Michael J. Swart

May 31, 2016

Some Thoughts On Logos

Filed under: Miscelleaneous SQL,SQLServerPedia Syndication — Michael J. Swart @ 10:28 am

So today is the last Tuesday in May which means that next Tuesday is the first Tuesday in June. On that day, you can expect me to invite all SQL bloggers to participate in June’s T-SQL Tuesday. So I’m thinking about my invite post: What will be the topic? What illustration will I include?

The T-SQL Tuesday Logo

When thinking about an illustration to include, I began to look more closely at the T-SQL Tuesday logo:

T-SQL Tuesday Logo

The logo includes a cylinder which is the standard way to represent a database (did you ever wonder why?). That’s what ties “T-SQL” to the logo.

But I want to point out something that not a lot of people notice. If you look really closely, you can see that the grid is actually a calendar for some month and the second Tuesday is highlighted. And that’s what ties “Tuesday” to the logo. Here, I’ll blow it up a bit:


But the resolution makes it hard to read or notice so as an exercise (and for my invite post illustration), I recreated the logo:


Another Take on the Logo

I happen to sit near some really cool graphics designers. And after some discussions about what makes a good logo, I came up with

Now don’t get too excited, it’s definitely not Machanic-approved. And I won’t be using this logo, it’s just an exercise.
But here are some of my thoughts.

  • It gets away from gradients which is a recent trend in logos and I keep it as uncomplicated as possible.
  • I stuck with blue (or Cyan actually). Microsoft seems to do that with Azure for example and there’s no sense in changing that.
  • I dropped the tie with Tuesday. When I think of T-SQL Tuesday, I think of databases and blogging, not the day of the week.
  • It’s meant to remind you of ERDs. Join diagrams are such a visual thing already and they’re closer to what we deal with on a day to day basis rather than the stereotypical cylinder.

So… watch for the invite post in one week!


  1. Nice. Reminded me of execution plans rather than ERDs, but both are good.

    Comment by Brent Ozar — May 31, 2016 @ 10:38 am

  2. I thought that too. Kind of like the same style as

    Comment by Michael J. Swart — May 31, 2016 @ 10:40 am

  3. I like the idea of having the logo be cleaned up, in general. And I like the clean/flat look of the ERD-inspired logo.

    I wonder if the ERD / Execution Plan logo could have a hat tip to the calendar (or some other aspect of periodicity) rolled into it. Something like having a grid in light gray (or light cyan, or some other background color), then having the cyan ERD-T boldly standing out on that calendar-inspired grid. If the “calendar” was 3×4 to represent the 12 months, I don’t think it would throw off the proportion or simple/clean aesthetic.

    Comment by Andy Mallon — May 31, 2016 @ 11:28 am

  4. Thanks for the feedback Andy. I see what you’re getting at. The grid = calendar connection is not a strong connection. The original logo designer recognized that and added day names to try and make the connection stronger.

    Comment by Michael J. Swart — May 31, 2016 @ 11:32 am

  5. Yes–I admittedly never noticed until you pointed it out on twitter–but now that I see it, I really appreciate it.

    Some very successful logos have very clever, subtle nods to core aspects of the business–the arrow in FedEx, or the smile in Amazon. Not everyone notices, but being able to have the logo represent multiple core aspects of the brand, without being heavy-handed is always pleasing.

    I think the tricky part is striking the right balance where it’s there, and able to be noticed… but without having to beat someone over the head with it.

    Comment by Andy Mallon — May 31, 2016 @ 11:51 am

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