RE: Not snazzy (was: New Unicode Savvy Logo)

From: Marco Cimarosti (
Date: Wed May 28 2003 - 07:21:13 EDT

  • Next message: John Cowan: "Re: Not snazzy (was: New Unicode Savvy Logo)"

    Andrew C. West wrote:
    > I agree with Philippe on this one. A sensible, and easily
    > understandable, motto
    > like "The world speaks Unicode" would be much better. The
    > word "savvy" just
    > sends a shiver of embarrasment down my spine. Not only is
    > "savvy" not a word
    > that is probably high in the vocabulary list of non-English
    > speakers, but I
    > don't think many native English speakers would ever use it by
    > choice (maybe it's
    > just me, but I really loathe the word).

    Yes, you are right. I never heard the word "savvy" before this morning.

    My English-Italian dictionary has two "savvy" entries: an adjective (labeled
    "fam. amer." = "US English, informal") and a noun (labeled "antiq. / fam." =
    "archaic or informal"). However, all the translations have to do with
    "common sense", and none of them seems to explain the intuitive meaning of
    "Unicode savvy", which I guess is supposed to be: "Unicode enabled",
    "Unicode supported", "encoded in Unicode", etc.

    Another i18n problem is the lettering: the unusual legation of the first
    three letters and the mix-up of upper- and lower-case forms can make the
    text completely unintelligible to people not familiar with handwritten forma
    of the Latin alphabet. I guess that many people would wonder in what strange
    alphabet "Unicode" is written "Ɯ̇CODƏ".

    About the V-shaped tick in the square, that is so deformed and stylized that
    it might be hard to recognize. Keep in mind that this symbol is quite
    English-specific; in many parts of the world, different signs are used to
    tick squares on paper forms (e.g., "X", "O", a filled square, etc.). The
    English-style tick is only seen on GUI interfaces like Windows, Mac, etc.

    I also share the concerns about colors: beside their ugliness (I would have
    never imagined that that curious yellow could be called "pink"), they fail
    to recall the red and white of the well-know Unicode logo. If I didn't know
    it before seeing them, I would never have associated those icons with the
    Unicode standard or the Unicode Consortium.

    My humble suggestions would be:

    1) Replace the semi-dialectal "Unicode savvy" with a clearer motto (such as
    "encoded in Unicode", or the other phrases suggested by others); possibly,
    check that all the words used are in the high-frequency part of the English

    2) Use the regular squared Unicode logo which is seen in the top-left corner
    of the Unicode web site. That's already famous and immediately hints to

    3) Compose the motto (*including* the word "Unicode") in an widespread and
    well-readable typeface, in black or un one of the colors of the Unicode

    4) Make the "V" tick sign as similar as possible to a square root symbol,
    because that is the glyph which has been popularized by GUI interfaces.


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