linux mint logo old
The current Linux Mint Logo

A brand new Linux Mint logo may be on the way.

The popular Ubuntu-based Linux distro has revealed plans to revise its iconic ‘leaf’ shape logo in favour of a more versatile brand mark.

Mint project lead Clem Lefebvre explains more in his latest monthly news update, stating that his team is currently ‘experimenting’ with a new look for the logo.

But why? What’s wrong with the current logo?

Why does Linux Mint need a new logo? 

Two main “issues” are cited with regards to the current Linux Mint logo.

The first is that the logo is simply too detailed to scale well at smaller sizes.

The icon looks fuzzy or pixelated when used as, say, a website favicon or an app menu logo. First there’s the overall shape, then a thick inset white border, a green gradient, and a custom ‘LM’ glyph.

a low res linux mint favicon
The logo is fuzzy at low resolutions

Switching to a less intricate design would provide a sharper look at lower resolutions, without any compromise on legibility.

The leaf shape’s lack of symmetry poses a problem when working with logo in design and promotional material.

Take our little thumbnail of its logo at the top of this post: it looks off-center, doesn’t it? This is because of the extra space the leaf  ‘stem’ adds to the left throwing it off balance with the lack of space on the right.

Symbolic Difference

Mint has attempted to address some of these issues before.

Flat, semi-flat and outline (symbolic) icons of the existing logo are often used (e.g., app menu in Linux mint 19.1).

But the team conclude that it “…can’t address all the issues without removing [the] border in the shape of a leaf.”

Fans of the logo needn’t fear a dramatic redesign, as the Mint team’s plan is very subtle.

New Linux Mint Logo is a WIP

The following screenshot, showcasing Linux Mint’s new website design, provides an early glimpse at one possible version of the new logo (albeit one described as a ‘work in progress’, so not final):

Linux Mint new website and logo

Nope, not exactly ground breaking — but it’s not a regression, either. 

This experiment sees a circle replace the ‘leaf’ shape and inset border of the current design. Mint say this approach tackles ‘some of the issues’ they have with the incumbent design, particularly in regards to balance.

Clem acknowledges that the current logo is “a strong visual symbol” that is “part of our identity”. Switching away from it isn’t an easy decision.

But the lure of “crisper visuals, better looking panels, menus and splash screens” is, he adds, a direction that’s worth pursuing.

I can’t wait to see what design the distro ultimately settles on.

Talking point: which Linux distro do you think could use a new icon?
News Linux Mint