If you look at Mickey Mouse you know he is a Disney character. Mickey Mouse turned 90 in 2018 and has a very impressive recognition rate reaches 98% in all age groups.
So it is safe to say that every mascot has a huge role in branding an organization.
One such old and very recognizable mascot is Tux. He is a cute, chubby sitting penguin and is the official mascot of the Linux Kernel, one of the oldest monolithic open source, resembling Unix.
The story of Penguin Origin
Linux was developed by developer Linus Torvalds in 1991, but its official mascot came in 1996 in a logo contest. The idea was created when a British developer Alan Cox envisioned a penguin as the official mascot and logo for the Linux kernel.
The idea of a Linux mascot being a penguin started when Linus Torvalds unveiled one picture that he found on an FTP site that showed a penguin depicted in a similar manner as a character of Creature Comforts created by Nick Park.
Larry Ewing took inspiration from the image shown to him by Torvalds and made Tux. The first image he created, he made using it GIMP.
Given that 72% all trademarks consist of words or acronyms, Tux was named Tux from an acronym for tuxedo. The first to call the penguin "Tux" was James Hughes, who said:
"It stands for Toverpowered UniX. "
Tux is now one of the most widely used icons in the world. Recognized worldwide, it is directly related to the Linux brandname and all its distributed products.
However, not everyone was happy with Tux. Why a penguin? Many developers were not happy with the cute image. Before Tux was introduced, the Linux kernel mailing list was full of suggestions from many wildlife, including foxes, eagles, hawks, and even sharks.
Many developers thought that it was not good to give a weak impression on the industry with a picture of a cute animal as a mascot. Many claimed that Tux gave the impression that he was affiliated with a gaming company rather than a successful open source software company.
Torvalds talked about his preference for having a penguin as a Linux mascot. He made it clear that he wanted to stay away from the image of a penguin magu and urged developers to focus on a cute, melancholy and contented character of a penguin who seems to be sitting down after a rich herring meal.
Who owns the penguin? Tux is an open source image. The only condition that Larry Ewin set for him is:
"Permission to use and / or modify this image is granted provided you acknowledge me firstname.lastname@example.org and The GIMP if someone asks. "
According to Marco Pastore, an open source developer:
"Tux is a great demonstration of the concept behind the development of open source and free software. Unleash your creativity in the community, let them do what they see fit and you will come up with something wonderful. ”
Tux is still not a product of an advertising company. Anyone can use it and edit it, but they should give credit to Larry Ewin and the GIMP (The GNU Image Manipulation Program) software he used for its development.