Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What's in a Logo? Or Rather, What's in Our Logo?

If you've visited our site in the past few days, or follow our blog, you know that BHL now has a new and improved logo! We have our friends at BHL-Australia to thank for this exciting new development, as our logo is a modified version of their own eye-catching design. Before the BHL-Au logo designer, Simon O'Shea, left the BHL-Au project for a new assignment with Lonely Planet, he contributed his creative talent to adapt his original design for our use. He also provided style guidelines that can help extend the use of the logo globally. For access to files of our new logo, or the guidelines surrounding its use, visit out Logo page on our Public Wiki.

Adopting a single image to represent the entirety of what the BHL is and stands for is no simple task. Our new logo deliberately moves away from the literal double helix, vine and butterfly we once used to evoke a broader sense of what the BHL is about in the abstract. That being said, we found that many of our colleagues saw a variety of different things in the simple lines of our new logo. This made us think that it's time for a BHL inkblot test! We'll tell you what several members of our team have seen in the logo, and then you tell us what you see. And don't worry - we won't be psychologically analyzing you based on what you see. Well, not that much, anyway...;-)

Inkblot Test 1: The Book

We're starting off with the most obvious form: an open book with pages turning.

Inkblot Test 2: The Rabbit

Several of our colleagues thought that the logo looked like an open book with rabbit's ears peaking up over the top.

Inkblot Test 3: A Bird in Flight

For some of our Staff, the three overlapping symmetrical shapes in our logo looked like a motion-capture shot of a bird's wings in flight.

Inkblot Test 4: Sydney Opera House

Some have even seen shapes reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House in the branching curves of our logo.

Inkblot Test 5: The Cat

The arched shapes of the logo also bring to mind a cat's ears and whiskers for some staff members.

Inkblot Test 6: Leaves

Besides the "leaves" of a book, our new logo could also be construed as the leaves of a tree.

Now it's your turn! What do you see in the shapes of our logo? Tell us by leaving a comment on this post, sending us feedback, sending us a Tweet, or Posting on our Wall. If we get enough response, we'll do a follow-up post detailing the many other forms our users see in the blue depths of our logo.


  1. To me it evokes water, perhaps a cascade, but this may reflect my aquatic bias, I'm an ichthyologist.

  2. Biodiversity Heritage LibrarySeptember 6, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Excellent! No one has suggested that interpretation yet! We'll add it to the list for the next post!

  3. It alternately reminds me of an opened book and of a mountain range.

  4. Biodiversity Heritage LibrarySeptember 7, 2011 at 7:04 AM

    A mountain range is another one no one has yet suggested! It's added to our list. Thanks!

  5. It's obviously the tail of a humpback whale disappearing behind the waves. :-)

  6. Biodiversity Heritage LibrarySeptember 7, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Another new and excellent suggestion! Added to the list for the next blog post! Thanks!

  7. I'm not an ichthyologist (I don't even know what one is).. but I agree, it reminded me of cascading water.

  8. To me, your excellent logo looks like a flower

  9. Biodiversity Heritage LibrarySeptember 12, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    Yet another excellent interpretation that has been added to our list for the follow-up blog post! Thanks so much for sending it in!