CogSci Apps’ Has a New Logo! Here’s what It Represents
I am delighted to announce that CogSci Apps has a new logo and wordmark:
As a bit of background “CogSci” is short for “cognitive science”, the modern, computational, interdisciplinary science of mind. As you can tell from looking it up in Wikipedia, six or eight disciplines contribute most directly to cognitive science. Thus, the two main symbols for cognitive science are a hexagon and an octagon. We opted for an octagon to reflect this plurality.
The original CogSci Apps logo, created by yours truly in 2016, was composed of a black hexagon containing a blue app-like round-rectangle with a little rocket it in it. The rocket was a white triangle with a fiery red base representing the flame of rocket engines! This was meant to represent: cognitive science, apps, and productivity.
I am not a graphic artist, so the original logo wasn’t nearly as refined as it now needs to be. We stuck with the previous version because we were a lean startup. We’re still lean, but not so much a startup anymore (nearly 5 years old!). And we’re just about to launch a product that will significantly alter how Mac users do cognitive productivity —well, at least those users who sincerely intend to use knowledge to solve problems, create great products, and improve themselves, i.e., cognitive productivity (per these books.) Cognitive productivity apps are what CogSci Apps was founded to create. So, it was time to hire a graphic artist to create an icon that “imputes” our qualities (per the dictum of Apple’s founding CEO Mike Markkula).
But I am an expert at driving the design process. I determine and document requirements; I interact with specialists to refine the requirements; and we build great products that meet those requirements. (Incidentally, as a cognitive scientist, I apply the design stance, which is reverse engineering the mind.) And this is amongst my favourite sets of activities. For an example, compare the fun I had working with the brilliant Metro-Vancouver visual artist, Lam Wong, who created the perfect icon for mySleepButton®, which visually hammers the verbal nail for serial diverse imagining, “Shuffle Your Thoughts to Sleep”™.
For the CogSci Apps icon I turned to another fabulous Metro-Vancouver graphic artist, Jenna Mortemore. I first met Jenna in 2016 when CogSci Apps incubated at Left one of Canada’s most innovative, value-driven, tasteful, and transformative tech companies (makers of RightMesh). (Don’t take my word for it: check them out!!)
To (finally) cut to the chase, here is some of the significance of the new CogSci Apps logo:
- Octagon is a common symbol for cognitive science —its 8 core disciplines — and CogSci Apps is not merely multi-disciplinary, it is truly interdisciplinary!
- the protruding quadrilateral (an isosceles trapezoid) in the top right quadrant represents both the engine of progress and the fact of distinction (similar to the intent for the “rocket” in the former logo),
- the protruding trapezoid also jives with the CogZest logo, a dolphin jumping in the top right quadrant, and its slogan, “Thrive in the sea of knowledge”; similarly, the black font is reminiscent of CogZest’s namemark,
- the blue of the trapezoid matches the blue of “Apps”, which is also the main color of our upcoming macOS app, which in turn is representative of apps in the Apple ecosystem (you will soon see why this is particularly relevant to that macOS app),
- the variety of colors in the logo is a wink to diversity (suggestive of our first app, serial diverse imagining), interdisciplinarity (per above), value pluralism (per this blog post), and plurality of cultures (which Canada was one of the first to embrace, thanks to Pierre Elliot Trudeau, a brainy, value-principled, CogZest hero),
- the choice of non-blue colors was made in consultation with a variety of people (tastes differ!),
- the trapezoid and “C” in our wordmark have multiple other relevant connotations that we will elaborate on later (you will notice, for instance, that the C is a gear-like octagon with a bite taken out of it, an echo of a missing …),
- my undergraduate thesis computationally explored geometric constraints in the evolution of human vision, itself a basis for the evolution of all human cognition, and
- the font’s distinctive “i” is meant to represent the human brain/mind, and our focus on the individual.
Looking at the icon now, I realize that the gap at the centre, and those in the interstices of the perimeter, represent the gaps in our knowledge. Cognition is mainly not knowing; wisdom involves knowing that you do not know, and trying to do something about it. Our macOS products (like CogZest’s) are designed to help users (ourselves included) do great work with knowledge, which involves, amongst other things, identifying and repairing the flaws in their thinking and knowledge. But do not allow all these abstractions distract you. Our tools are very easy to use, concrete and powerful. By slightly modifying your workflows with them, your cognitive productivity will be greatly enhanced.
The entire interactive, requirement-driven process of developing this logo is a good example of the CogSci Apps slogan, “Apply Knowledge.” Because we are very clear about who we are and what we do, once we had set our minds to it, we were able to quickly develop this logo thanks to the services of a very competent artist.
Please see the copyright section of our legal page regarding use of our logos , wordmarks, etc.