The Gaim project could use a new logo/icon – wanna help?

Gaim logo dude

The excellent instant-messaging program/project, Gaim, could use a new logo. It would need to be something simple and elegant that works well as a little 16-pixel system-tray icon, as a full-size application icon, in larger spots (login screen, about dialog, etc.) and in other locations with status symbols with the icon (offline, busy, etc.).

Here’s the current Gaim logo dude and a screenshot of a folder that shows some of the other ways the logo is currently used.

Gaim is becoming quite popular as an instant messaging client. It is already widely used on Linux, and I think it could catch on like Firefox on windows too.

I wish I had more time to help, but I thought I’d try to spread the word. If you are interested in helping, join the Gaim-devel mailing list.

Update: It turns out the Gaim guys are still pretty happy with the little one-armed man. Still it can’t hurt to try some new things.


12 thoughts on “The Gaim project could use a new logo/icon – wanna help?

  1. I’ve always thought the logo was a badge or a ribbon or something, like what you win in elementary school poetry contests.

  2. Getting engaged is no excuse to deprive the Open Source community of a slicker chat client. 🙂   Seriously, you have some time anyway. Right now, Gaim’s icon matches the user experience!

    Don’t get me wrong, I want to use Gaim as much and enjoy it as much as I do Firefox. However, I have to run Windows at work and I’m no Linux Guru at home (yet), so it needs to work effortlessly under Windows before I can adopt it (for now). Multiple attempts with several versions on at least two different machines have revealed a well-intentioned but profoundly quirky and temperamental ap somehow matched by that malformed icon.

    Mozilla and Firebird were great programs back when both were as ugly as Mozilla’s Classic theme. Unifying and cleaning up the UI just made Firefox a lot more fun and intuitive to use. Firefox deserves to look, “simple and elegant!” Gaim just isn’t there yet (at least for Windows).

    When it is, I’ll be the first at the SourceForge Gaim Project downloading away.

  3. Mere Usability: The usabilty problems of gaim on Windows are due to bugs in GTK+ for Windows. Unlike mozilla, gaim did not invent it’s own cross-platform toolkit.

  4. When I first used Gaim on Windows (which was sometime between two and three years ago), I made the mistake of not installing a GTK+ theme, resulting in an ugly application. I also noticed several weird UI quirks. Displeased, I uninstalled.

    Sometime later, I decided to try again. This time, I installed a GTK+ theme (Wimp), which improved the UI significantly. Although the UI quirks remained, they began to disappear as the bugs in the Windows port of GTK+ that were causing them were fixed.

    When I last used Windows, a month ago, all of the strangeness I had noticed on my first install had disappeared. Gaim on Windows was just as “simple and elegant” as Gaim is on Linux.

    As for the logo, I actually like it. It is similar to the AIM icon (which is also one-armed), but more angular and stylish.

  5. nathan: It somehow helps to know why. Maybe there’s a lesson in there for the Gaim developers. (I assume cross-platform use is an important concern for a chat client.) However…

    Martey: My previous attempts to use Gaim follow your narrative remarkably closely (and on very adequate machines). However, I never attained satisfying results. If your recent Windows eXPerience has been equivalent to Linux, I think the question is how simple and elegant is Gaim on Linux? Does it still take a bit of fiddling around to use a non-AIM protocol, and does it still appear to randomly stop working?

    These are not rhetorical questions: I’m still such a newbie to Linux that I hesitate to blame anything on it. And yes, I realize this is not the location for Gaim support. The point is failure to be simple and elegant. If it fails on Linux, too, then my assertion still stands and it doesn’t deserve the equivalent of a Firefox Branding Team. (And yes, I probably should give Mr. Garrity credit for starting it all.)

    The reason I sound so frustrated about this, is that I lack programming skills, but I want the entire Open Source philosophy to work so badly. I want to tell my friends and family to use Gaim instead of MSN Messenger. Unfortunately (for now) that means it has to work better under Windows than Messenger does.

    Firefox, Thunderbird, Gaim, OpenOffice, The Gimp, Audacity, these are the “missionary aps” by which the masses (read Windows users) will learn about Open Source. Mozilla is what made me interested in Linux. Firefox is what gives me hope for Linux on the desktop. Ironic that Linux gets all the press, isn’t it?

    And finally, the logo and icon do need serious work before the t-shirt will make my Christmas list. There, I’m done. Sometimes it’s hard to be a spectator! :-/

  6. Maybe there’s a lesson in there for the Gaim developers. (I assume cross-platform use is an important concern for a chat client.)

    There’s a lot of downsides in comparison to the upshots when using Mozilla’s cross-platform toolkit. Google around.

    Does it still take a bit of fiddling around to use a non-AIM protocol, and does it still appear to randomly stop working?

    Using a non-AIM protocol is dead easy: you create a new account and choose what protocol it’s for. As for random stoppage in working, the only time this happens to me is if the network connection drops; Gaim seems to take a minute or two before noticing this, and during that time any operations like fetching a user’s profile silently fail. This is my experience running Gaim on Linux, and I assume it’s the same or similar for Windows.

    For what it’s worth, I have a handful of friends who are very happy using Gaim on Windows. As Martey pointed out, most of the issues were with GTK+ on Windows and have been fixed.

  7. Mere Usability: It sounds like you’ve had negative experiences with Gaim. I’ve been very pleased with it. I chose it from all other available IM clients (I used to be a Trillian user) and am happy with it’s relative simplicity compared to other clients. It’s almost as simple as a multi-protocol client can be.

  8. Sorry if my last post sounded sarcastic. It really wasn’t intended to be.

    I indeed have had negative experiences with Gaim. I’ve tried it under MandrakeLinux 9.x & KDE, Debian (Sarge) & Gnome (was best) as well as three different Windows machines. (Did I mention I really want to like it?)

    In all cases it was with a broadband connection that was working fine. In all cases there were miscellaneous problems generally including confusion about specifying a non-AIM protocol. It might have simply been something about the dialog design – can’t remember exactly what it was. I do remember having to deliberately avoid the error the last time I did the setup. In all cases I used it a little while, became frustrated, and removed it from my computer or simply stopped using it.

    Obviously it makes a difference from a bug-fixing perspective if the problem is with GTK+ or with Gaim. As I mentioned before, it’s somehow nice to know that the Gaim people are doing their part. However, when I want to install and use it, it makes no difference why it’s not working since I don’t have the capacity to fix it either way. I just want it to beat MSN Messenger in functionality and ease of use, and that’s what it has to do ‘out of the box’ before it can assume a role analogous to Firefox.

    Steven: I’ve been lurking about this site for about a year. I generally agree with your UI and usability opinions. That’s what brought me here in the first place, actually. It actually surprises me that you use Gaim partly due to your comparison of sound themes in Windows Messenger with MSN Messenger. If you have any inclination, I’d like to read a little more about your selection process.

  9. Of course the GAIM guys arent interested. The logo is fine and these guys have more inportant things to do then waste time redesiging the logo.

    Must be nice to have nothing better to do that run around trying to redesign everbody logo. You guys are annoying. Form follows function…remember!?

  10. nathan: That link tells me nothing. Try again.

    Read the original post:
    “Update: It turns out the Gaim guys are still pretty happy with the little one-armed man. Still it can’t hurt to try some new things.”

    So…End of story.

    If you dont like the view…dont look. Punk.

Comments are closed.