Angry Robot

Robot Facelift

The logo

The robot fist logo was an idea by Toku (remember him?). It may have been from 2008. He didn’t have a chance to actually execute it and for the past year I’ve been trying to get a designer friend to do it, but as it often goes with busy talented people and freebie jobs, it wasn’t happening. Finally I tried myself, for about the third time. I think it worked out pretty well despite my sub-craptacular vector design skillset.

I just love the idea of it. Despite loving both robots in general and the previous robot logo in the particular (designed by my friend Claire), I had come to dislike the obviousness of the image. The new logo is more indirect, visually striking (ha), and brings a number of new associations. The raised fist is of course commonly used by left-wing groups, and when combined with robots brings up SkyNet, the singularity, the idea of robot empowerment. In my mind, this is better and more on-topic than the association of kitschy 50s ray gun robots – not that there’s anything wrong with that.

As for the execution, I experimented with many things. I ultimately found that the closer I stayed to the traditional clenched fist logo, the better. What do you think, can you make it out okay?

The design

I wasn’t intending to go all-white like this. I had a design mostly finished that used propaganda imagery and textures and reds and browns, quite inspired by this poster:


Which I goddamn love. So I’m not sure why I decided to try stripping pretty much every aesthetic design element away other than the logo. I think it’s from using a lot of minimal interfaces lately, like Instapaper, Taskpaper and of course the Kindle. And of course I consider myself a producer of stuff, not a designer of things that display stuff, so I like it when designs step back and let you get right to said stuff.

The result is what you see. I’m not sure I’ll keep it like this, but I like it right now.

While I’m on the site news tip, there are still a few problems – biggest for me is that the links (brief posts) aren’t displaying correctly in the RSS feed. I’m afraid I’m a little undermatched for that battle, but I’m still trying. The workaround is to subscribe to the articles feed and the pinboard feed separately – pinboard is what I use for the links. You’ll miss the odd picture and embedded video, but hey, life goes on.

If you see anything wonky will you let me know?