Design a logo for Bintracker
BotB Academy Bulletins
Level 23 Chipist
post #112436 :: 2019.07.06 6:17am
  Strobe, anewuser, raphaelgoulart and MiDoRi liēkd this
Howdy folks,

As some of you may know I'm working on an advanced multi-system, plugin-based, open-source, hackable yaddayadda chip tracker/chiptune audio workstation, codenamed Bintracker.

Well, long story short, this beast needs a rad logo/icon. Figured since I'm not the most skilled graphician, I'd ask around here if anybody wants to take up the task? How about a little inofficial contest on the side of Summer Chip? No special price or anything, but I'll pay the winner 512 b00nz, plus 256 resp. 128 b00ns for the runner ups. Of course full credit will be given in the Bintracker documentation.

Format should be .svg. The plan is to use the design both as a project logo and a program icon, so it'd have to look good at a normal resolution while still being recognizable at something like 64x64.

As far as theme goes, take this as a inspiration
. Aside from the obvious "chiptune" and "binary" connotations, of course.

I'd say just post your works below. Deadline is Sunday, July 21st, midnight GST. If you submit an entry please also specify a license, which should either be one of the CC ones, or a libre open source license such BSD, MIT, or Unlicense/WTFPL if you prefer that.

That'd be all, ofc let me know if you have any questions/suggestions etc.
Level 22 Pixelist
post #112438 :: 2019.07.06 6:50am
  irrlicht project liēkd this
Tfw i thought about that before even opening that Flickr link...
Level 21 Chipist
post #112440 :: 2019.07.06 8:19am
  Xu, irrlicht project, DCT Master and sc liēkd this
Level 24 Chipist
post #112442 :: 2019.07.06 10:34am :: edit 2019.07.08 7:21pm
  DCT Master liēkd this
here's my entry

i misread your directions hang on
Level 23 Chipist
post #112541 :: 2019.07.09 9:33am
  MiDoRi liēkd this
I dunno man, think it needs a little more groove.
Level 9 Criticist
post #112791 :: 2019.07.21 10:09pm :: edit 2019.07.21 10:10pm
  irrlicht project liēkd this
After getting bored trying to make my (potential) Summer Chip IX battle art entry not suck so much, I drew this up before I even read you wanted SVG!

I tried pulling it together somehow, but it sure is unfinished garbage. Considering no one else posted, here it is:
Level 23 Chipist
post #112795 :: 2019.07.22 3:46am
Hm, not quite up to spec, but I appreciate you trying. So, have some b00ns ;)
Level 31 chipist
post #112796 :: 2019.07.22 7:50am
  irrlicht project and Xu liēkd this
don't worry, i'll submit something :3
Level 10 Playa
post #112800 :: 2019.07.22 12:47pm
  irrlicht project liēkd this
Uhhhh, here's something I slapped together in gimp+inkscape.
I think I might slightly know how to make vector graphics now... sorta.
Here's the svg file

And here's a png render

...dammit, I read the bottom and realized I had started after the deadline. Take it if you want, I don't care what happens to it.

As for licensing, I have no idea how those work so uh, whichever one just sorta lets you do whatever with it, idk.
Level 23 Chipist
post #112887 :: 2019.07.25 1:48am
Thanks shinyjiggly. I like the idea, however it'd need some more polish imo.
Anyway, gave you some b00ns for your efforts.
Level 7 Chipist
post #112917 :: 2019.07.25 6:48pm
  irrlicht project liēkd this
I'm dying to know whether or not it'll have support for Yamaha FM synths. I mean, all of them, especially the YMF262 OPL3 (including 4-op and especially percussion mode, please don't let these out!) and YM2413 OPLL, which really lack a good tracker for them (as much as I love AT2 for tracking on the OPL3, it's a buggy mess, *subz3ro pls fix*).

(support for the other families such as OPN, OPM/OPP and so on would be awesome as well)
Level 23 Chipist
post #112926 :: 2019.07.26 2:46am :: edit 2019.07.26 2:52am
  raphaelgoulart and argarak liēkd this
Short answer: Yes, but....

Long answer: Bintracker is designed in a way that it can support pretty much any driver for any chip on any platform. Per default It uses MAME as emulation backend, so anything that MAME supports is covered in that respect. On the long run other emulation backends should be supported as well (DOSBox or PCem, for example), and even hardware as backend should be added at some point, though all that is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

In case of Yamaha FM chips, a number of steps will need to happen before they can be supported.
- Add support for x86 assembly. That's a solid chunk of work because the x86 instruction set is huge.
- In case of SEGA machines, the assembler needs to support multiple CPU targets in one compilation unit. Which, in theory, it already does, but I haven't tested that at all so most likely more work is needed on that as well.
- Once the assembler has been prepped, sound drivers need to be added. That means a) finding drivers that are open source and b) writing plugin wrappers. Of course if somebody is to write a new driver for any of these chips I'll gladly add it as well. Or even better, users can just add them themselves, as of course everything will be documented and the format of Bintracker's driver plugins format of Bintracker's driver plugins
should be quite straightforward.

So yes, there will be support for all of these chips eventually. However, it's not a top priority, and so it won't happen until Bintracker has reached at least a solid beta stage. My main focus are the "underdog" platforms, like Dragon/CoCo, Commodore 264 series, calculators... That said, I'm always open to arguments of the form "X really lacks a good tracker".
Level 11 Pixelist
post #112933 :: 2019.07.26 11:04am
  irrlicht project liēkd this

avr-objcopy -I ihex hextrackerlogo.hex -O binary bintrackerlogo.bin

Seriously though, I might try something, if you are happy with mediocrity.
Level 23 Chipist
post #112936 :: 2019.07.26 1:52pm
  Jangler and StrangerInSweden liēkd this

To be clear though, no, I'm not happy with mediocrity. If I wanted a mediocre logo I'd do it myself. Also, you folks wouldn't be happy with a mediocre tracker either, would ya?
Level 24 Chipist
post #113003 :: 2019.07.27 4:33pm :: edit 2019.07.27 4:34pm
  irrlicht project liēkd this
since it appears that you're still looking for logos, I gave this a shot

here is a github gist of all the svg files (with previews):

there are two versions, one with background and the other transparent, both saved in two versions: inkscape svg for editing and optimised svg for actual use, since it's smaller in file size

it's licensed under CC-BY 4.0 so only attribution is necessary ;p

e: also willing to make any changes to this logo if you need, just let me know
Level 8 Pixelist
post #113004 :: 2019.07.27 5:19pm
  raphaelgoulart, garvalf, irrlicht project, kleeder and argarak liēkd this
Yooo I do this kinda stuff for a living.

If you haven't filled it yet and are still lookin' for people to submit, lemme ask you some questions so ppl interested can get a more solid idea. There's a lot of assumptions being made with the design atm so I think a clear line drawn might net you some more submissions.

-What about the picture you linked makes you think of Bintracker? Is it the bent shape of the bin, the personification of the "laughing" one in the bg? Is it just the fact that it's that specific type of bin?

-How important are the chiptune/binary aspects being featured to you? What makes you personally think of chiptunes visually?

-I took a peek at the screenshot for the tracker on github...are you sticking with the black and green? If so, maybe this is something that can be considered when producing the icon; after all the icon is the first peek at a program so consistency makes for a pleasant experience.

-What kind of art style are you looking to emulate? Do you want something that's got lots of angles and flavor, like a 90s cartoon? Or maybe something more fluid and round? Something clean, modern, and simplistic, or more photorealistic? Despite it being in SVG, do you want it to still look like pixel art?
When I work with clients, I usually ask them for a handful of images of art, keywords, whatever they're able to provide to give me an idea of what the visual cues the person likes are. More's always better in this case.

I should also say I hope these aren't coming off as rude! These questions aren't meant to drill ya or come across as an attack; it'll just give a little more context as to what you're looking for. B)
Level 23 Chipist
post #113023 :: 2019.07.28 6:20am :: edit 2019.07.28 6:21am
  argarak liēkd this
LionsTigersnDice: Not rude at all! As I was saying, I'm not competent at all when it comes to design, so it's great to have someone who knows what they're talking about join the discussion. Great questions, let me try to answer them one by one.

-What about the picture you linked makes you think of Bintracker? Is it the bent shape of the bin, the personification of the "laughing" one in the bg? Is it just the fact that it's that specific type of bin?

The bent shape most of all, and also the type of bin to some extend. Don't care about the laughing part.

-How important are the chiptune/binary aspects being featured to you? What makes you personally think of chiptunes visually?

I'm not a visual type of person, so this is a tough one for me. Actual sound chips and the classic tracker grid come to mind, of course, but other than that I couldn't really pin-point how chiptune "looks" to me. Generally though, the chiptune aspect is quite important, more important than the whole "bin" aspect at least.

-I took a peek at the screenshot for the tracker on github...are you sticking with the black and green? If so, maybe this is something that can be considered when producing the icon; after all the icon is the first peek at a program so consistency makes for a pleasant experience.

So far I've not mentioned the Bintracker that's on gh, to avoid confusion. What I'm working on now is a complete rewrite of the one on gh. That was kind of the test implementation - learned a lot from that, but in itself it falls short of what I want to achieve. Anyway, I considered changing the name for the "new" Bt (for some time I was dubbing it "Bintracker NG"), but considering that a) I really like the name, b) I won't continue to develop the old Bt, and c) technically the new Bt is still the continuation of the same project, I'm now leaning towards sticking with just Bintracker.

tl;dr: old bintracker on github != what I'm working on now.

With that out of the way, let me actually answer the question. The look-and-feel of Bintracker is completely customizable, not just all the colors, but even the widget theme. One of the core principles in designing it is that users should be able to adapt it to their needs, not the other way around.

Currently the new incarnation looks something like this:
though of course it's at a super early stage, and many things will still be subject to change.

-What kind of art style are you looking to emulate? Do you want something that's got lots of angles and flavor, like a 90s cartoon? Or maybe something more fluid and round? Something clean, modern, and simplistic, or more photorealistic?

My preference is for "clean, modern, simplistic". Think Material Design. Minimalism is a pretty central aspect of my work. That said, this is something I'm quite willing to compromise on, if in return I get something that is easily recognizable and that people can relate to.

Btw I would be fine with a monochrome design.

Despite it being in SVG, do you want it to still look like pixel art?

No, pixels are by no means required. Of course pixel art is sort of the graphical representation of chiptune, so perhaps elements of pixel art could be incorporated in one way or another.

When I work with clients, I usually ask them for a handful of images of art, keywords, whatever they're able to provide to give me an idea of what the visual cues the person likes are. More's always better in this case.

Most of those currently hot Javascript frameworks have pretty slick logos imo. You could even say the logos are the best part about them *ducks*

Ok, whoa, huge post. Please feel free to take it all with a grain of salt. The reason I held back with my specific opinions and conceptions so far is that I didn't want to burden people with them. But yeah, perhaps settting a little more constraint and direction is what's needed at this point. Again, thanks a lot for your input, LionsTigersnDice.

argarak: That's pretty sweat! However, I see one problem with it - it is too easily mistaken for the system trashcan. A quick fix would be to make the sound wave a different color, but I'm afraid it won't solve the problem completely. Maybe the sound wave could sort of hover above the trash can (on the z-axis I mean, not the y-axis)? But that might make the design too complex at small resolutions. Hmmm... still, your design is clearly my favourite so far. If you're motivated to work on it more (despite me not giving clear directions again), please do.

@all: Yep, still open for submissions, though you'll have to be at least on par with argarak if you want some b00ns.
Level 31 chipist
post #113027 :: 2019.07.28 9:29am
  TristEndo and irrlicht project liēkd this
Level 26 Chipist
post #113037 :: 2019.07.28 11:37am
  RazerBlue6, irrlicht project and garvalf liēkd this
Level 22 Chipist
post #113052 :: 2019.07.29 1:19am
  irrlicht project liēkd this
Imho if the logo looks too much to a trash bin, people might get the idea (inconciently or not) that the software is rubbish. So far the TrisEndo logo is the most appealing to me. Maybe if it was more rounded or trapezoidal (like this, and bended, it might have more identity...
Level 23 Chipist
post #113058 :: 2019.07.29 6:01am
Had an idea. Basically a very minimalist version of argarak's design.
Not sure how to transform it into a proper thing though. As a logo it'd be fine if it were done as just solid black lines (or maybe a different color for the wave thingy), but then as an icon it wouldn't work on a dark background. Anybody willing to give it a shot?

Chip Champion: Awww, that's so cute. Must click "give b00ns" :D

Tristendo: Damn, that's very professional looking. garvalf has a point though regarding identity. I'm fine with it being cubical, but maybe the eyes could instead be notes (eh, stealing Chip Champs idea here) or a sound wave or something?
Level 8 Pixelist
post #113069 :: 2019.07.29 8:35pm
  Jangler, raphaelgoulart, garvalf, petet, irrlicht project, Salsaraujo, argarak, TristEndo and kleeder liēkd this
Hello again~
Thanks for the info! I think the direction is a bit more clear now.

I'm usually pretty hands-off with design stuff outside of work but honestly I'm still so floored that you made a fuckin' calculator into a functional tracker that I gotta help you out lmao. I think I'm still too much of a noob to use markup but here's me playing in the space a bit based off everything so far:


So here are a couple of sliiiightly different iterations. The waveform on the side that argarak was rocking is real nice, and something that can actually be pushed a bit in meaning (the lines of the waveform themselves emulate the corrugation of stereotypical trash bins) In order to use this detail in a way that is recognizable even at a small sizes, we have to do away with the denting, but the "bin" shape still comes across.

Some of my thoughts:
-A and B are nearly identical, but they both use different waveforms. Since they're randomized, you can really get anything, so I just picked a couple that cropped up.

-C was my thought on a potential dedicated document icon that you'd see in a finder/explorer/file list/etc.

-D and E are slight stylistic shifts, with D adding a touch more definition and E being a 1:1 of your sketch. D looks a biiiit too much like a cooking pot for my comfort, but it doesn't hurt to throw in. I think we lose a little definition of the object in E... the lid reads to me a little more "ice bucket in a hotel room" than proper bin at the moment, but again!

-Regarding colors, I think a 50/50 gray or something close to it paired with a vivid accent will give you the duality you're looking for. Alternatively, you can have a light and dark version that you use as the need arises, but the gray gives you wider flexibility right out the gate.

Lemme know your thoughts on these my dude; maybe this can get the ball rolling a bit. :)
Level 26 Chipist
post #113095 :: 2019.07.30 7:00pm
  irrlicht project liēkd this
Level 23 Chipist
post #113098 :: 2019.07.31 12:53am
Holy smokes LionsTigersnDice, these are great!

I prefer the wave pattern in A/D over the one in B/C. Forget about E, the bars are a great idea. I read you wrt D being a cooking pot ;) What I do like about D though is that it makes better use of the vertical space, giving a more compact, balanced look. I prefer the more minimal design of A-C though, it basically captures the essence in as few lines as possible. Not sure how to combine the two. I think making the wave bars longer would look odd, and reducing the overall height might make for a strange aspect ratio. Whaddya think?

So while I was pondering whether I prefer the green or the orange, my girlfriend came up with the idea that the bars could be multi-colored, which would represent Bintracker's multi-platform/multi-engine support. +1 to that, I'd say.

The gray tint I'm more than happy with. The lighter gray of D works best I think, especially since I'm considering using a dark theme for the website (dark is the new hype, innit?). Though I'm sure you know best what goes together well with the color(s) of the wave bars, so I'd leave that up to you. That said, I noticed I will definately need a monochrome version as well, though that shouldn't be a problem at all with this design.

Regarding the filetype icon, that's a good idea as well, though I'm not sure if I'll end up using it. Most likely the Bintracker format will be folder-based (plan is to use git so you can have version control on your song projects). Well, nice to have anyway.

Oh yeah, before I forget, please also think about a license. If you're not sure I'd suggest CC-BY. It might sound more reasonable to add a copyleft clause (eg. CC-BY-SA), but in this case it'd be pretty much unenforcable (nobody's going to go to court over this, let alone find a court which would even accept a case like this), so why bother.

Anyway I think we have a winner, sorry Tristendo.
Level 26 Chipist
post #113125 :: 2019.07.31 12:52pm
  irrlicht project liēkd this
It's all good.
Thank you for consideration.
Good luck with the project the more FM the better :D
Level 23 Chipist
post #113148 :: 2019.08.01 11:52am
  kleeder liēkd this
Is FM really *the* big thing that you folks would want to see in Bintracker? If so, please do suggest me some engines. Basically, sound routines for chips that currently have no tracker support. They should be free/open source licensed, preferably with one of the liberal licenses (bsd, mit, etc) but gpl is fine, too.

Anyway, everybody's more than welcome to make suggestions for BT. I imagine it all sounds a bit vague, still... haven't been so public yet with the project because there's still a lot of work to be done before I can really show off anything. Basically the core functionality (eg. the library that does the heavy lifting in terms of converting and compiling) is up and running (though still missing quite a few features) Also I have the "hacking" part ready, meaning I can program Bintracker... in Bintracker. I now started working on the GUI. What also still needs to happen is the bridging to MAME for the emulation. Only did a few tests for that so I know it works in principle, but I'll need to build a nice interface so MAME and BT can talk to each other.

tl;dr Feel free to let me know your ideas and suggestions for Bintracker, but know that it's still a while till you'll actually see stuff happening.

Also, big thanks to everybody who posted something for the "competition" :D I'm sure I'll be using all your submissions in some form, at least like a "bintracker fan art" section on the website or smthg :D If you folks are all down with that, of course, if not then please tell me.
Level 8 Pixelist
post #113162 :: 2019.08.01 9:35pm
  Xu hæitd this
  argarak, irrlicht project and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
Alright, so here are some multicolor options. Please note that there was a small export error in the dark versions; the lines on the top handles will not appear in the SVG or other PNG files

So my thoughts:
Minimalistic lines mean that color's gonna really shine through, so moderation is key. That said, the colors that are vivid enough to pair with the original idea are going to come off as bit juvenile. While this isn't always a bad thing and can make it seem more playful and fun, it doesn't really match the tone of the application and its function, at least from what I can tell. When using it more subtly however, such as in C,F,and H, you can get a pretty appealing look. D cuts it close, but I could see it going either way. Again I'll leave it up to your discretion.
Aaaand here's your DL link! I've been a bit busy the last couple o' days, so I went ahead and packaged all of these for you and you can just pick it out if we're all good to go. If you need a couple more iterations, just let me know and I'll hop on it when I have a second!
As far as licensing, from what I know now, a CC BY license is more than fine. Just out of curiosity, is this going to be software for sale, or is it going to be freely distributed?

And I'm glad I could be of help! Honestly I wanted to help out more than anything; it's a neat project. :)
Level 23 Chipist
post #113187 :: 2019.08.03 11:20am
  raphaelgoulart liēkd this
Thanks a lot, LionsTigersnDice. Really happy with your design.

Of all the versions I like G the most. Not such a big fan of the gradient ones, one color per bar works better I think (sorry if I wasn't clear on that before). Perhaps a wee bit more saturation on G? Dunno... With A/B it's indeed too much. Well, if you're still up for tweaking G a bit more please do, otherwise I'll stick with it as is (plus the monochrome version, ofc).
Level 31 Chipist
post #113199 :: 2019.08.03 11:19pm
  irrlicht project and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
I'm following this Project with a big smile on my face!
Level 22 Pixelist
post #113231 :: 2019.08.06 6:04am
  irrlicht project and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
These LionsTigersnDice's icons are amazing, F is probably my fav, but all are really good
Level 23 Chipist
post #113270 :: 2019.08.10 5:56am
  raphaelgoulart liēkd this
Cheers folks, BT now has a website:

Not much to see yet. However there's a newsletter, please subscribe if you want to get the latest updates (will be fairly low-volume, like once a month or so).

Also I'll do a talk at Chipwrecked. Any Botbrs going there?
Level 8 Pixelist
post #113271 :: 2019.08.10 8:10am
  Xu hæitd this
  irrlicht project and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
Sorry 'bout the delay! Busy week, busy week.
I saturated the colors a bit. Congrats on the new site going live! I'll have to keep an eye on this. :)
Level 23 Chipist
post #113293 :: 2019.08.11 3:43am
Perfect, thanks muchly :)

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