I put an Ubuntu sticker on my laptop lid the other day—I did so because I had managed to scratch it hideously, and Amit had a few stickers to spare. I looks cool. The geek I am, I actually like showing it off.

At BarCamp, a lot of people had such stickers on their laptops. Ubuntu, foss.in, et cetera.

Well, I’ve been thinking about it for a while. And airports are a great place to get some posts out. So, I begin:

I don’t like branding. I almost never buy branded things—but that’s mostly because I can’t afford much. Paying someone, and then advertising their stuff as well doesn’t seem right to me.

But I put a logo on my laptop. And liked it.

Some people believe that we are what we do. Some of them believe that we are what we wear. But that’s just stupid. We are who we are, and nothing we wear will change that. But the fact remains, logos and such are powerful signs. We can use them to say what we want; can convey so much with just a single image.

I could try to draw a parallel between branded goods and the tribal nature nature of human beings, but I’ve not studied anthropology. A task for another day then.

If I saw someone else with an Ubuntu sticker on their laptop, I’d realizeassume a few things:

  • That person is an ’open source guy‘—like me.
  • That person is probably passionate about technology—face it, only nerds would decorate their laptops.
  • That person would be somebody I’d like to talk to.

I guess the point I’m trying to arrive at is that logos, when used with choice, can be functional. You can use them to convey a message about the sort of person you are.

This may be old news to people who believe in fashion, but it’s surely new to me. Time to take a step back and figure out what other messages I’m sending out there without even realizing it. Oh, and the next step is to get a xkcd sticker thingy for the laptop as well…

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