apostilb marginal illuminations on science

About the Logo

From the designer

The apostilb logo features an illustration of a bulb set against a row of text on a printed page. The bulb represents the aim of apostilb, to highlight the essence of a scientific paper. It also underscores the value of marginalia in literature, in general, and of lay summaries of technical works, in particular. The bulb serves as a gateway into the depths of the text, catching the eye of the passing reader who’s unfamiliar with the content, courting them to take the leap from mere browsing to in-depth study and understanding.

The placement of the bulb – offset from the centre – serves as a reminder that while it is the focus of attention, it lies in the margins of the main text and is but a gist. Inside the bulb, a symmetrical filament spells “asb”, the symbol for apostilb – an old unit of luminance. The bulb itself makes up the website’s favicon.

The logo is designed in the minimalist style, using simple shapes and a monochrome colour scheme. This reflects the theme of the project: to distill complex scientific literature into easily digestible bites. The image is built using inverted colours, with the bulb aptly shining white light upon a dark grey background. The strong contrast between the two colours symbolizes the utility and benefit of lay summaries as companions to academic scholarly communication – in making visible the wealth of information that may otherwise remain obscure and unintelligible, locked in the archives of the scientific literature.

— Aditya Rao