Eric Lau is an Art Director, Designer and Lecturer at Parsons School of Design in New York. He is also the creator of PredictionIO’s logo. Below he describes the inception of the logo and its amphibian mascot:

PredictionIO Logo

When Simon tapped my shoulder about developing an identity for his startup, I was really excited – even without fully understand how PredictionIO works – How would a designer understand, anyways? I always love working on Logos and Identity from scratch, the project had given me some fresh air in between working with bigger brands which always means a lot less freedom.

We want to develop a friendly identity and I want to play around with the term of ‘prediction’ and ‘machine learning’. Instead of some sort of abstract graphic devices, I decided to use an animal to represent the brand. Different animals process certain character, which in my opinion help to clarify what we do and our attitude, and work ethics.

PredictionIO’s logo (the Frog) joins a veritable zoo of other famous open-source logos featuring animals including Apache Hadoop (the Elephant), MySQL (the Dolphin) and GitHub (the Octocat) amongst others.

OSS Logo Zoo

Eric also notes the (somewhat questionable) ability of frogs to predict earthquakes:

At first I started to play around with icons of ‘very smart’ animals like chimpanzees and dolphins. However, they do not process the kind of visual quality I envision. I want something very simple, and graphic, keeping in mind that the logo has to work well in very small canvas, like a favicon. I end up finding out other animals like ants, frogs, ladybugs etc having the ability to predict various attributes from temperature change to earthquake, and finally settled on the frog.

There are a few more details in the logo that I played around with. Other than the friendliness of the frog’s face, I made the frog’s eyes unusually large, suggesting curiosity and eagerness to learn, and adopt. The eyes and the ‘O’ in the logotype are made into perfect circles to deliver a stronger visual consistence.”

Despite having been mistaken on the odd occasion for Disney’s Mickey Mouse or Futurama’s Hypnotoad we still think it’s a great logo and hope the community around open source machine learning contributing to PredictionIO feel the same.

Thanks Eric and #AllHailTheHypnoFrog!

By Thomas Stone