Language Log logo and t-shirts

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Just received this from our fan club in Shenzhen, China.

May I take a vote of the readership?  Which design do you like best?  Which color?  I personally don't have a strong preference for a color combination, but I do love the facing "L's", one inverted (that's a theme we've discussed recently in several posts).

How about the wording?  I think we should keep it short, so that the logo is compact and can be fit in a limited space.

Once we've decided on a logo, our fans in Shenzhen can produce t-shirts for us.  Here are a couple of samples:

If enough people are interested, I'll ask our friends in Shenzhen if they're willing to go into production, and how we can place orders.



[VHM:  I will add suggestions for different language versions here.]

A linguistics colleague at Univ Paris VII suggests:  I would translate „langage log’“ as „mon carnet linguistique“.


  1. Mahir Morshed said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 12:27 am

    They have got to fix the unlinked Arabic before doing anything else.

  2. Daniel Tse said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 12:28 am

    The Arabic logo has some issues — it's all uncombined forms.

  3. Mahir Morshed said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 12:30 am

    Also why the capitals for the Latin and Greek when the French and Russian are both lowercase?

  4. anders said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 12:54 am

    The farther apart the L and L are the better I like it.
    The heavy box that the Ls form and the all caps version of LANGUAGE LOG both make it feel far too square, which isn't a very good representation because this blog doesn't feel square at all.

    It would be a lot more pleasent feeling if the logo looked like a seal: slightly rounded corners, red ink, and Ls either haveing the same stroke width as the center or done in white on a red background

    I like the chinese version because it has character.

  5. BH said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 1:18 am

    I will order one of these as soon as it’s available. Or, failing other options, make one of my own.

  6. Deborah said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 1:44 am

    I really like your T-shirt logo. I have some Black t-shirts i want to make this logo on these shirts. I also need a print my name :)

  7. anders said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 2:33 am

    This is what I mean by rounded corners

  8. Thomas Rees said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 3:15 am

    What capital city goes below the traditional character version? Surely not Taipei!

  9. Bathrobe said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 3:38 am

    As a neutral candidate, may I suggest Mongolian :) ᠬᠡᠯᠡ

    Mongolia just missed out on a (postponed) Kim-Trump summit. This would be a great consolation prize. :))

  10. Alex said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 6:28 am


    Will try. Will put up a URL with interactions on the feedback and more variations

  11. Alex said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 6:33 am

    Meant iterations from the feedback.

  12. Alex said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 7:30 am

    For the languages within the L's the graphics person just used place holders.

    Feel free to comment on what should be there! thanks!

  13. Alexander said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 8:42 am

    What about putting "Language Log" itself between the large Ls?

  14. Thaomas said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 9:16 am

    Chartreuse on black or yellow on red, wide spaced "L" inverted "L," one in which "Lingua" does not have an accent (Spanish), and a pocket.

  15. Ben Zimmer said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 10:30 am

    I don't suppose the unconnected L-to-R Arabic — ة غ ل ل ا instead of اللغة (al-luḡa "[the] language") — is an homage to this Language Log post?

  16. Avi Rappoport said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 2:10 pm

    I actually like the idea of a whole lot of languages, stacked up — better conveys the wealth of multilingual authors and readers.

  17. Brett said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 3:38 pm

    The commenter "saim" is a spammer. However, this is a smart spammer, who knows to post the boilerplate only in response to posts that mention T-shirt designs. The bots are getting eerily smart.

    [(myl) Indeed. I've reported the comment as spam — for future reference, it was

    These are cute shirts. When my daughter was expecting her second baby she had a shirt made for her little girl saying, “I am going to be a big sister.” It was a great way to make the announcement when she walked in the room wearing it. (URL for vape site)


  18. Jeff said,

    June 4, 2018 @ 3:50 am

    @Thomas Rees

    Tokyo, perhaps?

  19. Leander Seah said,

    June 4, 2018 @ 4:21 am

    I would be interested in ordering one of these should they be available.

  20. alex said,

    June 4, 2018 @ 10:03 am

    Mainly I would love it if people can tell me how to translate the words "Language Log" into the various languages.

    Our thought is to pair it with the city. For example if we choose kyoto we would love to know how to express Language Log in Japanese. We would put that Japanese between the 2 L's.

    That said Language Log might not work between the two LL's with a city like Philadelphia.

    We are working on many variations like rounded corners and even city names in base language. We will have a unlinked webpage up with your feedback.


  21. Wentao said,

    June 4, 2018 @ 10:15 am

    Isn't "log" in LL a noun, as in "captain's log", not a verb, as in "log in"? In that case 语登录 should be something like 语文日志 (or 语志 for short; 语日志 sounds unidiomatic). Also Latin doesn't normally use an acute accent, unless the purpose is to highlight stress in scansion. A simple "lingua" would be fine, or better, LINGVA.

  22. Vítor De Araújo said,

    June 4, 2018 @ 3:40 pm

    > Also Latin doesn't normally use an acute accent

    Is that supposed to be Latin? "Língua" is correct Portuguese for "language".

  23. Jerry Friedman, founder and sole member of the Española, New Mexico Language Log fan club said,

    June 4, 2018 @ 10:12 pm

    Wentao: I certainly understand the "Log" in LL as a captain's log or something similar.

  24. Victor Mair said,

    June 5, 2018 @ 8:34 am

    For those who are interested in acquiring one of these t-shirts, here is a link to the designers who are working on this project, with sample shirts for feedback:

    When you click on one of the displayed t-shirts, that will make it larger, and there is a number at the bottom of the embiggened t-shirt so that the designers can easily know which t-shirt you like or if you have a suggestion for changes.

    Eventually, there will be a website you can go to to place an order. That may take a bit of time, though, because right now they're still at the design stage. Once they get sufficient feedback, they'll go into production and distribution.

  25. lecw said,

    June 5, 2018 @ 2:15 pm

    I like close Ls making a box around the logo's character, and I also agree with what anders says about it being too square to represent the underlying variety of languages involved.

  26. anne said,

    June 6, 2018 @ 10:09 am

    thumbs up for going into production

  27. Alex said,

    June 6, 2018 @ 9:13 pm

    We are receiving feedback and will put up a new page and link here for another round of comments. Then the goal is to use one of the tshirts platforms so people can order. Will keep updates here.

    Do people prefer the word Language and city in a foreign language or just the word language and the location in English?

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