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Wikipedia logo

wikipedia logo, wikipedia logo image
The logo of Wikipedia, an Internet-based free multilingual encyclopedia is an unfinished globe constructed from jigsaw pieces—some pieces are missing at the top—inscribed with glyphs from many different writing systems As displayed on the web pages of the English-language version of Wikipedia, there is a wordmark "Wikipedia" under the globe, and below that the text "The Free Encyclopedia" in the free open-source Linux Libertine font


  • 1 Design
  • 2 History
  • 3 Current logo
  • 4 Trademark
  • 5 Logos
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


A partial globe hangs in the Wikimedia office

Each piece bears a glyph a letter or other character, or glyphs, symbolizing the multilingualism of Wikipedia As with the Latin letter “W”, these glyphs are in most cases the first glyph or glyphs of the name “Wikipedia” rendered in that language They are as follows:

  • Near the center is Latin ⟨W⟩ Above that is Japanese ⟨ウィ⟩ wi; below it are Cyrillic ⟨И⟩ i, Hebrew ⟨ו⟩ w, and barely visible at the bottom Tamil ⟨வி⟩ vi
  • To the left of the ⟨W⟩ is Greek ⟨Ω⟩ ō, and below that are Chinese ⟨維⟩ wéi, Kannada ⟨ವಿ⟩ vi, and barely visible at the bottom Tibetan ⟨ཝི⟩ wi
  • At left, from the top down, are Armenian ⟨Վ⟩ v, Cambodian ⟨វិ⟩ vĕ lying on its side, Bengali ⟨উ⟩ u, Devanagari वि vi, and Georgian ⟨ვ⟩ v
  • The right-most column is Ethiopic ⟨ው⟩ wə, Arabic ⟨و⟩ w, Korean ⟨위⟩ wi, and Thai ⟨วิ⟩ wi

The empty space at the top represents the incomplete nature of the project, the articles and languages yet to be added


Wikipedia's logo used from 2003 until 2010 Logo creator Paul Stansifer at the Wikimedia Foundation in front of the Wikipedia Puzzle Globe Logo sculpture in May 2012 See WP:Wikipedia logos for details of previous logos, including the glyphs used

An initial design of the logo was created by Paul Stansifer, a then 17-year-old Wikipedia user, whose entry won a design competition run by the site in 2003 Another Wikipedia user, David Friedland, subsequently improved the logo by changing the styling of the jigsaw pieces so that their boundaries seemed indented and simplified their contents to be a single glyph per piece, rather than a jumble of nonsensical multilingual text In the process, some errors were introduced In particular, one piece of Devanagari script and one piece of Japanese katakana were incorrectly rendered

A "Wikiball"

In 2007, a modified 3D model was developed by Wikimedia Taiwan for Wikimania, when they distributed a 3-inch diameter spherical puzzle based on the logo, that attendees could piece together It did not add other letters on the parts that cannot be seen on the 2D logo, but used that space to include small logos of the sister projects and information about Wikimania A variant of that model was used to build a person-sized Wikiball that spun on a stand, featured during the event This led to a renewed interest in getting a proper 3D model for the logo

The 3D Wikipedia puzzle from Wikimania 2007

By 2007, users on listservs discovered that the logo had some minor errors The errors were not immediately fixed, because, according to Friedland, he could not locate the original project file Friedland added that "I have tried to reconstruct it, but it never looks right" and that the logo "should be redrawn by a professional illustrator" Kizu Naoko 木津 尚子, a Wikipedian, said that most Japanese users supported correcting the errors In an e-mail to Noam Cohen of The New York Times, Kizu said that "It could be an option to leave them as they are Most people don't take it serious and think the graphical logo is a sort of pot-au-feu of various letters without meaning"

On October 24, 2014, the Wikimedia Foundation released the logo, along with all other logos belonging to the Foundation, under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 30 license

Current logo

In late 2009, the Wikimedia Foundation undertook to fix the errors and generally update the puzzle globe logo Among other concerns, the original logo did not scale well and some letters appeared distorted For the new logo, the Wikimedia Foundation defined which characters appear on the "hidden" puzzle pieces, and had a three-dimensional computer model of the globe created to allow the generation of other views A partial 3D globe was commissioned for the Wikimedia office

The new logo was rolled out on the projects in May 2010 It features the new 3D rendering of the puzzle globe, with corrected characters and the Klingon character replaced by a Ge'ez character The wordmark has been modified from the Hoefler Text font to the open-source Linux Libertine font, and the subtitle is no longer italicized The "W" character, which was used in various other places in Wikipedia such as the favicon and was a "distinctive part of the Wikipedia brand", was stylized as crossed V's in the original logo, ⟨W⟩, while the W in Linux Libertine is rendered with a single line To provide the traditional appearance of the Wikipedia "W", a "crossed" W was added as an OpenType variant to the Linux Libertine font

Glyphs contained in the new logotype


The former logo was registered as a European Community Trade Mark by Wikimedia Foundation, Inc The trade mark bears a filing date of 31 January 2008 and a registration date of 20 January 2009


2001 2001–2003 2003–2010 2010–present


  1. ^ a b Poll, Philipp H "New Wikipedia-Logo using LinuxLibertine" Libertine Open Fonts Project Retrieved 2011-01-30 
  2. ^ Oma L Gallaga May 23, 2010, New Globe, User Interface For Wikipedia, NPR 
  3. ^ "What characters are on the Wikipedia puzzle globe" 
  4. ^ see 維基大典
  5. ^ a b c d Noam Cohen June 25, 2007 "Some Errors Defy Fixes: A Typo in Wikipedia's Logo Fractures the Sanskrit" The New York Times 
  6. ^ "This Logo Is a Work in Progress" The New York Times June 24, 2007 Retrieved on July 11, 2011
  7. ^ It was torn down after the event See this Category of Commons images for a sense of its size
  8. ^ "Wikimedia Logos Have Been Freed! « Wikimedia blog" 
  9. ^ "brand new" about new logo
  10. ^ Wikimedia blog – Wikipedia in 3d
  11. ^ The work was done by the Because We Can studio, based on the new digital 3D model
  12. ^ "Case details for Community Trade Mark E6671838" ipogovuk UK Intellectual Property Office January 20, 2009 Retrieved December 18, 2013 

External links

  • Wikimedia Blog: Wikipedia in 3D 3D version of the Wikipedia logo unveiled; description of the new puzzle globe logo
  • Wikimedia Blog: A new look for Wikipedia
  • Wikipedia:Wikipedia logos

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