I decided to get on creating the PGXN logo sooner rather that later, both to create a stronger identity for the project and to have a uniform look across the various services (the site, blog, twitter stream, identi.ca, etc.). So I began hunting around for useful iconography to inspire a design direction.
Let me tell, you, that’s a lot easier than it sounds. After browsing through images returned for queries such as “pixin,” “pig skin,” “zen,” “zen stones,” “pixies,” and god knows what else, I finally focused on “database icon.” This was much more useful, as I hit on images such as the one to the right. Pretty standard database icon, right? Three disks stacked up. I’m not sure why this is the classic graphical abstraction for a database, but I’ve seen it a zillion times. So often that it’s a cliché.
Much more interesting was stumbling onto the icon to the left. I love how three disks have been broken down to their simplest possible representation. Because I’m familiar with the cliché, I can see at a glance exactly what this icon is supposed to be. So I thought that might be useful to use.
Searching for “extension icon” was a bust. Most of the relevant images, like the one to the right, seemed to be related to Adobe Extension Manager (try to find a link for that!). I didn’t want to go near that, of course. But, inspired by the CPAN logo, I searched for “library icon.”
Bingo! I hit on the amazing icon at right. Of course! Gears make a great icon for extensions, don’t you think? This folder is like an extension library folder. So then I thought, how can I combine these two icons, the abstract database and the gear?
Well it’s simple, isn’t it? The database icon can be the holes in the extension gear. It’s punched out, right? PGXN will offer loads of database extensions to download (we hope), and when you use one in your database, PostgreSQL will, you know: turn the gear. It just fits.
Strongrrl created the logo and type treatment based on these ideas, adding the tilt and the figure/ground reversal, and I really love it. It’s a really great logo for a database extension site. I imagine I can use variants of this throughout the final design.