New Zeitgeist Logo Proposal

Recently, I was approached by Zeitgeist developer Seif Lofty about developing a new logo design and brand for the Zeitgeist Project – a “service which logs the user’s activities and events, anywhere from files opened to websites visited and conversations. It makes this information readily available for other applications to use.” I was very excited by this because the Zeitgeist engine is an incredibly exciting technology available on Linux systems and I already use the Zeitgeist engine on my desktop to increase my productivity.



I was given quite a free rein with this logo redesign. The website already provided good detail about what the Zeitgeist Project was all about. Little guesswork was required. As a point of reference for you, the reader, here is what the current logo looks like:

When I examined this logo, several things struck. Firstly, I couldn’t decide the “shape” of the logo and that was quite important – is it a clockface in a Head or in a Ghost? Different connotations are available for each one. As it happens, the shape is meant to represent a ghost, obviously playing to the word “Zeitgeist”, which roughly means “Spirit of the times”. So we can see that this translation was a strong inspiration for the logo; a clockface on a ghost is a very direct metaphor for Zeitgeist.

There were some basic requirements: the colour scheme should remain intact and the shape of a ghost should still be used; Seif was keen on keeping that “ghost” or “spirit” metaphor visible.



For the new logo, my inspiration was a simple re-working on the Zeitgeist metaphor.

The letter “Z” in a clock-face style. Once I had this concept nailed, it was time to add variety to this concept, see if I could better it.


Variations and Development

So began tweaking this concept. I thought that, although the original concept was good, it was too formal and “straight” – it was suggested that it looked a little like a symbol a superhero would wear. So I began tweaking the shape a little, to more accurately show the clock-face-ness of the “Z”.

I was happy with the tweak and Seif was also delighted with the new “clockface” design, but stated here that this should be incorporated into a “ghost” shape. And so began messing around with various ghost shapes.

After presenting these variations to Seif, he showed an immediate like for no. 1. It’s a much simpler, neater and more symmetrical design. This was then adopted as our “ghost” shape. Time to implement our new clock-face logo design into the new ghost design…

Here we have the final logo mark, displayed in mono-, two-tone and gradient variations. At this point we also had a very happy Seif, which is nice. I have since submitted this logo redesign proposal to the Zeitgeist Project mailing list for consideration with the rest of the team. But only one thing is left: adding text to our mark.


The Final Design Proposal

As a lover of typefaces, it was quite hard for me to choose which typeface to use to complement this logo redesign. The impressions I received was that the overall “shape” of this new logo was its roundness and strict conformity to geometrics to produce a nice, clean, simple and symmetrical logo design. I thought a typeface that carried on this geometric theme generally would be nice, but lets not be too strict about it. Fortunately, I have access to a fairly wide selection of free quality geometric/humanist fonts. After much deliberation, I chose Gillius ADF, based on the famous Gill Sans (which, whilst not dissimilar to the original font used in the old design, is, in my opinion, better looking), and a custom-kerned Serif font named Calluna, which, whilst professional and stern, flowed nicely for a serif font.

And there we have it. My final new logo proposal for the Zeitgeist Project. As things stand, the redesign is currently being debated internally by the Zeitgeist team. Let’s see how things pan out, eh?

Ian Cylkowski aka Izo

Logo & Brand Identity Design

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5 Comments so far. Comments are closed.
  1. Nice idea with the “Z” clock !

  2. Really liked the rationale behind the new proposal. Never thought about the current Zeitgeist icon being ghostly shaped.

  3. Good afternoon Izo,
    Here in Brazil we are interested in using the new logo created for you.
    We would like to know if you authorize us to use?
    Please respond by email!
    Thank you


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