Qi-Hardware logo: the basics

Allin Kahrl qbject at gmail.com
Sat Aug 27 14:32:30 EDT 2011

I took a slightly different approach to deriving the proportions of
Jon's original because I assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that it had
been originally drawn pixel-by-pixel.

The crispest-looking horizontal bar is the top one, and it is 21px
high with a little bit of antialiasing on the bottom edge. Dividing
the height of the image (256px) by 21 and throwing out the remainder
gives a scaled height for the image of 12px, and creates a version of
the logo where the bars are only 1px high/wide.

I've attached a cleaned-up version of that result as qilogo_1-1.png.
I've also attached a version zoomed in with a grid drawn in to make
the counting of basic units easier (qilogo_grid.png).

With these proportions, each element of the logo is only one basic
unit wide. The bars are 7 basic units long. The vertical element of
the tail is 6 basic units high and the hook at the end of the tail is
2 basic units wide. It's a shockingly simple shape.

I realize that I've been a lot less gentle than Werner was wedging the
design into a pixel grid. I hope I'm not missing intentional nuances
of the original's proportions in my pursuit of simplicity. I'd like to
add, however, that I'm really enjoying how much uniqueness and visual
complexity we're getting out of a form that I see as being very
straightforward to execute.

Consider the diameter of an endmill as your basic unit:

begin in the upper-left of the logo
  plunge cutter into material
    move x+6 basic units
  lift cutter out of material
    move y-2 basic units
  plunge cutter into material
    move x-6 basic units
  lift cutter out of material
    move y-2 basic units
  plunge cutter into material
    move x+6 basic units
    move y-5 basic units
    move x+1 basic units
  lift cutter out of material


On Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 6:03 PM, Werner Almesberger
<werner at almesberger.net> wrote:
> A while ago, Jon prosed to change the Qi-Hardware logo
> http://en.qi-hardware.com/wiki-logo.png
> to a more digital-looking style:
> http://fabricatorz.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/qi-hardware.org-logotype-150x100-black.png
> As I was toying with the idea of engraving the logo in a future
> project, I was having a closer look at it. (*)
> (*) The current logo would be very difficult to engrave. First of
>    all, it is full of non-trivial curves that would first have to be
>    captured or, if available in an easily processed format,
>    converted. Second, the stroke width varies and gets very thin at
>    some places and so does the space between strokes.
>    This limits what a CNC mill can do with such a shape. Jon's logo
>    is much more convenient in that regard. (But see one of the next
>    mails for pitfalls.)
> The first problem was to convert Jon's design into something properly
> digital. At first sight, it looks as if it used a bitmap on a very
> simple grid, but when you measure the lengths, things get a little
> murky. Also, the edges don't coincide with pixel boundaries but are
> anti-aliased.
> Here's what I hope is a reasonably faithful approximation of Jon's
> logo design, based on a simple grid:
> http://downloads.qi-hardware.com/people/werner/logo/qi-hw.pdf
> The original logo is in black/grey in the background. My "digital"
> version is overlaid in red.
> Source:
> http://projects.qi-hardware.com/index.php/p/wernermisc/source/tree/master/logo/qi-hw.fig
> Note that the numbers are simply multipliers of a basic unit length
> that would be chosen according on the respective application.
> Does this look good so far ? And do we want to change at all ?
> - Werner
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