A logo carries meaning, it should be simple yet effective. The Purism logo; a simple rectangle; carries significant meaning and was foreshadowing what Purism is delivering.
When I started Purism in 2014 I knew I wanted to build secure computing hardware bundled with a privacy-respecting operating system that had freedom-respecting applications and services. I also knew that a computer could be a server, desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, watch, among many other form factors, and most of these have screens or at least a screen used to interact with (until we get to read/write electrical signals in our brains–what I call brain embeddables, sci-fi terminology sometimes calls “beddies”–we will continue to see devices with screens).
In early 2005 (when I started the first online cable company) I presented that the movie and television industry needed to look at all computers as TVs, since a TV is just a computing device showing videos on a screen, and the only difference was size of screen, distance to viewing, and user interaction. A “TV” in that sense was remote controlled from a couch, a laptop was keyboard and mouse controlled from close-up, a tablet and phone (realize this was 2005 so pre-smartphone) could also become a video device. All of these are “just screens” from my point of view.
Forming Purism, I knew we would iterate from laptop toward phone; but also could include servers (with monitor), desktops (with monitor), tablets, watches, routers, and all sorts of brainstorm-worthy products–nearly all containing a screen or access via a screen. It was very easy for me to “just use a screen” as a logo, and in what is probably a very rare story, I drew the first logo which was the only logo and remains our logo to this day. A simple rectangle to reference that all these screen based devices are just computers and with them we can do anything we desire.
The Librem 5 is the quintessential example of this computer with screen in a phone form factor. Most people have been indoctrinated (read brainwashed) into believing that a phone is something very phone-specific. This is entirely due to how the modern day smartphone developed around business models that incentivized vendor lock-in, mobile-specific OSes, application “stores” that offer mobile curated applications only for mobile, and a multi-billion dollar business to ensure things stay that way. The Librem 5 had forethought. It was created from industry veterans who understand that “this is a computer, it just happens to be in a phone form factor.” So we set off to do exactly what I wanted when starting Purism, to have the same OS for server, desktop, laptop, tablet, and phone. So we wrote libhandy, phosh, phoc, released PureOS for two architectures (x86 and arm64), and are building real convergence, where your desktop computer can also be your phone.
The logo, a simple rectangle, was to showcase that all these devices are just computers with screens, and to showcase the fact that computing can be more liberating than the indoctrination of proprietary rights-stripping big-tech products. Free your mind and the rest will follow.