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So Here’s The New Ruby Logo!

By Peter Cooper / October 29, 2007

Thanks to Jan Wedekind for letting me know that the Ruby Association, a formal Ruby promotion group chaired by Matz himself, has chosen a winner in the Ruby Logo Contest. The winning logo is by Tom Schaub and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

I'd be really interested to hear what everyone thinks about it in the comments on this post.


  1. Curt Hibbs says:

    I have to say that I like it! Its nice, without overdoing it.

  2. Justin Mecham says:

    I can't say I'm a very big fan of this logo. It looks very washed out and lacks any sort of impact. Plus the way it's laid out will make it somewhat difficult to use in certain contexts without shrinking it to a point of illegibility. I wonder, what were some of the other options?

  3. Avdi says:

    Ugh! Ugly, unbalanced, and amateurish.

    Speaking as a programmer, this is why I leave graphic design to the experts.

  4. Yan says:

    I like the graphic, but imho too many fonts in one place. Why is Language more important than anything else? In the context that this will be viewed most of the time the words 'programming language' don't even seem to really be necessary?

  5. BJ Clark says:

    Holy amazingly terrible typography Batman!

  6. Fred says:

    That's not a logo, it's an advertisement.

    A logo should be simple and iconic, and one might argue that a logo for a language should be flexible enough to be incorporated into actual file icons. This is not simple enough. It doesn't reduce well. It has very little contrast.

    Also, a serif font is a really poor choice for a programming language.

  7. Fred says:

    Folks, keep in mind that the rules imply that the big red rectangular portion will be used in isolation from the words "Programming Language". I would be surprised to see anything but the rectangular portion, in fact.

  8. Jason says:

    I am not a big fan of it. It feels like something from the early 90's....

    There is alot of talent on bad they didnt use a freelancer on there

  9. Nick says:

    Ugh. This logo looks like it would go on the cover of an old and outdated 1st edition programming book.

  10. Andrew France says:

    It's pretty hideous with three different font styles, very strange element sizing, and pale colours, it looks pretty amateur and unmemorable.

  11. Raul Murciano says:

    Disclaimer: non-designer here.
    Hmmm, actually I don't like it, sorry :( Ruby community is very innovative and has taken a powerful impulse lately so I hoped a more refreshing, impacting, strong -and maybe simpler- logo.

  12. Anonymous Designer says:

    Bad, bad design. What contest? I missed it.

    First thought: It looks like some abortion backformed off a bad pragprog cover.

    Second thought: no, WORSE.

  13. Sam Aaron says:

    I have to agree with Justin and Avdi - it looks washed out and unbalanced.

    It's not a terrible logo - just OK at best. I was hoping for something more striking and exciting. The font choices are also a little odd too.

    Sorry I couldn't be more positive. It's just hard to be rational when you're so passionate about something.

  14. Andrew says:

    The logo itself is somewhat ok (amature) but the typeface and the layout of the text below stink.. It's lopsided, my eyes hop all over the place without being able to focus. Hopefully someone will crop out just the red box part and use that alone.

  15. Kelli says:

    Ugh... washed out, unbalanced, poor choice of fonts and typographic layout and, last I checked, rubies weren't orange.

  16. Jeremy says:

    Honestly, this hurts my eyes.

    The colors, the typesetting, everything is Completely.

    I really go appreciate the effort, but I think this is a miss. Hopefully someone will step up to fix things a la the first Rails logo (for those of you who remember that whole thing).

    To enumerate:
    1) It's orange. Why?
    2) Why is "Language" the biggest word? "Ruby" and the ruby gem itself seep into the colors too much.
    3) The type is disjointed, making it hard to read without staring at it longer than necessary.
    4) This isn't really a "logo" (by my own, partial and probably completely stupid definition). It's not really identifiable, it's not unique, and it's not distinct. The general curve and idea is similar to the Rails logo and lot of other logos out there.
    5) How can this be used without the text? How does it differ from what's there now other than to obfuscate it a little?

    I think the gem itself was a very classy choice, but oh well. I guess we're stuck with it now.

  17. Chris says:

    Gag. What ever happened to the appreciation of simplicity? The current logo at is just fine. A change of typeface would be nice, but the ruby itself is brilliant.

  18. phil says:

    really? this won a contest?

    gosh, I wish I would have entered.

  19. Aman Gupta says:


  20. Jacek Becela says:

    Looks like a scan on a cheap scanner. Plain ugly. Is it a joke?

  21. Adam T. says:

    The best part about it is that I never have to use it in anything that I do, ever.

  22. Paul Goscicki says:

    Looks very dim and colors are washed-out. Feels very amateurish.

  23. rabble says:

    Ick! Ugh! Bleh. I don't like it at all. Did they ask some designers to participate?

  24. meekish says:

    The new logo (IMHO) is well thought out. Perhaps these scathing remarks would have been stayed had their commentors taken the time to ponder a bit before hitting 'Submit Comment'.

    * It's a logical progression from the previous Ruby logo
    * It will fit well next to the logo for Ruby's poster child
    * The "Programming Langauge" copy seems to be a derivative of the requirement "works both with and without text 'Ruby'". (i.e. "works both with and without text 'Programming Language'")
    * Being the winner of the contest, the Ruby Visual Identity team has certainly had a hand in choosing it. If they vouch for the new logo, there must be something to it, no?

    Well done Tom. You've crafted a beautiful logo for my beloved programming language. And be encouraged; you can't please everyone.

  25. Tomas says:

    Well, apparently Matz, while a fantastic programmer, has no taste what so ever. The "logo", if you can even call it that, is horrible. Absolutely horrible. It looks like a joke, I had to double check the date to make sure today is not April first.

  26. Jeremy says:


    "Perhaps these scathing remarks would have been stayed had their commentors taken the time to ponder a bit before hitting 'Submit Comment'."

    I spent a good 15-20 minutes reviewing the logo and cross referencing it with my comments and input from others. For myself, I "stayed" my comments as long as I chose, and as members of the community we, too, can express our opinions just as freely as yourself.

    * "It's a logical progression from the previous Ruby logo." How? How is this some sort of logical progression? Sticking the previous logo in a square and tossing some text around? Perhaps for a "powered by" button, but I don't think that cuts it for an "official" logo in any capacity. A logical progression of brand or identity would have been to make the gem more generic and usable in more capacities (e.g., simplify the shape so it can be printed in one color easily). Not to make it more complicated and less useful.

    * "It will fit well next to the logo for Ruby's poster child." I don't know what that means.

    * "The "Programming Langauge" copy seems to be a derivative of the requirement "works both with and without text 'Ruby'". (i.e. "works both with and without text 'Programming Language'")." Yes, but I would prefer any text that it works with to actually work with it and look good and be an active part of the design, and not just be stuck on there for good measure. It seems like a useless afterthought.

    * "Being the winner of the contest, the Ruby Visual Identity team has certainly had a hand in choosing it. If they vouch for the new logo, there must be something to it, no?" I don't think they did, since the only person listed as choosing is Matz. Surely they wouldn't bounce from a chic logo to...this...? Not that Matz necessarily has bad taste, but due to the amazing lack of publicity for this contest, I like to think Matz chose this from the slim stock he had to choose from rather than choosing it for its design merits.

  27. Michael Powers says:

    As mom always said, if you dont have something nice to say, keep your mouth shut.

    All the same I will say that this logo needs to be reworked.

    1. The choice of a serif font seems misplaced considering Ruby's simplicity. It also gives the log a decidedly 1995 "web 1.0" feel
    2. The colors are very washed out.
    3. The gem is cutoff in an illogical fashion, almost like an afterthought.
    4. The contrast of values on the gem is weak. You can barely make out the details.
    5. The structuring of the text is sloppy..there are no implied margins.

    The design is not "BAD" per se, it just needs a lot more tweaking in order to look like it was professionally made.

    I hope they reconsider

  28. Michael Powers says:

    These people get it:

  29. Alistair Holt says:

    As most people are saying.. it looks washed out and unbalanced. It's lazy and ugly. Please let us have something better to represent the beautiful Ruby language.

  30. Jonas Arnklint says:

    The last one was better, more clean and less unbalanced.

  31. Alex MacCaw says:

    Nah, definitely a step backwards in my opinion.

  32. James says:

    re: comments by meekish:

    > * It's a logical progression from the previous Ruby logo

    That logo is also poor. And it isn't obvious that new logos should be "logical progressions" from old logos. (What's with the attraction to photo-realistic logos? They rely too much on details that do not scale well or render well in 2-16 colors.)

    > It will fit well next to the logo for Ruby's poster child

    I'm not familiar with the JRuby or Nitro logos :) , but, again, there is no compelling reason a Ruby language logo need mesh with any existing logo.

    > Being the winner of the contest, the Ruby Visual Identity team has certainly had a hand in choosing it. If they vouch for the new logo, there must be something to it, no?

    Ah, the Argument By Authority. Sorry, it's not working.

    This logo fails a few basic criteria:

    * Must look good at a wide range of sizes and color depth, from icon to poster.

    * Must work well as a b&w line drawing or block-cut

    * Must evoke essential characteristics of the subject matter

    This logo would be indecipherable at small scale, and relies too much on subtle gradations.

    Ruby is a sleek, crisp, modern language. These qualities are absent form this logo.

  33. Ian Leitch says:

    This is a joke, right?

  34. Ian Gustafson says:

    I would consider this a logo with the words "programming language" displayed below it. Also, I agree that the contrast is far too low for it to be practical at small sizes.

  35. Jamie Flournoy says:

    It does look like something from the mid 1990s. I think the only thing I like about it is the part that is from the old logo: the gem graphic.

    If I were tasked with fixing it, I would increase the color saturation, remove the words "programming language", remove the strange dark-red corner beveling that's inset in the rounded rectangle, and switch to a slick and distinctive sans serif font (not one found in the standard web font list).

    Perhaps instead of a contest next time they could just hire a designer?

  36. Peter Cooper says:

    Re: paying a designer.. We probably could have cobbled together a couple thousand to get Jon Hicks (hicksdesign) to do it :)

  37. Aleks Herzog says:

    I dont like it one bit. First of all, like many said before, it looks old and seriously this font must be a joke! And the frame around the ruby makes it look wrong as if something got shifted accidentally. Anyways how does it look in low-res and gray scale? Seriously this is the worst re-design I have ever seen :-) This logo definitely does not reflect the fresh, young, dynamic and easy to use language that Ruby is.

  38. Tom says:

    This is really, really, really awful. Distressingly, upsettingly, forehead-slappingly bad. Shame on everyone involved. Sets Ruby advocacy back a decade.

  39. Daniel Berger says:

    How is this a "new" logo? It's the same image as the current one on, with the word "Ruby" moved from the right to the top, plus a slight font and color change.

  40. riki says:

    Sorry, don't like it.

  41. Charles says:

    Sorry, I appreciate the effort that would have been put into the entries, but I think its a step backward

  42. kemuri says:

    Is this a joke? The previous logo was much much better, it's definietly a step back.
    It's missing basic asthetics, and defies every logo designing principle. I wonder how would be this represented in 2 colors for example.

  43. JoJohnson says:

    Wow is that a logo, looks like a 1980's programming book cover.

  44. Chad Humphries says:

    Ouch. I hope this is a some kind of mid october fool's joke. It does feel like a big step backwards.

  45. Dave Duchene says:

    Ouch. Sorry, but this is a terrible logo. Unbalanced layout, serif fonts, chopped off gem, awkward border, and on and on. Ruby deserves a great logo! I would happily chip in on a fund to pay a good graphic designer to make one.

  46. Eric Boucher says:

    Thanks a lot for the effort, but I don't like it.

  47. zam3858 says:

    i agree. this does look like a cover of an old book.

  48. Eric Hassler says:

    This choice should be reconsidered, or perhaps the contest can be extended. Sorry, Tom, I'm sure you worked hard on it, but the design is washed out, relies too heavily on gradients, the typography isn't very strong, and it's not nearly iconic or modern enough to represent Ruby.

  49. andrew says:

    Awch, I have to agree with the comments above.
    This logo doesn't represent the simplicity and dynamics Ruby stand for. It looks so old!
    I hope Matz will reconsider.

  50. Larry says:

    You picked a turd!

  51. leondu says:

    Just ugly!!!

  52. Jonesie says:

    Seriously? A contest?

    For something this important, why not raise a couple grand and get a really good set of designs to pick from illustrated by professionals?

    Aside from poor colors (is it a bad RGB to CMYK translation?), the diagonal lines imply instability and immaturity.

  53. Sean says:

    This is a terrible logo.

  54. Settimio says:

    Folks, as a designer who entered the contest this is very frustrating.
    Contest rules ask for specific requirements to be met, much of which has been pointed out here by all of you. The winner meets few if any of them, -- it's like what stinking requirements??
    Trust me there were designs entered from the design community that were actual LOGOS, that were simple, clean, dynamic, forward. Somebody didn't want to let go of their baby, just change her clothes, so why waste a lot of peoples time???

  55. Settimio says:

    Folks, as a designer who entered the contest this is very frustrating.
    Contest rules ask for specific requirements to be met, much of which has been pointed out here by all of you. The winner meets few if any of them, -- it's like what stinking requirements??
    Trust me there were designs entered from the design community that were actual LOGOS, that were simple, clean, dynamic, forward. Somebody didn't want to let go of their baby, just change her clothes, so why waste a lot of peoples time???

  56. Fortis says:

    I think the all these responses speak for themselves. Even the best design will have people who don't like it, as tastes vary. Most people aren't good at creating good design, but they instinctively know it when they see it. And see it here, they most certainly have not.

    I applaud the creativity of all the submitters, but there is a real craft to design, that takes a great deal of practice to hone. Raise your head high, as the act of creativity is never wasted. However, perhaps a basic class on graphic design is in order; pay special attention to whitespace, contrast, and consistency.

  57. Thorsten says:

    -1 - this ain't the logo we were looking for

  58. Joerg says:

    Looks like a book cover. Not a good logo.

  59. Tar says:

    Terrible mid-90s amateur design uglyness.
    This is a joke, right?

  60. jlnr says:

    I guess my entry wouldnt have gotten better feedback, but thats why I was hoping for a professional to win :(

  61. Sven says:

    Ouch... unbalanced and inconsistent, an opportunity wasted I'm afraid.

  62. Chris says:

    Worst. Logo. Ever.

  63. Garth says:

    Sorry, it doesn't work for me - the type doesn't work and how does the colour orange relate to Ruby? I agree with Peter, I think Hicks would come up with something a little more suitable :)

  64. Diego says:

    Looks like an ad from the 70's. And no, that's not a good thing.

  65. Christoph says:

    lol I hope this is a joke?

    Looks like a 3 minutes work in MS Paint after some copy & pasting?

    - poor fonts
    - poor perspective filter applied
    - poor star effect applied

    This really cannot be the new Ruby "Logo"

  66. basti says:

    I still think it's a joke. This can't be serious.

  67. Alan Bradburne says:

    Um, I like it... Wow, I feel kinda lonely in the 'like it' camp.

  68. Joel Dietz says:

    I would have paid a couple hundred dollars to a graphic designer to avoid the tragedy that is this logo. If only I had known...

    Can we start a pool for an alternative logo?

  69. Junior says:


  70. Rodrigo says:

    Jejeje least it is now controversial.
    I am agree with ..just because Matz was the one who choose it.
    in terms of 'art' no one is agree.

    it is not too bad ..

    jeje ..

  71. Juan Matias says:

    There's a gallery with all the works that were sent? Just to see other logos and to emit an opinion. I like this logo but it makes me remind the logo of rails.

  72. Woofster says:

    Cool. Now I can tell everyone I program in the

    Ruby programming LANGUAGE.

    Apparently it's not a programming language. It's actually a programming LANGUAGE.

    This is freakishly bad. I'm going back to Perl.

  73. Wyatt says:

    Rodrigo: I wouldn't say it's controversial. It's practically unanimous that it's a bad logo. And put me in for a thumbs down, too.

  74. Ale Muñoz says:

    Deeply depressed by the "new" Ruby logo, I shaved some time off sleep and came up with this:

    It's just a quick hack fueled by frustration, just to prove that:

    - it can (and should) be done better
    - programming is better left to programmers, and designing is better left to designers.

    Thanks for your time.

  75. Peter Cooper says:

    Ale: There's something about the spacing of the text that feels a little off to me, but in general I really like it, nice job! I really like the simplicity of it.

  76. John Joyce says:

    I think it stinks. I've seen worse logos, but I've seen better stuff scrawled on napkins. I'm not a fan of this logo at all.
    I'd like to see the submissions by others. I've seen my own submissions, they weren't bad, I dare even say better than this one. I would really like to see a gallery of all the submitted ideas!

  77. Gerardo Santana says:

    Settimio, can we know your logo?

  78. she says:

    i like it

    and some of you guys are sooooooooo critical. WAY too critical

    if i read stuff like "I think it stinks", it seems to imply you dont want it.
    So then, which one INSTEAD do you recommend?

  79. John Joyce says:

    Oh, for what it's worth some of my designs are visible on my blog. They are definitely available. So if anybody wants to use any of them for anything, contact me.

  80. Augusto says:

    It's not a great logo. It's not the worst either. It's not the end of the world, but I hope somebody reconsiders this.

  81. Peter Cooper says:

    Some other Ruby logo submissions here:

  82. mic says:

    I wont more Ruby logo.

  83. Mimi says:

    I'm amazed the winning logo design contained a copy of the original "ruby" logo. A new little starburst was added and a change in color. So much for creativity. I think we should all post our designs!

  84. Gavin Kistner says:

    My initial impression was that it has a nice soft feel to it. Very welcoming.

    I'm not wild about the typography. Simplifying the choices of font weight, capitalization, size, and alignment would (I think) help the overall logo tremendously. (Of course, Matz has suggested that it might often be used without the "Programming Language" bit, which helps this point.)

    Upon reflection and reading these comments, I agree that this particular logo might not work well (as is) at a small size, or in a reduced-color representation. I'm not sure if that's appropriate criticism. Certainly variations on this logo can be created that both have strong ties to the original and also work better than it in other settings. I do not believe the best logo has to work - without modification - for every purpose.

    Yes, it would be nice to have a version of the logo that works in website bookmarks and is still sort of recognizable. But I don't want a 16 color favicon logo as the official branding of Ruby. I want something better.

    Can this logo be improved? Sure. Is it terrible? Definitely not.

    Are some of the comments attached to this article insensitive, unhelpful, and way out of line? I certainly think so.

  85. Augusto says:

    No offense guys, but a lot of the submissions here are actually worse than the one that won. Maybe we shouldn't be so quick to judge :-)

  86. John Joyce says:

    On the contrary, we should all have our opinions and not be shy about them. Designers are thick-skinned and take criticism well because they know that it all comes down to personal taste and opinion in the end. I think the ones at the link were not bad ideas. Like any good design, it's 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration. Reworking, perfecting, polishing. Of course a well-polished turd is still a turd. A rough cut gem is already gem.

    The official logo could be improved, but I still find it overly derivative and uninspired. The original team on it could probably have done it better.

  87. the image part of the new logo says:
    I especially prefer the image part of the new logo, so we might use
    the logo without "programming language" text.


  88. Fortis says:

    "Upon reflection and reading these comments, I agree that this particular logo might not work well (as is) at a small size, or in a reduced-color representation. I'm not sure if that's appropriate criticism."

    Actual that is entirely appropriate criticism, as a logo is a very specific type of graphic design, and as such, has certain requirements. Because of the many varied places a logo is used, it's ability to be scaled down in size and color depth is very important. This is Graphic Design 101.

    The winning logo is fine, if someone created it for their club, or family website. However, Ruby is used by professionals all over the world, doing mission critical tasks. A hobby level logo isn't good enough; a professional one is required. No graphic artist would present this logo to his/her boss and get anything but a stern look, with eyebrows raised.

    The logo Ale Muñoz threw together, while sleepy, is much much better in every way. Look at any logo from any large company, created by professionals, you'll see that they look a lot more like Ale's than the winning entry.

  89. John Joyce says:

    Gotta agree, Muñoz's designs are nice, very contemporary, distinctive, nice and clean. Only thing I don't like is something I struggled with in my own designs and something I don't like in many Ruby logo designs out there: the tendency to look like Superman's S mark on his chest and cape. Ruby is super, but it's not Superman. (that would be kryptonite) But still, that's a nice design.

  90. suhrawardi says:

    it's horrible.
    why the 'programming language', and why there, unbalanced at the bottom, in 2 diffenrent font-sizes.
    the font is ugly and the edges of the logo make it look like it's squashed

  91. Squ1 says:

    There's nothing special on the new one, not too much difference between the editions neither.

  92. Goku2 says:

    it's horrible.
    Sorry guys. But I don't like it.
    It doesn't look professional.
    And the fonts look old. Ruby should have a brand new face!
    Show look like some futuristic product.
    Please pick some other logo.

  93. MigraHalf says:

    Ultra sucks!
    Sorry, but its horrible.

  94. Todd Werth says:

    I agree, the winning logo isn't the greatest. A logo needs to work in 1 color, multi-color, and full color. It also needs to work from 16 pixels up to billboard size. The winning logo fails to meet many requirements to be considered a professional logo.

    I also like the direction Ale Muñoz is going with his logo. I'm curious what he could do if he wasn't just creating a "quick hack". I especially like the simplicity and elegance of the ruby in his logo.

  95. Juan Pablo says:

    It would be nice if we were in 1985.
    It's preferable not to choose a new logo if the best option it's something like this one

  96. Daniel says:

    Uummmm...I´m sure I´ve seen something like that before...hhhhmmmm...maybe:


  97. Daniel says:

    Hey...if everybody takes pants off I wanna show mine (logo!), too.

    Tried to make a simple logo with a perlcracking ruby that reminds to the flag of Japan...usable even in grayscales and small resolutions...for favicons etc.

    Here we are:

    Don´t care too much about that glad I didn´t pay money for some better one. :o} I know its ugly.

  98. cejacas says:

    For those curious about other ideas, you can see what I submitted at:

  99. Ale Muñoz says:

    Daniel » I really like the concept of your logo. You are right, the font is ugly :D but I think with the image could work *really* well with a little bit of spit & polish...

  100. Wyatt says:

    For the 100th post, here are 100 ways that Ruby is different than this logo:

    #001 Ruby is simple.
    #010 Ruby is readable.
    #011 Ruby follows the principle of least surprise.
    #100 Ruby is beautiful.

  101. SMERF says:

    Sorry, more proof that Ruby as we used to know it is DEAD! This is horrible!

  102. Billy says:

    I know about 10 graphics people who could do world's better. This logo is puke

  103. Tamer Salama says:

    That's one UGLY book cover !!!

    Will not use it. Will not reference it.

  104. Corban Brook says:

    If anything should be learned from this it is that you don't leave it up to a programmer to make the final decision. Next time have a panel of judges which includes designers.

    Would have liked to see which logos lost out to this eye sore.

  105. Alastair says:

    Here's my entry

  106. Dustin says:

    ugh... thumbs down

  107. Raymond says:

    Not a good graphic. Very poor symmetry and yeah, it looks like a programmer made it, not a designer. Not a good logo. Scrap it, start over from scratch, get some designers involved.

  108. Xavier Belanche says:

    I'm also very desagree withe the logo winner... it's very poor... well, my logo here: I called "Rubbit", your best friend ;-)

  109. Peter Cooper says:

    That's rather whytheluckystiffesque.

  110. John Joyce says:

    All these good ideas. I still think we should do this 4 times a year.
    By the time Ruby 2 is out, we'll have more stupendous logos than gems!

  111. Charles Roper says:

    This is a perfect example of why logo contests are usually a bad idea. The logo to me looks like it's going to topple over. There's a kind of warpy dissonance going on making look like it's actually moving. Makes me feel a bit sick.

    Just to make some comparisons, check out some of the better logo design over at logo pond:

    I personally like the work of Roy Smith (Firebrand):

  112. ecland says:

    Ok, nice joke. Now, show us the REAL winner...
    Uh-oh, no joke? =:-O
    Come on, I can't believe it....

  113. Xklaim Design says:

    Wow, I just googled the Ruby logo contest to see if a winner had been picked and was just as shocked as most of you to see the winning entry. I'm a graphic designer that has been doing this professionally for 7 years now. I was turned on to this contest by a programmer friend of mine who absolutely loves Ruby. I wanted to represent what he explained to me visually and here's what I submitted: (click on links at bottom of pages to see different color variations)

    It appears that I went in a completely different direction from the chosen design, but I'm very curious to see what you Ruby users have to say about my submission.

  114. Earl says:

    My god! This not a logo, this is a joke.

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