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The story of Bonfire's visual identity

post image Published on 21 May 2021 by Bonfire Builders visual-identity logo

Everyone carries a history of contamination, purity is not an option.

This short statement by Anna Tsing in Mushroom at the end of the world encompasses a lot of the visions and needs that inspired our work on Bonfire.

We are building this piece of software for us and for the diverse communities we care about, so we strive for diversity and flexibility in every aspect of the Bonfire codebase.

We want each Bonfire instance to be autonomous and unique in its own particular way, while having a shared purpose with the other bonfires:

To create safe environments for users to inhabit and create their own culture together, while remaining in control of their personal data and experience, and being able to communicate with the fediverse at their own pace and on their own terms.

It was no surprise that words like contamination, burn, revolution, rebirth, bottom up, diverse, autonomous, nature and ecosystem were among the most used during our brainstorming about Bonfire's visual identity.

We wanted our visual identity to reflect such ideas without obfuscating itself under an overly sanitised and minimalist design. We enjoy navigating through complexity, without the burning desire to be in control of everything, and wanted to avoid the flat, metallo-plastic, stark, silicon valley style that has dominated the web in recent years.

Other than a social network, Bonfire is a playground and experimentation platform, we are learning how to take care of it and take care of ourselves - building in the open so that Bonfire can become an ecosystem open to many other peers.

We had the pleasure to work with Rocco Lombardi, a talented artist living somewhere near the Bolognese Apennines, who guided us and turned our wishes into meaningful visual representations of the project.

We asked Rocco to work on our visual identity primarly because of the style and subjects of his artwork. Forests and trees that emerge by scratching the light away from black paper, animals that fight capitalism, all sort of organics - wild and lived entities contaminate his drawings and we wanted that world to contaminate our software as well.

"Squirrels on the air" - Illustration by Rocco Lombardi - Link

The end result is very much in tune with our expectations, and we hope you like it too.

As we're progressing toward a first release of our software, we are happy to have added this important step and we thank Rocco to have joined us on this journey. :-)

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