I've divided the story into 6 pages with images
Blender has got a parent...
Before Blender there was Traces.Ton started on writting his own raytracer back in 1989 on an Amiga.
First Sculpt3d was used as a modeler and later it became a full animation suite.
The logo was the sign for the camera in traces.
I asked Ton if he still had a Traces logo, this is all we could find.
Pretty soon the software architecture was growing out of it's jacket and needed a re-design and a new implementation. First there was some thinking, then some testing, sdna was made and a new package would soon be born. At that time NeoGeo had a showreel with a song from the band Yello that would play a role in the future, the song was called Blender.
NeoGeo Company Logo
Blender got made with it's own face...
The traces logo is there, but there is more. And as you can see, it's clearly an eye.The logo was made with Traces and it took me some time to convert it to blender.
At NeoGeo blender made games under the name of Enji.
Enji was derived from N-G- (neogeo hah!). The biggest selling CD-i game (LostRide) was made under the name of Enji.
The playstation was released and NeoGeo took part in making a game developement kit.
In blender we could create games that a playstation realtime engine could display.
Blender got a new face...
3. Not a Number.
NeoGeo split up so Ton was able to spend more time on Blender. His new company name was inspired by his compiler: Not a Number.
Blender had become freeware and was freely available on the web. Trying to keep alive with manuals and c-keys.
For Siggraph99 I made a give away cd. The logo needed some work, there was no real fonttype for the name Blender. I took Ton's website bars but it never made into a real logo.
4. the .Com
With Blender getting famous it attracted the big .com money.Investors where willing to put a fair amount of money into blender to make it a Game Creation Kit. Be it for the professional or the home audience was yet to decide, what was decided was that blender needed a new, more professional logo.
Before there could be a logo there first needed to be a brand manual. For this task english spin doctors where hired to create one.They also assisted in setting the right tone for the needed ads. Some of these ads where actualy printed in Edge.That's all I'm going to say on this subject on these pages.
After the brand manual was in place there was still alot of discussion on what the logo should be. With 2 ceo's and me as art director the designer got a little taste of hell.
Not only did we keep changing design directions, Ton and I also kept making our own designs.
Key words for the design where: Community, Web, Hand-Eye.After several explorations in several directions (chain, webnode) the eye direction was chosen. After the logo style sheet was done Ton added some more dynamics to the logo, giving it more character.
The font was desided on pretty fast.The logo was not and changed even after the website became online. Some cache had the wrong 'thin' logo, and some early birds even used the wrong logo.The designer was a very 'printwork' one, the style guide had pantone colors and sizes in mm. I found this a little 'odd' for a .com company.
Once done, I used the blender logo in many blender products.One of them being the BlenderGuide CD, the book itself was done by RiffRaff. And another one the official blender website.
Blender logo hard to use...
The logo was not easy to use on dark backgrounds. For this purpose the jacket was made. And after a while it was decided to keep the inner white a part of the logo so the white became an official part of the colors of the logo.
Ofcourse after the bankrupcy we could not presume anything anymore
Btw. did you know Not a Number had an office in japan?
used as often as I could the jacketless version. Xype made a perfect template for disc prints (keep left side unprinted) which I tried to keep true to as long as possible.The cropcircle add was a fun thing todo, the image was made during the Not a Number period.
6. the Foundation.
I don't know alot about the Foundation logo, I was not involved in that in any way.
This is how it currently appears on the blender3d site, with another font than during the fundraise period.
And this is my go at the BlenderFund logo for Ton to use. There is a gold version as well.
To be or not to be the correct logo...
7. Current Logo Use.
Another curious thing; the Blender Foundation doesn't own the brand Blender and its logo.. that's still part of the NaN Holding. The foundation only has the right to use it. Since NaN Holding is in deep sleep, there is no need to expect any troubles. But that leaves it as a real commercial & valuable trademark that needs to be handled carefully.