A Logo That Scales

@jgwhite I’ve had comments saying that the framework might be good for side projects but that it doesn’t look serious enough for software in a professional environment.

I just stopped putting the mascot in my slides for that reason.

You can say it’s silly all you want, but that’s my personal experience.

@ggohierroy sure, just trying to get a sense of the situation.

My two cents, for what they’re worth:

Tomster represents something far more important than how serious and/or capable the framework is: it represents how approachable the community is. To adopt an open source solution without also engaging with its community is to miss out on a huge part of its value. Tomster is here to remind us of our ultimate goal: developer happiness.


I think the wordmark is fine for presentations that might be negatively impacted by the presence of Tomster. If we’re really worrying about these sorts of things basically the entire color palette for emberjs.com is too cutesy for “serious business”.

Having two logos seems like a disaster of an idea. I’d say keep Tomster and use the wordmark for cases where it isn’t audience appropriate. Considering Angular does alright with a big “A” and some graphics simply pulling the “e” from the wordmark probably would work. That’s what this forum does in the top-left navigation element, and it seems fine.

Probably the best action item here would be to create a “branding” page that offers these options and provides a high resolution version of the imagery. The logo seems like a good fit for the core audience, the real issue here seems to be promoting more business-friendly alternatives to it.


@atsjj I want to make sure folks know that I freaking love Tomster, and I don’t honestly care about the philosophical debate on who’s in charge, because we can’t change that.

Also the wordmark is totally cool also. I’m just curious if we want a logo since so far we have a wordmark and mascot.

@jgwhite I think its really not an either or scenario, I think Tomster should live forever.

@awj I think the caveat here is the need for something concise and small. Right now the logo (and favicon for this very forum) is just a cursive e

So perhaps that cursive e went through a branding exercise, ultimately if thats the logo that’s cool, it just seems like they just took ember and lobbed off the E


@drewcovi I don’t mean to be rollin’ relentless on the philosophy, but I do feel justified in trying to gain an understanding of why we ended up with something like Tomster and why we would do something else; some of the reasons above didn’t feel right.

That being said, please don’t take it personal. I’d like to share my love for this discussion and thank you for bringing it up. Honestly, this is a lot of fun discussing!

OK, so I would like to get some clarification from our Ember presenters that have removed Tomster:

  1. Did you remove the Tomster based on your own assumptions about the community logo, or did you actually get feedback from your audience?
  2. How do you feel about the official wordmark logo?
  3. What is your comfort level branding with Ember’s colors; what scheme would you prefer?

I like the mascot as is and vote for keeping the little critter.

Tomster is playful, approachable, and the opposite of what I’d expect from a corporate big business software project like Angular. Even the Ember wordmark appears casual and handwritten, in contrast to the sharp edges (pun intended) of the Angular wordmark.

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I can not agree more emphatically with this statement.


Just want to say again that I love Tomster like an unborn child. Perhaps the real question is whether the word mark could use a better logo than a cursive “e”

I agree that these logos could probably use another pass.

the white background version especially seems pretty out of place. That said the cursive e is very clearly ember and ties in well to the word mark and I haven’t seen the white background e anywhere but here.

Tiny Tomster, whilst adorable, doesn’t read that well.

Any designers want to take a whack at an alt?

I’m confused. Why not just use this? It’s one of the existing logos. Is it still to happy looking for corporate presentation?


@marclipovsky to @varblob’s point: Many would call that a wordmark, we’re aiming for something that would scale well and work as a favicon.

Aigh, I hear ya. Well I’m looking forward to what ya’ll might come up with.

Ha… I’ve been a drupal developer for years and tried for the last 3 years to update the druplicon… Exactly the same discussion has been going on with drupal for years. Essentially now Drupal has a trademarked wordmark that no one else should use, and should not be modified, plus the ‘mascot’ druplicon that anyone can use and modify.

Funnily enough not even the Drupal software can contain the Drupal wordmark, because it would then be open source. I shit you not, I worked on the drupal 8 installer graphics and we can’t use the Drupal wordmark.

I love the ember logo, keep it, you don’t want to lose the friendliness. I mean it’s kinda ugly, and kinda awkward, and probably not all that professional. But the single most important thing about any open source project (imo) is the community… the drupal motto is “Come for the Software, Stay for the Community.” I think that holds true for any open source project.

Tomster encourages me that Ember has a thriving community, it encourages me to get involved, to ask questions, and not feel intimidated. It also makes me feel like Ember doesn’t follow convention, doesn’t give in to peer pressure, doesn’t conform… I love all those things about Ember.

Sure if you are working for some awful corporation who will chose a framework based on the logo then just use the Wordmark on you powerpoint presentations. But there’s no need ot change the official logo.

As for the Angular and backbone logo’s, someone mentioned neither say what they are, the angular one at least implies something to do with html5 and css3, and the shield is always a good metaphor for software. It’s a strong logo.

The Backbone one is… completely forgettable… something to do with bluetooth? Not sure.

Both the angular and backbone logos lack any personality. As a graphic designer there’s so many awesome things you can do very easily with Tomster…like on the builds page.


The cartoon rodent should go. A few weeks back I was working on convincing a client to give Ember a try. One of them was browsing various Ember sites while we were talking, came across Tomster, and suggested that the framework was created by some guy living in his parents’ basement. The discussion went down from there.

I’m chipping in, though this thread is getting a bit old, because I’d like to make a practical suggestion: Make Tomster an easter egg of some kind. Or, encourage others to include Tomster as an easter egg in their own code if it makes sense. That way those of you who love Tomster can keep him, and the rest of us can forget all about him. (And keep him hidden from pointy-haired bosses.)

Tomster is pretty important to the message we are trying to send. I think @jgwhite captured the original idea really well in his talk at EmberConf.

I’d suggest watching the talk:


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@rwjblue I definitely agree. @jgwhite and team have done some fantastic work. I did open this forum, but I always enter a conversation eager to learn more than I share.

When I approached the topic, the Tomster seemed to be an unofficial logo (not just a mascot). Since I believe the title of this topic unfortunately sets the wrong focus, I’ve opted to change the title to focus on the real issue, since I along with many ember fans positively love Tomster, and don’t want him going anywhere.

The end-goal is just to see if the only solution we have for a scalable fav-icon worthy logo is an orange box with a cursive “e” or if we can do better.

If that end-product found its way into the Ember branding guidelines would be up to the team.

I really like the ember logo and think it makes the ember community seem really friendly, if a client chooses a framework based on the logo then I think the project has far more serious issues to worry about.

If you personally don’t want to show clients the tomster logo, then just use the Ember wordmark, problem solved

if a client chooses a framework based on the logo then I think the project has far more serious issues to worry about

That’s a wrong assumption. A client doesn’t choose a framework based on its logo, a client discard a framework based on that. It’s an important difference. There are several alternatives out there for any kind of project and people usually don’t have enough time to research all of them. Getting an unprofessional impression of a framework from its logo can be enough to cross it and go for another one without discovering the great possibilities it can provide.

But the ember logo is a high quality illustration. It’s not some crummy logo drawn in Ms paint. So I don’t think anyone would abandon using ember because of the logo. Plus the alternatives are backbone and angular. So you’re not going to find an alternative with a particularly awesome logo.

And if you don’t want to use it with your clients then just use the wordmark.