What’s the deal with GNOME’s foot anyways?

It’s been there for a long time now, seamlessly integrated, once inside the top panel and nowadays it is shown inside the (Settings >) Details pane – The famous GNOME foot is already burned into our memories as the official GNOME logo. But why is it shaped like a foot instead of what the name

Updated Sep 18, 2016Editorials
Gnome logo


The story of GNOME foot is actually quite a casual one as you may or may not have expected it to be.  To be honest, it wasn’t so easy to discover, but after a thorough research, scanning threads upon forum threads, the answer has finally raised its head in an old-school simple HTML page.

What people said

Before we dive straight into it, allow me to share with you some of the most outstanding comments, other people wrote in answer to ‘Why is GNOME’s logo a foot?’

“Better than the letter ‘K’ at least.”  “Or a scurrying rat.”  “Or a wall-less window.”  “Or used fruit.”
“Must be a one legged gnome track.” “Well, nobody is perfect! Maybe they couldn’t get the beast to stay still long enough to get both foot prints?”  (taken from UbuntuForums)

and also,

“GNOME’s logo is a huge footprint, but it is Gnot clearly established whether it is a huge memory footprint or a huge disk footprint. It has been theorized that the logo was originally slated to have two footprints, but the developers found having 2 feet to be an unnecessary feature, so they have been actively campaigning with the “One Man – One Foot” movement.”  (from Uncyclopedia)

The foot’s true origin

Ok, so now after we laughed a bit, here’s the real answer coming from GNOME developer and also one of its founders, Miguel de Icaza, who wrote:

Miguel de Icaza“When we were looking for an icon for the GNOME panel, we went to Tuomas [Kuosmanen] site, and we picked one of the icons he had drawn that had no association to anything yet, a gradient-filled foot in a square. This was the foot that was used for the menu for a long time.”

So, it turns out that the logo was just randomly selected from of a varied collection, with no deep thought and considerations behind it.  Sorry to disappoint you in case you were expecting otherwise, but take comfort in the fact that later on, that foot turned into a G-shaped left foot (the former was a right foot), symbolizing the G inside the GNOME name.  How’s that for a calculated move, eh? ;-)

If you like to read the full story, click here.


Oh, and one last thing before I forget, the reason it reminds me of TNMT bed guys is, well, just take a glimpse at the image below and tell me what do you think:

foot clan

Can you spot the resemblance?

Miguel photo credit: James Duncan Davidson/O’Reilly Media

TAGS foot gnome