In an inspired moment, and no doubt paying homage to the decade that he followed the Greatful Dead on tour (well, we think he spent a decade, but he can't remember too clearly), Matthew created our first PLT logo.
August 1996 (mrf)
This was a short-lived attempt to have different logos for Racket and DrRacket. Realizing that we weren't bringing across the healing, nurturing look we wanted the name DrRacket to convey, Matthew stuck a stethoscope onto the logo. Much better, don't you think?
While the developers adored the steal your face-based logo (and it soon appeared on numerous Web pages), some of our users got queasy about it, especially some using it in high schools. We finally surrendered to this user pressure by keeping the lambda while ditching the skull. The red and blue color scheme, however, remains intact to this day.
Shriram had always intensely disliked the lambda's typeface, with its exaggerated curls and their contrast with its gracelessly stiff leg. When he noticed that the Haskell community was using this lambda as well, he decided it was time for us to do better. To that end, he pushed Matthew and Robby on the idea of switching to the lambda from Herman Zapf's AMS Euler.
Creating the lambda was another matter. Using Metafont they generated a sufficiently large lambda and printed it on graphing paper. They then manually entered pen coordinates into PostScript. Any discrepancies between Zapf's original and this image (we know a few) are due to this process and to laziness; this is also why a scalable PostScript source version exists.
John decided that our logo was too flat and, using a raytracer, rendered the previous version of the logo onto a disk. He even made the disk fly across some wierd alien landscape, but that movie is lost in the mists.
v204-205 (mc, rbf)
In January 2003, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) organized a programming language summit featuring Matthias, Matthew, Robby and Shriram. To commemorate the event, the lead organizer, Francisco Solsona, had the artist Mónica Chichino create a modified version of the (current) PLT logo. It plays on the vague resemblance to an apple, but who's the worm? It's there because the group who coordinated the event are known as the Larval Stage.
v206-4.3 (jbc, eb)
John and Eli decided to bring back the raytraced logo, but this time with the larval stage as well. On the right is an image of mars, and it is not fabricated! (courtesy THEMIS) Who'da thunk it: the PLT logo!