MuseScore logo, wordmark, slogan - iteration 2

• May 8, 2009 - 19:35
Graphical (UI)
S4 - Minor

Almost two months after the first iteration, the graphical design students from Ghent presented their results of the second iteration of the MuseScore logo and word mark rebranding. The challenge for the teachers now is to select one proposal which can be further elaborated to a complete house style for MuseScore. Feel free to post your opinion!


Still too many of the designs have no discernible relation to the product.

The only ones I liked at all and which stood out from the lot were the clef/pen at slides 36-40 and the S clef from slides 86-90.

I like Eveline Vanderberghe's (31) combination of a fountain pen and an eighth note, works better now, but it doesn't click just yet. I don't think the two-colour version works: the note is graphically too close to the tip of the fountain pen and all the elements get confused, so you need at least three colours to separate background, tip and note, like in slide 34. Otherwise you need to make the design stronger graphically. Perhaps playing a bit with the orientation or the aspect ratio so it is a bit shorter you can gain some horizontal space to separate more the elements, or reintroducing the right side of the pen.

Helien Demey's (36) hasn't evolved much. The new close up doesn't really work since the association with the musical symbolism is definitely lost. The original proposal is still good.

Nice flip of the tail ;-) from Wouter de Boeck's (86) Somehow your scaled down versions got lost, but I think they will work well anyway.

Tamara Vandecatseye's (71) has improved too, and the close up works really well to allow the scaling down of the icon, otherwise too much detail of the complex seahorse form would be lost. I don't think the slogan is relevant, though.

Those are my favourites. None of them scream "that's it!" but they are satisfactory, any of them will do, in my opinion.

Thanks a lot for the hard work, guys and gals, we really appreciate it. I hope it was worth it for you lot.

I would like to see a combination of Kaatje Steurbaut's and Mira Feryn's suggestions: Kaatje's icon with the dark "M" in picture number 3, on Mira's white key in picture 63 (without the eighth note), and the slogan "A key to music".

Some interesting stuff.

Eveline - Slide 35 stands out very strong to me.

As someone who has gone through the Graphic/industrial design learning process myself I have to say I have found some of these public comments very cutting... Overall the standard has been very high indeed.... Some ideas having been excellent but lacking execution/proportion where as others possibly lack a more applicable application to the subject matter whilst been superbly rendered.

Slide 35 ... Has something about it for me ... It needs more work ... proportions and spacing within context are slightly out.... It would be interesting to see the logo expanded into a custom font with the logo as the more elaborate Capital Letter.
Get onto a light-box with some tracing paper and a toothy charcoal pencil.

pretty good:
Slide 7, nice and clear. Looks a bit too much like Eclipse but other than that good logo.
Slide 34 , combination of writing and music is very vlear. Logo is a bit busy for use as icon.
slide 84. very clear, good colors.
slide 99, clear logo good relation to music.

very good:
slide 62, Very clear logo good idea very scalable and very original.

my favorites:
slide 104: very recognizable very colorful. The M is more than enough information to recognize that this is MuseScore.
slide 114, Beatifull visually and scalable too. Very recognizable and good relation between what the program does and the logo.

Tough choice, some very good ideas here.

Beginning from the top:

Kaatje Steurbaut - 8 out of 10.
Laurence Chanteloup - 8 out of 10.
Eveline Vandenberghe - 10 out of 10!
Mira Feryn - 10 out of 10!
Tamara Vandecatseye - 10 out of 10!
Stijn Peeters - 10 out of 10!

When it comes to slogan, none of them really work. The name "Muse Score" is already telling a story, so it is hard to come up with something better. Those, who stayed with "muse score" did well. Besides, most of them aren't really true.
Overall, all did great job, but much of it doesn't relate enough to the program, in my humble opinion.

I think the only one which stands out from the rest is the proposal from Eveline Vandenberghe (31-35). I think this one will make a good first impression for new users and also I think this is a logo you don't get tired of.

I really must say that I disagree with all of you thinking that 61-65 is a good choise. Maybee in 1996 this would be a satisfying logo, but not in 2009. It doesn't look nice! (And I don't mean to sound harsh)

Excellent designs - well done, folks.

Were the students given a clear brief as to the image that MuseScore should portray? It would be a shame if the product was marketed as something that the development team did not support...

*Should the product feel cheap and cheerful, or should it have an air of professionalism?
*Is Musescore planned to rival (say) Sibelius? When?
*Which is to be most important - the features, or the price?
and so on....

The logos and designs are really good, but the accompanying text oftens worries me, as a native English speaker.
slides 30 and 55: spelling mistakes
slide 21: “Music is playing with notes” - no, it's not! ;). Great offering otherwise.
slide 51: “Design yours with MuseScore" - could be corrupted (in the mind at least) to "up yours", which is colloquial. "Design yours" is not a common usage in this context.
slide 70: “The language of the soul should be written right”. Well, I might write something correctly, but I don't think I'd write it right ;)

and there are many other texts that do not have the ring of a native English speaker. The only one I feel good about is 'works for everyone.'

* really great logos/designs
* most of the text isn't good enough
* the development team should set out the image they want MuseScore to have (if they already haven't)



The students have been briefed about what kind of product MuseScore is, what type of people it targets and what image it should reflect. They also had a look at the image of competing software packages.

The image should reflect the selling proposition of MuseScore. Although there is no public statement what this proposition is, user feedback has given us some indication:

  • MuseScore is free
    Joseph Pisano blogs "This program could not have “emerged” at a better time as musicians and educators are clammering for a new alternative for their ”simple” music notation needs at no cost."
  • MuseScore produces beautiful scores
    Musikai posts "What I like especially is the fantastic visual output. [...] Comparing Lilypond output with Musescore's I find very little differences."
  • MuseScore is easy to use
    Cyvros tweets "One of the reasons I started using MuseScore was its similarity to Sibelius. Finale and other notation apps just do my head in."

You can find these points back in slide 5 of the FOSDEM presentation earlier this year as well as in the first MuseScore leaflet made for the MusikMesse.

It's possible we still miss a few selling propositions like: it's open source, it's translated in many languages, ...but I personally feel like these 3 points are the ones that stand out. So I forwarded these 3 points to the students.

It should be however noted that it was the first time that these students created a logo. So this task was quite challenging for them. Also, none of them are native English speakers. But as mentioned before, we can consider this rebranding effort more as a start, rather than an end point, so anyone who wishes to contribute something and throw an idea, now is the time.