Please vote for the APL documentary film logo!

Which logo do you prefer?  The choice is yours. The logo with the most votes by Friday Feb 1, 2013 will become the official film logo.  The author of this creation is our fabulous designer, Cris Jaw.

NOTE: You may click on the images below to enlarge them.  You may comment if you view the poll directly on

Logo in development


22 Responses to “Please vote for the APL documentary film logo!”

  • aprogramminglanguage aprogramminglanguage

    Pay close attention to detail.

  • You might want to consider using the comment symbol (lamp) or statement symbol (diamond). It would be an informative way -at least to an APLer to separate the credits from the title.

    Also, you might want consider reducing the grey scale of the logo and putting the letters “APL” in bold font to make them stand out.

    Keep up the good work!

  • aprogramminglanguage aprogramminglanguage

    Good call! If you look closely at the previous blog post, you might be able to discern the 11 characters we considered. Lamp and diamond are both there!

    We like the metaphoric meaning associated with both symbols epsilon and rotate. Membership & rotation.

    A CAPTCHA test fix has been installed. I hope this fixes the commenting problems.

    The spelling of Epsilon has been fixed on polldaddy, but so far is not perpetuating here (and is a problem for a different day. )

  • Catherine, It’s hard for me to see much difference since it’s hard for me to see the character. But enlisting a film by Catherine Lathwell seems a bit less nonsensical than

    I trust you considered \ in the sense of APL\360: APL expands … Catherine Lathwell.

  • Firstly I want to thank you for using mixed case non-italic letters! 50 years of that Selectric font is quite enough, thanks.

    Since you’re typesetting one glyph in the manner of a “bullet”,I think Curtis is right that the monadic meaning will come to mind first, and neither reverse nor flatten bring up any pithy metaphors. Flatten is also an APL2-generation meaning, which didn’t exist in your Dad’s APL.

    Overstruck ‘○͏*’ (Natural Logarithm) would be a totally understated way to sneak some APL into the logo – just a few pixels away from a .ppt bullet, but offering the double entendre of the log function and the log (blog) of history.

    I also think an overstruck character recalls the quirky way the language tried to reach beyond the constraints of the teletype terminals from which it emerged.

  • aprogramminglanguage aprogramminglanguage

    We wanted something that would 100% not denote a symbol in common use today (unless it is exclusive to APL). A decision which kicked out /\ * classes of glyphs.

    We like rotate (which is winning at this moment, though it is still early in the race) because we associate it with animating shapes by their coordinates. You’re right, not literal reading at all.

    Another clue into our line of thinking is that the “brand” is established with the A Programming Language. The glyph is for fun, and “A Film By Catherine Lathwell” will be rotated out, in the sense that we will replace it with a better tag line as the film becomes less (and less, and thankfully less) about me.

    I decided on the outset that I was fine with either choice and will honour the results of the vote. Though I do confess I was surprised by modern uses of epislon, having cut my teeth on Sharp APL, and think membership as “element of”.

    There is a small constituency lobbying for lamp, which, if it grows from a mummer to more of a rumble, I will consider tossing it into the fray.

    But really, if I get to do what I have planned for 2013, this kick-off vote will be soundly usurped and it will be truly a great year.

    (And yes, that is a crafty little glint in my eye).

  • I personally like the ⍎ character as a symbol for APL (U+234E, tack jot, a.k.a. “execute”). After all, it’s the verb which takes a string of APL code as its right argument and executes it.

    My second choice would be the lamp ⍝

    I think ⌽ (rotate) and ∈ (epsilon) look too much like regular letters from the Greek or Cyrillic alphabet to be recognizable as distinctly APL-ish. Just my opinion.

  • I think ngn brings up a good point about rotate and epsilon. For the non-APL crowd, I suspect they will look like gibberish characters that appear when a document does not translate correctly.

    Curtis has a good point on how rotate in front of your credits will be interpreted. When I first saw these symbols my reaction was to apply them literally to your credits to see if something interesting occurred -perhaps a secret message.

  • aprogramminglanguage aprogramminglanguage

    Joe! That’s brilliant! If rotate wins I shall make secret messages!

    We’re masters of design and the design team is 50% non-APL, so I’m confident we’re cool and not foolish looking. In fact, it was the non-APL contingent who picked the final front runners.

  • epsilon is too much like a Euro Symbol. That will confuse international audiences. People who haven’t worked with APL for decades (like me) but are still interested in the documentary may also forget the meaning of many APL symbols. Sandra

  • I feel that if it is Rotate that all the characters should be reversed!
    Or introduce a number
    7 (Rotate) ‘A Film by Catherine Lathwell ‘ Reads well before and after execution, if you don’t mind a capital A in the middle of a sentence.

    Or maybe I am over thinking this!

  • I agree with a previous comment that €psilon looks too much to the €uro symbol. So I will go for Rotate if these are the two options avail, otherwise my favorite would be Lamp.


  • aprogramminglanguage aprogramminglanguage

    Obviously, it is time to get out of Canada for a while. The Euro symbol didn’t come at all to mind. You’d think with all those conversion projects it would be etched permanently into my brain. Apparently not!

    !daeha ylniatrec si etator, lleW

    enirehtaC –

  • I’m tempted by lamp as the tagline is in fact a comment on the title. Hence a perfect association and isn’t a symbol to be confused with ‘ordinary’ Greek.

    also, with the current Euro turmoil, keeping away from a Euro symbol is probably very smart.

    Of the two offered, rotate is at least symetrical whereas I looked at the epsilon and wondered; ‘Why?’. But I still think lamp better 🙂


  • I second Iain’s argumentation in favour of lamp.


  • Well …

    I don’t put too much stock into the meaning of the APL symbol, as a lot of the audience will not (we hope) be APL fanatics. However, I do like using an APL symbol as that is one of the distinguishing characteristics of APL. What would your design team think of the symbol ⍟ (logarithm)?

    • the film is kind of a log (record);
    • it’s kind of a cute symbol;
    • it denotes a function for which conventional mathematical notation does not have a good symbol (what’s used is ln or log or loga (with the a subscripted));
    • it alludes to deep connections between the log, exponential (*), and the circle (○) functions (see's_Identity );
    • it is a nice pun (the symbol looks like the end of a log).

  • aprogramminglanguage aprogramminglanguage

    Oh Roger, that is better. Rats. Of course. I really wish you still lived in Toronto. Quandary. Now what?

  • aprogramminglanguage aprogramminglanguage

    Putting aside, for a minute, the inherent sanctity of the vote…

    This is more or less the note I sent to Cris on the subject of logarithm:

    Roger Hui, building on Greg Jaxon’s suggestion (or perhaps it was simultaneous genius) came up with a really good logo idea and a rationale that I hadn’t considered.

    It is a circle with an asterisk inside. I though that if we exaggerated it a little and made it bigger, it would look less like a radial button and I’m curious to hear what you think.

    I like this new idea best because one of the beautiful things about APL is that it was invented as a notation. As laypeople, we might call it “math”. It was later implemented on the computer, keeping pace with the unfolding of computer evolution and was the first interactive computer language meaning that the symbols were used for people to talk directly to the computer.

    AND at the same time, the symbols used for conventional mathematics became more rationalized, in terms of the symbols mathematicians use to talk to each other. As these two things, creating interactive computers and systematizing mathematical symbols for people were unfolding simultaneously in history and sometimes by the same people, some APL symbols actually made it into the mainstream; as far as you can call mathematicians and physicists mainstream. No other programming language can make this claim.

    Let me know what you think and how you are doing.

  • …”the inherent sanctity of the vote” ?
    Please refer back to the heritage of Quaker consensus used by APL implementers, and the free-form voting rules used by the X3J10 committee. There is nothing sacred about majority rule; in fact it may be the enabler of all evil, being the majority party’s legal means to coerce their neighbors.

  • aprogramminglanguage aprogramminglanguage

    Oh Greg, I can always count on you to help me find my way through.

    This is what Cris said in answer to my note:

    “Had to read your posts a few times and honestly, I still don’t really understand. However, I could glean all the criteria that we originally set out to capture and that’s a great thing. Plus, from a design point of view, this new option would look fantastic. So let me come up with something.”

Comments are currently closed.

Analytics Plugin created by Jake Ruston's Wordpress Plugins - Powered by Laptop Cases and r4.