A Symbol for Openverse

When we started discussing what it means for OpenverseOpenverse Openverse is a search engine for openly-licensed media, including photos, audio, and video. Openverse is also the name for the collection of related code repositories that make up the project. to be part of the WordPress ecosystem, our first thought was the uniqueness of reaching a variety of users and contexts through a tool connected to multiple sources. That reason was enough to start thinking of the brand identity and introducing the search engine as a new tool in the open-source community.

An open universe

Openverse is a word game that stands for Open and Universe. In that vein, it points to the essence of what Openverse aims: a space that gathers content and encourages its reuse. A space that boosts creativity by assembling components to form something meaningful.

While seeking equivalent comparisons from daily life, I came up with two concepts: Communities and Constellations. Both have in common the coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. idea of individual contributions to a shared purpose. 

I started by drawing the two concepts from practical uses. A profile image for the blog and a favicon for the web the team was already working on.

Symbol ideas

The jazzy context

Although Openverse is a unique, standalone tool, it lives on WordPress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/, contextualized alongside other projects. When we realized this, jazz emerged as the main connecting aesthetic to blend the Openverse and WordPress identities. Jazz has informed WordPress from the project’s beginning.

In parallel, the News section was in a redesign process, and the work there inspired this new direction. The graphics shown below gave Openverse a vintage and modern look-and-feel that paved the way to what ended up becoming the brand symbol.

An expanded and bold symbol

The most preferred characteristic of all versions made were the transitional shapes. It brings the expanding idea of the universe while adding the boldness of geometric shapes found in jazz album covers.

Openverse is a powerful tool that surfaces a vast range of openly-licensed content. This symbol portrays that complexity and encourages future applications. We envision the search engine in many situations where content creators can find inspiration.

Yet this task has not ended. Interfaces and other brand applications remain in our roadmap, but this is a firm first step towards a robust identity.

I enjoyed this first brand release and looking forward to working on interface contexts. Thanks to the design community for all fruitful feedback and @beafialho for the inspiring work in News section.