A Logo for the LLAMA Observatory

Jacques Lepine: A brief History

The first logo was designed by Elisabete Dal Pino, it is reproduced below.

Since it was an amateur Power-Point logo, I asked my daughter Marianne who works with graphical design to make a more professional one, but I did not give her much liberty (I gave the Beteīs logo and the ALMA one as examples).


Since the Southern Cross seemed to be mandatory, as it is in ALMA, SOAR, ESO, flags of Australia, New Zeland and even Brasil, as a symbol for Southern Hemisphere, we kept it. The choice was submitted to the Argentinean colleagues too.

The Present Logo

The same can be found in the http://llamaobservatory.org page with inverted colors.

More recently in the last La Plata meeting in april 2014 the question came back. Thijs argued (correctly) that it resembles too much the ALMA logo. Jorge Ibsen said that there exist a llama constellation, and this could be a way to avoid the Southern Cross. Jorge later found an interesting video that can be found in this link. The name of the video is Yakana, the constellation of llama. You will see that the concept of constellation of the Aymaras was not what we call a constellation (think about the etymology of constellation); they were paying attention to the dust clouds of the Galactic disk – which is very interesting. In addition to the llama there are other local animals which are identified with dark clouds. Guigue proposed to change the name of our project to Yakana. [Note added by Guigue: this was just a joke. Although we may think to use some Aymara words for naming parts of the Observatory.]

Then Jorge consulted a specialist in logo design and came with a series of proposed logos that are based on the video. See the pdf document attached to this page. Please take the time to look at it. Among all these, my preferred one is the following:

although I suggested a less gordito llama, as it was in our present logo in our page. As you see, no more radiotelescopes, no more Southern Cross. It is prudent, for sure we will have llamas there, a radiotelescope is less sure. The constellation there does not correspond to the concept of dark clouds of the Aymaras, they just represent stars. Maybe they resemble the disorder of the stars of the Brazilian flag. For me this logo would be OK. But this time we need the vote of all of you, or new suggestions.

Guigue: My point of view

I remember you that, during the La Plata Meeting the discussion about the logo was followed by the discussion about the name of the Observatory. The decision was that the name is Large Latin American Millimeter Array (not long, not millimetric). The new logos reflect this decision. To ease the discussion I separated every page of the PDF document in a single PNG file, although pages # 4 and 5 present two alternatives.

Logo # 1 Logo # 2
Logo # 3 Logo # 4

| |

Logo # 5 Logo # 6
Logo # 7 Logo # 8
Logo # 9 (Proposed by Ricardo) Logo # 10 (Proposed by Jacob)
Logo # 11 (Proposed by Jacob) Logo # 12 (Proposed by Marcelo)
Logo # 13 (Proposed by Marcelo)  

My preferred is Logo # 6, because it has all the elements we need: the blue of the skies, the llama, a constellation (inside the llama) and the name of the project, the constellation is similar to Libra observed from the Northern Hemisphere. Isn't it?

My Suggestions:

  1. Make a ballot to choose the most preferred logo.
  2. Contract the advice of the professional who created these logos. We have our preferences, but professionals have experience in aspects we don't. We should ask a general Corporate Image policy: logos, banners, visit cards, etc

Jacques Lepine:

A possibility: why not a sky plenty of stars, like the one at SAC, instead of a constellation?


Maybe, also, we do not need the explanation "Large Latin American Millimeter Array" under the LLAMA. This will not be readable

when we use a small logo. Others do not have the full name, see ESO, ALMA.

Jorge Ibsen:

  • Logo con LLAMA 'flaquita'
    (added to the table above as Logo # 8):


Jacob Kooi

I like Guigue's preferred Logo, which I think is Logo 4 left. Very nice. My only question here is if it is possible to include an elliptical galaxy. Don't know if the resolution would be good enough. Of course one could take this one step further and try to draw a molecular cloud. I think this would be rather hopeless. Just some food for thought.

Ricardo Morras

One idea: beyond that I am not even remotely, design specialist, might not be interesting to combine these three elements?:

  • The LLAMA
  • The Southern Cross
  • A Latin America map


Some comments on the logo.

You have to understand that a logo has to be very simple, it will become a brand, so it does not require an explanation of the abbreviation. Its orientation has to be "portrait" as you must be able to put it in the left/right corner of a document/presentation or a letter. Look at the three examples we have from ESO, NRAO, and ALMA.

That eliminates all landscape type logo's. Only 4R(ight), 5R and 8R are acceptable. However.... You cannot have small letters: that eliminates 4R, 5R and 8R.

So I propose we start again, with eliminating the small letters from 4R, 5R and 8R and add some new ideas.

Best regards, Thijs

PS sorry to sound so paternalistic

Guigue (again)

I have mixed fillings about what Thijs says. In some respect I agree that LLAMA is a brand. The problem is that for me (and Latinamericans in general) it is not a new brand, we have appropriated a word from the Spanish dictionary. This is why it needs an explanation. Llama is many things at the same time. Therefore I understand the effort of the designer to include the full name.

Of course, the same can be said of ALMA. But this is a non-Spanish (non-Portuguese) Observatory that serves mostly to non-Spanish astronomers. And in fact it is being more and more common to find acronyms that reads in Spanish, Portuguese or even Italian (v.g. GRAPPA). It makes me remember that twenty years ago, Borland released an excellent spreadsheet called Quattro that intended to be the successor of the Lotus 1-2-3. I don't know how many people understood the wordplay.

On the other way, I think that the draft logos present only the elements that will be included in the final versions, and that not all the elements will be used every time. I suppose that the animal plus the stars will be printed in the presentation cards, and the acronyms plus the name will be included in the site banner.

We need a visual identity, which is more than a logo. As an example, see ECHA (Note that the primary logo is landscape) or maybe the Identidade Visual Mackenzie.

Jacques (again)

I looked at the etymology of LLAMA, and in many places I found that it was a quechua word, when it refers to the animal. There is a word in spanish which means flamme, but if we put the animal on the logo, it is clear that we refer to what we want. So, Guigue, we have not appropriated a Spanish word. I agree with Thijs (I also wrote that above) that we should remove the text explaining the meaning of LLAMA. A llama is a perfect symbol of latin america, and a strong signal. So we should not add Southern Cross nor South American maps, this would be redundant.

To make some progress, I see that number 3 is the most voted. Concerning the style of llama, classical or stylish, number 2 and 3 are the same, so the classical one which I voted should be discarded (the only difference between 3 and 8 is the style of the llama). Why donīt we adopt number 3, but without the text below LLAMA?

We could postpone the question of visual identity.

Jorge Ibsen - 2014-07-03

I want to point out that once there is a decision about the key graphical elements of the LLAMA logo, the next task a graphical designer would do is to develop about three options for the corporative image. I second Jacques proposal to move forward and for that purpose I suggest that:

  • Jacques and Marcelo make a decision whether or not they want to wait all the people in the mailing list to express their opinion. If yes, keep the pool open until say EOB July 7. If not, close the pool and accept Jacques' proposal to use option 3 as the baseline.

  • Request a graphical designer to develop three proposals for the corporative image (and the visual identity guidelines) that integrates some of the comments posted above. LLAMA will have to appoint a single point of contact to interface with him/her so that comments are provided after sufficient discussion and filtering within the project. (Based on my own personal experience, this development would require a maximum of 40 man-hours from a graphical designer to produce the options including a couple of corrections.)


I spend some time reading/thinking through the updated comments on the wiki wrt the LLAMA logo. Very interesting. I agree more or less with all the comments, including that LLAMA is a well known Latin America animal and a strong symbol as such. In logo 3 LLAMA is down facing, as if to take a striking (attacking) position. Now sure we want to portray an image like that. To me Logo4 is the more graceful natural position. Thijs point of Portrait is well taken. I am also thinking that many people (minus some astronomers) will wonder what the logo represents. So after some thinking I have made some changes (Fig below, left).

  • Portrait
  • Text removed
  • Stars simplified to only the Southern Cross.
  • Telescope added to top right
  • Natural LLAMA

Just realized that maybe it is better to move the southern cross over to the left so as to balance the logo better (Fig below, right).


Well, if we return to the original elements of the logo, i.e., the cross, the antena, and the llamita, then I would rather stick to the very first logo that we produced with the power point (of course inverting the colors), because the llamita there is less fat and more cute (in my opinion) and the antena is below the sky, but above the llamita who in turn seems to gaze to both.


I would see no problem to go to Jacobīs suggestion, with the less fat llama (exactly the one I asked for to Jorge Ibsen and was introduced in logo 8) and satisfies the suggestion of Bete. Furthermore, since the radiotelescope and Southern Cross are back, there is no need for a text explaining what it means. And, since we are back to almost the same which was already accepted before the La Plata meeting, we would not have to worry about those who are not participating in the discussion. However, remember that the whole discussion started because Thijs and others found that it was too similar to ALMA logo. What do you think, Thijs?


There are two new alternatives for our LLAMA logo, # 12 e #13. As I've said in previous e-mails, these options were elaborated by a professional graduated at the Faculty of "Bellas Artes" of La Plata University.

In this logo three so-called objects by the expert are merged. They are:

  1. the Southern Cross,
  2. a typical camelid of the region (our LLAMA),
  3. the LLAMA antenna (a "foreigner" to the normal landscape of the Puna).

The antenna, as you may easy see, is located on the roundish bottom right corner of the logo. The meniscus represents the antenna with a quadrupod that fades away to be merged with the typical dark blue sky of the area.

On the left one can appreciate the silhoutte of the LLAMA gazing at the familiar Southern Cross and wondering what may be that strange object (the antenna). The name of the project is on the right upper corner (another round corner).

The above description mostly applies to proyecto-llama-04.pdf logo file. The other logo is a modified version of the previous one. My preference goes with proyecto-llama-04.pdf.

I would suggest all of us have the chance of express her/his opinion and by the end of next week (July 18th) we make the final decision.

All the best,


I don't know how we will proceed now. After the poll opened by Jorge new alternatives appeared. Marcelo now is compelling for a decision until July, Friday 18. Since I will be off by that time, I give my votes here. I still like very much Logo # 6, and from the new ones I prefere logo # 12.

Jorge Ibsen - 2014-07-03

Logo A Logo B
Logo C Logo D
Logo E Logo F
Logo G Logo H
Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
PNGpng LLAMA_Logo4R-alternative.png r1 manage 15.5 K 2014-07-05 - 02:33 GuillermoGCastro  
PNGpng LLAMA_Logo4R-alternative2.png r1 manage 15.5 K 2014-07-05 - 02:33 GuillermoGCastro  
PNGpng Logo_LLAMAflaquita.png r1 manage 25.3 K 2014-06-21 - 21:43 JorgeIbsen  
PDFpdf Propuesta_Logos_Proyecto_LLAMA.pdf r1 manage 296.5 K 2014-06-20 - 16:30 GuillermoGCastro A Collection of Logos for the LLAMA Observatory
JPEGjpg llama-with-stars.jpg r1 manage 33.8 K 2014-06-21 - 19:30 JacquesLepine  
PDFpdf proyecto-llama-03.pdf r1 manage 1369.1 K 2014-07-11 - 16:32 GuillermoGCastro LLAMA logo proposed by Marcelo, version 1
PDFpdf proyecto-llama-04.pdf r1 manage 1345.2 K 2014-07-11 - 16:33 GuillermoGCastro LLAMA logo proposed by Marcelo, version 2
Edit | Attach | Watch | Print version | History: r29 < r28 < r27 < r26 < r25 | Backlinks | Raw View | Raw edit | More topic actions
Topic revision: r29 - 2015-03-24 - PedroPauloBBeaklini
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform Powered by PerlCopyright © 2008-2023 by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding TWiki? Send feedback