Help choose a new Nengo logo


I made what I would consider a placeholder logo for the site up there in the top-left. It’s the tuning curves from the NEF summary in the Nengo paper and I’ve gotten a bit of positive feedback on it (and it’s got a sufficiently good story behind it) but there are some things that bug me about it, and I don’t think it’s recognizable enough when shrunk down to a small size (16 or 32 px high, as is often required). So, I whipped up a slightly “bolder” version of it, with some variants.

Which of the below do people like the look of? We can certainly use different ones in different places, but it would be good to choose a canonical logo. If anyone wants to see variations of these (thicker / thinner lines, different colors, more or fewer tuning curves, etc) suggest them here and I’ll make them!

6 curves, colored


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6 curves, all blue


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3 positive curves, colored


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3 positive curves, blue


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My vote would be the “6 curves all blue”. I also like the “6 curves coloured”, but the bottom line looks kind of awkward to me with the mix of overlapping colours. We could perhaps change that to just a black line, but I think my vote would still be for the all blue (although not a strong preference).


I like the 6 curves coloured, but I would get rid of the line at the bottom so it looks more like what is up on the site now. Also, I think it would look better if it wasn’t perfectly symmetrical.


I also like the coloured one, but I would fix it to either have no line, as pawel suggested or have it all black as dan said.


How about the icon that shows up when you run nengo and/or go to Blue might be nicer :slight_smile:


My vote is for the 6 lines colour one, but like dan suggested, to have a solid black (or dark colour) line on the bottom.


What if you use tuning curves to make an ‘N’ of sorts? There’s a good chance that will look terrible, but there’s a small chance it will be super neato and rad.

Otherwise I’ll hit that status quo hard and like the coloured BUT I think it could be cool with coloured bottom if they were layered differently maybe?


I like Chris’ “blue brain” suggestion, but my second choice is the Xuan & Dan mutli-color line with black bottom.


Hmm, I mostly like the 6-line all-blue one, but it is very close to an upside-down pentagram… In fact, now that I’ve noticed the pentagram interpretation it’s very difficult to un-see it… I’d also want the lines to be a bit thicker in the 16x16 version. And I think I like not having the bottom line at all (which might help with the pentagram visual…).

I think I’d lean more towards the brain-image that we’re currently using as the favicon for both and for the nengo_gui. I think we should be using the same icon for both, but we should have a colour difference between the nengo_gui one and the webpage one (and maybe even the forum one). This is mostly because I often find myself with multiple tabs open and have trouble finding which tab is nengo_gui and which one is a documentation tab…

So I’d like an icon that we can have different colours for (or at least different versions for nengo_gui and the website). I’m leaning towards the brain, but I could definitely also see the tuning curves working…


i agree with the different colours idea +1 (as in different colours for forum vs gui)


Do you (or anyone) happen to have a vector (SVG) version of that brain?


Different colors for different things sounds good to me too! We could use the multicolored one for the ecosystem as a whole perhaps? In which case I’ll think more about choosing colors as each color should be a reasonable color for a project.

I hadn’t thought about the pentagram-esque nature of the 6 lines… we could switch to 4 or 8 lines is that would help?

Anyhoo, here are some of the other possibilities mentioned above for consideration. In all of the below, I made the lines a bit thicker, though I think they could go even thicker… Also I think the N made with tuning curves turned out alright! Though again, thicker lines might be better?

The brain icon is harder to play around with as I can’t find the original source of it… the .ico isn’t sufficient as the logo can’t only look good at 32 pixels. I’ll hunt around for that art a bit after I post this.

6 curves, colored, black axis


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6 curves, colored, no axis


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N made with tuning curves



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I think coloured project logos and multicoloured ecosystem would be awesome… I think I like no axis better.

Also Wondering if there is a good way to sort of embed the ‘N’ within more tuning curves, i.e. have the multicoloured tuning curves and have and ‘N’ coloured black within that? might be more effort than it’s worth though.

Thanks for making more potential logos T-masta :blush:


Nope, I don’t think there’s an SVG version of the brain. I made that favicon 16x16 version ages ago from the standard brain image we’ve used for the CTN logo and the Spaun videos, cropped, shrunk, and colour-inverted. I’ve got it as a 1600x1200 PNG, if that’d help…


My new vote is for the no-axis logo, but I’d be fine with the with-axis logo alternatively. What are you using to make these Trevor?


I made a few changes to the NEF summary notebook, saved the tuning curve plot as an SVG, then made some manual tweaks in Inkscape.

The PNG would help if you could point me to it! That is one thing that I worry about though, having the Nengo logo be too similar to the CTN logo.

Hm… it feels like it might be a bit busy, but it could be cool. Will give it a try!


yeah the N being tuning curves is too subtle like this i think… I wouldn’t worry about the ctn/nengo thing, no one knows what the ctn logo is … and it has people all over it :slight_smile:


I dunno, I feel like like those kinds of details (i.e., that the N is formed by tuning curves) are just nice bonuses; the main goal is to be recognizable and unique. E.g., there’s a brain in the ABR logo, but it isn’t front and center, just a nice detail. In a similar vein, my main worry with the brain logo is that it’s not recognizable / unique. There are lots of things that use a stylized brain as a logo so it doesn’t really scream “Nengo” to me.

Looking at it again, I wonder if the N logo is too close to the NY Yankee’s N? It looked kind of familiar when I was making it but I couldn’t place it. I kind of like the idea behind it, but given that similarity I think right now I’m leaning toward the 6 curves with no axis.


Is there any chance that we want to use the logo in black and white print-outs?

In general I would vote for simplicity, i.e. tuning curve logo > brain. One of the colored six curver versions would be my favourite at the moment, but too me it looks too much like a jester hat right now (though I don’t see the pentagram).

I like the idea of making an N out of tuning curves, but the current version looks weird to me. I have another idea how that could be done and will post it later once I manage to put it together.


I like it even more now :smile: