique

butterfly = alive, free, beautiful, colourful, vitality, natures creature, interesting, priceless, unique

light bulb = dead, object, artificial, weak light, booring, aricle of consumtion, almost valueless, mass production, will be put out of commission

think about it --Legus 03:24, 26 Oct 2007 (PDT)

Hello, please note that the discussion about the logotype is over; FreeMind team is not going to use lightbulb, for its licensing issues. See also the top of the article. --Dan Polansky 07:39, 3 Nov 2007 (PDT)

One of the remixed butterflies, definitely

There are obviously some talented graphics artists here, and I really like their new designs on the butterfly. The current butterfly is good, but the document/other icons are lackluster, and the new ones are really nice. I like Busy's and Dyvim's (probably the first, without the filament or dark swooshes) for icons, although they need good document icons (just the icon on a document icon, folded-corner style - heck, I could do that much. I really like Maruchan's (out-of-the-box) and also the remix thereof (black/white) for the splash screens, but I think the others are more appropriate for icons. --Fiveofoh 10:12, 5 Nov 2007 (PST)

I dreamt I was a butterfly, but when I awoke I was I and not the butterfly I was free to fly as a butterfly, but free to cogitate human things because I was I Was I really dreaming I was a butterfly? Or was the butterfly dreaming it was me?

I dream of a juicy butterfly. I think the butterfly looks a little paper-thin. --JulienLee

Alternate buterfly design

The above butterfly designs look great. I think we have surpassed the lightbulb design in creativity. I really like the orange and black design.

Looking at the sketch style of the lightbulb, I had the idea of making a butterfly sketch style image of my own. I have a couple of ideas Butterfly 1.jpg Butterfly 2.jpg Butterfly 3.jpg.

Do you people think I should run with it ? If you like this, do you have any advice on how to improve ?

I made these sketches in Adobe Illustrator demo which does not allow me to save, so I cannot provide the vector files right now.

Another splash from long ago

I found this on my hard disk recently and I thought I'd put it up here in case it can be of any inspiration. I created the rocks in 3D and positioned them in a radial pattern that I thought might make a good abstracted FM logo (just a big dot in the middle with dots around it). The idea of someone arranging rocks sort of appealed to me, like a creativity exercise or something.


If there's any interest (I think the butterfly has been chosen by devs, but...) I think I can dig up the source files. Maruchan 08:59, 30 Nov 2007 (PST)

Personal tools