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

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Wed May 28 2003 - 08:56:47 EDT

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    From: "Marco Cimarosti" <>
    >Yes, you are right. I never heard the word "savvy" before this morning.

    Savvy is better understood in this context as "aware", than "archaic" or "informal" in your English-Italian dictionnary. It means the author of the website that uses this logo has considered taking the time to comply with the needs of their international users, and took the time to learn how to best fit their needs, by using a technology that is tought to deliver an information that will be better understood by more people and more softwares. So this meets the desire of respecting what is now an industry standard, and avoiding using legacy technologies that never reached the same level of interoperability.

    A web author could then be said savvy if he adopts interoperable technologies that most people want, because it offers non proprietary solutions, and achieves a better audience for the content.

    My question is more related to the requirements to display such a logo. After all, one could use this logo on a web site that uses a standardized encoding like ISO-8859-1 (which can be viewed even on legacy browsers), and avoids mixing contents with various encodings (where the visitor needs to guess select and select manually the encoding).

    My understanding of this logo is that it can be used on a web site that uses a coherent and correctly labelled encoding that is widely implemented. A Chinese web site could for example still use the ISO-8859-1 character set to encode its web pages, provided that Chinese characters are encoded appropriately with character entities such as "&#20346;" where the sample number here is the **Unicode** codepoint (excluding any non standard use of sequences like "&#240;&#136;&#128;&#144;" (these values are fictive) assuming that the browser will be able to automatically correct tis sequence "as if " it was UTF-8 encoded.

    The other requirement is that te web site MUST not label its content with UTF-8 when it is not (for example if it is encoded with CUSE-8). So my opinion is that a web site that fully conforms to the HTML4 or XML standards regarding its encoding is implicitly conforming to Unicode (because this is a requirement in all W3C standards for documents and schemas).

    Being "Unicode savvy" means also that the author has taken the time to test the support of its content with common browsers and available fonts (excluding proprietary fonts that may require a separate licence, and all non-Unicode technical fonts), by a careful analysis of how the content will be interpreted (this means some knowledge of some technical implementation issues found in browsers, so that the content will not be broken, but without using any non-standard Unicode "extension").

    Finally this logo implies that the web site adopts the Unicode standards instead of any other encoding algorithms found in proprietary application, and chooses to remove all content whose encoding would cause problems to most people (for example ISO2022, despite it is a standard, is widely implemented only in far eastern Asia). The design focus does not then address a specific population or part of the world.

    That's why I prefer the Unicode motto "The world speaks Unicode", or something like "Best viewed by anyone" in such a logo.

    Concerning the logo itself, its colors are strange, and do not match the official colors of the Unicode logo. But the worst thing is that both logos are not enough contrasted to be readable: red letters on this dark gray is difficult to read. These logos do not meet a basic design rule for logographic arts, which is that the logo must be easily recognizable, easily reproduced (think about printing them on a B&W laser or inkjet printer with less than 300dpi!), so it must use a contrasted design for its colors. Finally the typographic design of the word "savvy" is quite poor. Additionally, many readers would read it "sawy", and could not find this word in a dictionnary.

    Conclusions: these initial logos are difficult to read (even worse for the many people that are color blinded and cannot easily differentiate the dark red letters from the gray background!), difficult to understand, difficult to reproduce, and not very attractive visually. May be this page is a call for contributions...

    A subsidiary question is: can these "logos" be translated, and recolored ? What is the legal aspect when using the unique typographic design of the "UNI" ligature used in the official Unicode logo and in the proposed logo ? Can we design our own logos that will link to the same website, but with a more appealing look?

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