Wikipedia Logo History

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Wikipedia is a multilingual, web-based, encyclopedia project operated by the not-for-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Many language versions of Wikipedia are free content, while others, such as the English version, include non-free material. As of September 2007, Wikipedia had approximately 8.29 million articles in 253 languages, comprising a combined total of over 1.41 billion words for all Wikipedias. The English Wikipedia edition passed the 2,000,000 article mark on September 9, 2007, and as of November 3, 2007 it had over 2,075,000 articles consisting of over 902,000,000 words. Wikipedia's articles have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world and the vast majority of them can be edited by anyone with access to the Internet. Steadily rising in popularity since its inception, it currently ranks among the top ten most-visited websites worldwide.
The logo is one of my favorite logos. It captures the essence of what the site stands for in my mind. The logo was selected as part of an international logo design contest. The logo is a jigsaw puzzle in the shape of the globe with the alphabets in many languages written all over the globe. .

 Image Prehistoric (non) logoOn January 15, 2001, Wikipedia's first day of independent existence, Jimbo Wales used the American flag as a temporary Wikipedia logo. It wasn't intended to be permanent. See meta:OldWikiPediaLogo for the old logo discussion.

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The original official logo
The first Wikipedia logoWikipedia's first true logo was an image that was originally submitted as a Nupedia logo. Jimbo thought it would be a much better logo than the flag, and it remained for the next eight months. 

 Image The pre-current logo
The pre-current Wikipedia logoIn November 2001, Wikipedians began suggesting new logos. A short list of leading candidates was chosen. The winner was the logo contributed by The Cunctator.

 Image The late-comer
After the winning logo was chosen, Mark Ryan designed one in a similar style, but in colour. It was for some time used as the Meta logo. 

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The international effort and contest
Because of its English text, this logo was not ideal for the Wikipedias in other languages. Some wikis chose a similar design with text in their own languages (e.g. the Spanish Wikipedia). Others used the English logo but added the color of a national flag (most of the Nordic language projects, Danish, for example) or a translation of "The Free Encyclopedia" (e.g. German). Still other designed a completely different logo (e.g. the French Wikipedia). 
Paullusmagnus' contest-winning logo
Nohat's Final logoAn International logo contest was conducted to find a new logo that was suitable for all languages. Paullusmagnus developed the winning Puzzle sphere design. Variants on the final logo were then discussed with Nohat putting forward several options. One of Nohat's variants was chosen as the final product. 

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Logos_and_slogans
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