Tet Zoo has a logo. Now for the merchandise...

I came up with the idea recently of inventing a Tet Zoo logo, and a few friends and regular readers said that this was a good idea. Soooo....


I decided to incorporate just three creatures (any more would be too crowded), and the ones I chose can be regarded as Tet Zoo superstars or regulars: a ground hornbill (representing Diapsida or even Reptilia), a babirusa (representing Synapsida), and a toad (representing Lissamphibia). I wanted to have more wording round the margins, but (a) that's probably not a good idea, as the logo would become too cluttered if there were any more text, and (b) CorelDRAW - the software I was using - doesn't exactly make it easy to add, move or modify text that sits on a curved line. You may have noticed that I've added a new banner that incorporates the logo. I KNOW it's too small to be seen properly.


Now that a logo exists, time to start slapping it on merchandise. I'm thinking t-shirts, badges... well, that's it. I'll definitely start using the logo quite a bit - perhaps (as here) in similar fashion to the 'Research Blogging' icon (and, yeah, thanks to Dave Munger I've finally figured out how to use ResearchBlogging).

Let me know what you think! I'm also toying with the idea of creating some sort of badge of 'Tet Zoo endorsed sites'.. not sure how that would work though. Any ideas?

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Like the headline says. I've been thinking about setting up a schwag shoppe, and so I'm going to need a logo. So I'm turning to you, my brilliant readers who (I hope) are far more photoshop-proficient than I am. Though I did make my own banner in photoshop, which I think is pretty awesome, if I…

Very nice
Id have put a reptile silhouette too. So there would have been the dear old original 4 "classes" of tetrapods (Amphibia, Reptilia, Mammalis, Aves). Plus, tetrapods are 4-legged. The number 4 is always there

Indeed Fabrizio. Perhaps a gecko outline to reflect your gekkotan articles.I think it would fit nicely on the left with a bit of shuffling and resizing.

Overall an excellent idea! let me know when the badges come out! I also like the jumbled-desk look of the banner. I'm sure each item has a tetzoo story to tell.

Unless Tetrapod Zoology is seeing its demise this year, I'd suggest maybe running with '2006-present'. ;-)

Otherwise, love the idea.

By Tor Bertin (not verified) on 16 May 2010 #permalink

Thanks for comments so far. So - should I include a lizard as well? Let me know what you think, thanks.

Banner: yes, loads of Tet Zoo-relevant things shown in the montage.

The Tet Zoo logo is made of win, and I don't think you could have chosen better candidates for those silhouettes. For a fourth shilhouette, I think some kind of extinct tetrapod could also work, to reflect the fact that Tet Zoo covers all those that spawned from four-limbed folk, extinct or extant.

If you are going to add a fourth animal to the logo, shouldn't it be something that's extinct? After all, the palaeontological dimension is an essential Tet Zoo element.

Oh, and echoing what Tor said; the '2006-2010' has a bit of a defeatist ring to it. How about replacing it with 'Est. 2006' or something?

Looks good!

I agree that the current seletion is very extantist; otherwise I like the conception. I think that "Est. 2006" is much better than then range you have at present. Finally, you might think about colorising, by putting the three silhouettes into dark red, dark blue and dark green.

I'd go with a reptile as well, though I'm more partial to a giant tortoise or crocodile.

And yes, I agree with Dartian that the date should read 'Est. 2006'.

So far so brilliant. If you add a reptile, may I humbly suggest an aetosaur.

But I'm not sure about the 'endorsement' idea. Seems to me it might lead to unnecessary resentments, unless you were very careful.

I'd kill all these silhouettes and put the hand bones of Acanthostega (Tiktaalik too fishy for my tastes)

I think extinct tetrapods wouldnt be appropriate. This blog is more about living tetrapods (extinct ones are "obvious")
Following Rorys advise, id put a lizard. Lizard are the reptile stereotype, more than crocs. So frogs are the amphibian stereotype aswell

On the other hand, you can put 8 silhouette: 4 extinct tetrapods and 4 living tetrapods, forming a circle with TET ZOO into the circle

Looking back, there have been many posts about dinosaurs, pterosaurs, extinct synapsids, and others. I'd think extinct tets get a fair share of attention.

hm, doesn't really look like a logo. It looks like an awesome shoulder patch. Like the kind I used to get for NASA missions as a small boy.

I advise against adding more animals to the mix. 3 keeps it clean and simple, and most importantly, allows enough detail to make the animals easily recognizable. If you start adding other cool animals that tetrapodzoology has featured, you could quickly end up with a design that looks like somebody spilled animal crackers all over it; lots of mess, and you can't really be sure what any individual animal represents, because the detail is so poor.

Since you already have representatives of the three deep branches of extant tetrapods, Therapsida, Sauropsida, and Lissamphibia (pfui to the "four classes"), maybe the way to increase it to four and represent the palaeo element is to put in something basal: yes, Acanthostega would be nice.

Albertonykus | May 16, 2010 12:37 PM:

For a fourth shilhouette, I think some kind of extinct tetrapod could also work, to reflect the fact that Tet Zoo covers all those that spawned from four-limbed folk, extinct or extant.

Surely the toad can represent extinct tetrapods?

1. "Since 2006" reads better than "Est. 2006", unless you're going for a Victorian vibe.

2. Three is the Right Number for a badge, so you can only replace, not add.

3. Toads are very fine, but look too complacent. What about that basal amphibian thing with the wedge-shaped head? It's an iconic shape.

4. Aren't there hornbills with bigger crests? But maybe a Terror Bird skull would be even more iconic.

By Nathan Myers (not verified) on 16 May 2010 #permalink

I do think that âsince 2006â or âest. 2006â is better than 2006-2010; but no matter what, Iâm looking forward to showing off my Tetrapod Zoology t-shirt. And soon!

As for merchandize suggestions:

Mouse pads

Drink Coasters

Coffee Cups

Shot glasses

Welcome Mats

Key rings

Refrigerator Magnets

Magnests for cleaning algae from aquarium (probably too specialized a product)

Circular swimming pool floats (possibly another specialized item)

"Beware this house protected by: " Signs

By DK Fennell (not verified) on 16 May 2010 #permalink

Lovely, BUT if you're gonna merchandise, make them collectable:

Have four versions - the base design, with one of four silhouettes inside (hornbill, babirusa, toad and some other joy-maker). I'm up for a set of Sew-on patches. And some shot glasses.

My two cents:

I echo the "Est. 2006" sentiment -- "Since 2006" works too but I guess I like the Victorian vibe. You can also do away with the "www." prefix on the URL, since ScienceBlogs redirects "www.scienceblogs" to just "scienceblogs".

I'm of two minds on the number of critters. The three you initially picked are excellent, and fit well into the circle, but I can see the argument for including something extinct as well.

By Squiddhartha (not verified) on 16 May 2010 #permalink

I'm biased, but the gaping maw of a Thylacine would be a cool addition....

Four would look much more like a crest, I'm not a huge fan of the three setup here to be honest. It's really difficult to arrange them nicely. The babirusa and the toad at least are very recognizable silhouettes at almost any size, the hornbill fits extremely neatly in an upper corner, and YES LIZARDS!

Many thanks to everyone for their comments. As of right now, I'm having big trouble with the banner... but you'll note that the logo as used in the article has been changed a little bit. After playing around a bit with a lizard silhouette, I've decided to stick with the three animals - any more looks crowded. Am also sticking with black for the animals. Have changed the '2006-2010' to 'since 2006'. So, we're done. Thanks for thoughts. Now to get those t-shirts ordered...

Love the logo. I'll certainly buy some merch if it tickles my fancy, as they say. I'll also promise to blog more often, on more science-related topics, if it gets me "Tet Zoo Approved." :-)

Why no fossil reptile? They are the best part of it!.

Nice merchandise: "Beware, this house is protected by velociraptor".

Yo Darren- I like it but I think there are some extraneous vertical lines on the frog?
I like your selection. I couldn't think of any other animals that would be better from this blog, although for me there are more compelling synapsid choices than the babirusa. But I'll take it!

I'd suggest two things:

Placing a fourth image of a reptile in there, and array the silhouttes into a quartered design; one would modify the silhouttes so that they would blend into each other's space and in the middle in order to obscure the effect of the white space between them to imply a "cross" or "X," and enforce the concept of interdependancy.

Or you can create a spiraling model where the images are more stylized and also incorporating the form a reptile into it, but also in a quartered fashion and highly distorted, with elements of the images expanding into one anothers' spaces.

Simplifying the silhouettes will allow the logo to be easily recognizable and easily duplicated for the sake of expressing the idea.

By Jaime A. Headden (not verified) on 16 May 2010 #permalink

Logo looks fine, the gradient my be problematic if you're silkscreening it onto T-shirts and other things. There is a WIDE range of quality out there and the gradient might not be smooth. Get an accurate proof from whatever vendor you take it to before you order.

Hey Darren, love the new logo! I'd love to promote it at the Cryptozoology Shop or do a link exchange with you. I'd also be interested in becoming a 'Tet Zoo Endorsed Site! I've been working on some more educational designs lately, with explanations and discovery histories of certain species. Keep up the good work!

I'm thinking something like


I.e., toad a little smaller, swapped with the babirusa, both rotated a bit, no "www.". (Done with Gimp. Probably could get better results with Inkscape, but I haven't used that before.)

By Nathan Myers (not verified) on 16 May 2010 #permalink

I'll definitely buy some tetzoo merchandise.

I agree that the "www" isn't needed, in fact if you go to "http://www.scienceblogs.com/tetrapodzoology" you end up at "http://scienceblogs.com/tetrapodzoology"

Seems like the spacing is wrong on the top... "since 2006" needs to move towards "Tetrapod Zoology", or maybe have a dash between them or something. The cleanest option might be to have "since 2006" on the bottom, although then you don't get the url, which I am divided on. Everyone just searches for stuff anyway, but having the url can be nice, and it makes it clear that it is a website.


for me there are more compelling synapsid choices than the babirusa

Perhaps there are, but Darren is by now quite an authority on babirusas. Even the National Geographic says so.

By the way Darren, shouldn't you have drawn the babirusa's head impaled by its own tusks?

You don't have three animal silhouettes, you have two and a half silhouettes. If you're going to have a babirusa in the logo, you should use the entire animal.

Instead of the babirusa, I'd use Dimetrodon to represet the Synapsida. And instead of a toad, I'd use Acanthostega.

By Murgatroyd (not verified) on 16 May 2010 #permalink

I definitely like the idea of tetzoo coffee mugs - perhaps the tetzoo logo "stamped" on one side of the mug and a classic tetzoo headline on the other ("Bucorvids: post-Cretaceous maniraptorans on the savannah" or "When Eagles Go Bad: part II")

I'd think that the babirusa is fine: Darren has shown an enormous interest in it, and they are very interesting animals; the look of the silhouette is, if anything, more unique than the look of an ophiacodont like Dimetrodon.

Ok.. I've made further changes. Went for 'est. 2006' in the end, changed the url, and moved the animals around (inspired by Nathan). That's it: no more changes. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. Now to set up a shop on Zazzle...

Incidentally, I found this: http://www.paleodirect.com/pgset2/amph013.htm
The first caption is wonderful.

It's great. Someone should describe the wrist and ankle at last -- those are almost never ossified in temnospondyls, and even more rarely described.

Of course, Sclerocephalus is not a "salamander amphibian". It's a temnospondyl.

...Oh, for fuck's sake! It's for fucking sale! And the assholes want 650 kilobucks for it! What museum can possibly afford that! It'll end up in the living room of a private collector and be denied to science throughout the foreseeable future. Assholes.

I'll write to Paleo Direct, tell them it's not a fucking salamander, and try to explain the scientific significance of the specimen.

By David MarjanoviÄ (not verified) on 17 May 2010 #permalink

You should point out that Zazzle has a US portal from which a Yankee can get your products. That way we don't have to worry about how Pounds, Crowns, Shillings, Quids, Farthings, Pence and Half-Pennies work, and we can pay in our own fiat money.

By DK Fennell (not verified) on 17 May 2010 #permalink


Nice first cut, but you've got to have a snake, just to show that tetrapods sometimes don't have any, well, pods. Perhaps encircling the others, so you don't have to make the other images much smaller. Perhaps even as the border with the title super-imposed on the snake.

By Mike from Ottawa (not verified) on 17 May 2010 #permalink

Poor Darren. "Who will help me plant the seeds?" "Not us," said the avian tetrapods. "Who will help me weed the bed?" "Not us," said the synapsids. "Who will help me harvest the grain?" "Not us," said the anapsids. "Who will help me market the grain?" "We will," said the tetrapod zoo.

By DK Fennell (not verified) on 17 May 2010 #permalink

What about coat of arms, supported by plesiosaur and babirussa, with Ludodactylus at the top?

Glad you didn't go for the "four things make a crest" thing. Four things actually make a coat of arms. A crest is the thingy that sits on top of the helmet, above the coat of arms.

I won't say that Darren should change his badge, but Stu's second suggestion (#43) looks really superb too.

By Nathan Myers (not verified) on 17 May 2010 #permalink

This is all great, but there's a blatant bit of self-promotion that's been missed: on the T-shirt design, why not have "It is - still - the best zoological blog out there, period." written on the back?

Clearly, there is already a cryptid in the logo. Some sort of *rolls roulette wheel* long necked seal is hiding in between the hornbill and the toad. If you reverse the polarity on your monitor you can clearly see its wake.

By Adam Fuller (not verified) on 17 May 2010 #permalink

I'd immediatelybuy something with Stu's logo -- it's iconic and generally pretty awesome. I am very, very sorry to admit that that is not so true for actual tet zoo logo. Wait a moment: the first piece of Darren's artwork that has me _not_ squealing with delight, and then that's the one he's going to make money with? Something is wrong here.

Jerzy said:

What about coat of arms, supported by plesiosaur and babirussa, with Ludodactylus at the top?

I agree that might be a good idea, but coat of arms can get a little too elaborate and time consuming, if you use an existing one as model.
one I did for my ongoing fieldwork in Puerto Rico, it was inspired by the actual coat of arms of the island. I'm not very creative so I had to use an actual one as guide, and I did had a lot of time when I did it last winter.

and we can pay in our own fiat money

All money is fiat money. It's worth what you're willing to pay for it.

an ophiacodont like Dimetrodon

(...psssst... it's a sphenacodont, like us.)

By David MarjanoviÄ (not verified) on 18 May 2010 #permalink