What's the history behind hackernoon logo?


Just wanted to understand the backstory and the philosophy around it.

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Heya, o/

I created the logo a few years back :slight_smile:
I was working with @David to create a range of designs to span all of the bits and bobs AMI Inc does.
The plan was to create a range of logos that all work together, as a family, but also stand up on their own.

After looking at how branding can be applied through medium, choosing a key colour to define each one was going to be important.

With that in mind David chose the key colour for this one, 00FF00.

When I saw that colour my mind went straight back to being a kid at school and using a BBC Micro with a green monochrome display - which looking back, should have been replaced years before…

Anyhoo, I was already thinking retro typefaces and scanning tube effects, and working from that I actually started by making a grid and creating the wording first. Which was as minimal as i could make it using a pixel grid, which ended up as a 5x5 grid.

We were aware of the competition for HN so we wanted to create an identity that was distinct from them, and concentrating on the Hacker element of HN wasn’t going to create anything unique, so I ran with the noon element.

Keeping the idea of keeping it as simple as possible, I did a few designs and the watch motif translated really well to a small grid 12x12 for the logo.

All the parts of AMI had the same layout grid, logo on the right, name on the left with the same proportions, with a textured effect behind the name.
For this one I did a pixelated smoke type element, though I did change the grid to be different from the writing of the logo to make the wording more legible.

Anyhoo, that was the design process for the HN logo.



tried HACKE12N00N?


To be fair, I did not. I do like the duality of that though.
Though as these are portals to content aimed at a broad spectrum of users I was aware that there had to be a certain amount of accessibility and inclusiveness.
Pushing any design to be more niche can increase engagement for a portion of a user base whilst alienating the wider community.

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i like your watch. simple, self-contained - does not require “hackernoon” next to it and i say that not as a design professional. noon time, it’s all there, doesn’t need anything else to convey the message. except, i don’t wear niche watch anymore, no sarcasm intended.


Its strange isn’t it how design works, especially icons.
Like a telephone symbol :telephone_receiver:, or email :email:. Icons both based on old versions, yet we know what they are.

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i was thinking exactly the same. It is as if logotypes/icons have their own life expectancy - generation lifespan, metaphorically speaking. if i know what the legacy symbols are it is because i’m aware of it’s existence and history of origin. if i do not know what symbol “m” is to represent for McDonald’s franchise, due to my illiteracy, then it stops conveying it’s formal symbolic meaning of the letter m and starts looking like hominidae natibus.
unless a designer plans on creating a symbol that will survive symbolic aging, i’m not sure if that terms exist or not, he would have to go for long term (more abstract?) concepts. actually, if i was a graphic designer i would ask a client the following question: would you like your logo survive the time, or have a generational status? if you had to re-vision symbolic representation of a telephone without reference to a legacy product how would you portray it to the current generation?


Semiotics in design are fascinating, i did a dissertation on them at uni.
The fact that a visual language gets passed on through generations and its origins dont need to be remembered. The only generation you need to convince is the first. After that it simply needs to be tied to a meaning like a colloquialism that everyone just knows the significance of.

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i would gladly read your uni work if it still exist. i’m not thoroughly knowledgeable in the field of semiotics though, still i’d like to wrap my head around it. from what i vaguely learned so far, language is a brain faculty. symbolic vocabulary is not passed though but acquired and it is a task of a language faculty to do so. if i don’t know what the legacy telephone handset is then i can’t create a visual symbolic link of an actual legacy telephone device with a graphical representation of that legacy telephone device. however, if i’m taught or routed or i get a habit of comprehending, or as you say - convinced, the concept of a telephone to be represented by a graphical symbol of a legacy telephone handset then association will be formed, but that would only be an association of a device with an abstract symbol and not it’s source. i presume a symbol is made of 2 parts, it’s historical context and dimensional/tonal data. my apologies if my english is hard to read. i completely agree for a cultural awareness to be a parameter for negotiating semiotics.


I will see if i have it on a disk somewhere, I have a sneaky suspicion it was on a zip disk (why we were forced to use zip disks I have no idea).
I had a copy of THIS book given to me and found it fascinating. Which led me down a rabbit hole of symbolism and semiotics, which is why I looked at that to begin with.
Its worth checking out, its over 100 years old, but there is symbolism there that is the crux of so many emojis.
Also I have a weird relationship with language. I don’t think with an internal language, my thoughts are a vague swirl of thoughts, textures, colours and other stuff that is being recorded or processed, but not as a ‘language’. I only realised last year that most people think in their native language, but it means symbolism for me makes perfect sense, and also why, if I’m really tired, I cant say more than a few words without stopping to think.


appreciate the effort will be definitely checking it out. they way i interpret what you mean about ‘language’ is that you do not ‘verbally’ articulate thoughts, sort of like listening to yourself talk and explain things to yourself but rather use graphical ‘mode’ to form your thoughts. it is still a language construct though, unique and subjective, your personal language construct i presume. the way i ‘vision’ is in a sense ‘opposite’ to your mode, i don’t think in ‘color’, ‘texture’ it’s all audio - voices, harmonic structures, etc, i’m not a musician though. so can we say what makes sense in ones mind out of all symbolic chaos that is going on (or may not be present at all) is a linguistic product, and what doesn’t is not a linguistic product?

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