Our Own Elephant

Posted by Thomas on 4 January 2023
A cartoon drawing of a pink elephant raising a pint glass filled with beer. The glass has an M on it.

A few months ago I asked if there were any artists who were open to a commission for a logo for Mastodon.Beer. I thought a logo would help our server stand out and help create a specific first impression representing the community here. I really wanted to find someone on our server to reinforce the connection. One of the people to respond was here and it was immediately clear they were the one. After some discussion and a couple of iterations, a whimsical elephant now adorns our server.

Thandi, of the Beer Ladies Podcast, created our wonderful elephant. Working with her was a delight. She understood what I had in mind, providing options at each step, and finally dialed the design in perfectly. Her first round ideas included some really nice graphic designs playing with shapes meant to suggest an elephant as well as a head on view of an elephant raising a pint. I really liked the idea of an elephant as a visual representation that our community runs on Mastodon but has our own distinctive character. A logo and a mascot. If you see a little of the Huyghe elephant that adorns the Delirium Tremens brands or maybe even a little of the Carlsberg elephant, that was intentional. Our community includes many people in Europe and several historians, of beer and more generally.

I added our elephant where I could in the Mastodon server settings. If you use the advanced web UI, they also hangout in that lower left corner. I think Thandi's design works really well in that spot. I posted asking for ideas for a name. I followed up with some polls. Then a year end goal at work demanded most of my spare energy through the end of last year. I've finally gone through the submissions and polls. The limits of polls on Mastodon required some administrator discretion, but our elephant's name is Eilidh the Alephant.

Thandi and I referred to her as "ellie" throughout our correspondence. Iain MacGilleBhràth suggested the variation with this explanation:

it’s pronounced ale-y. But looks like (and still sounds quite like) Nellie the... geddit?

Iain suggested "the Elephant", I tweaked the final name based on some positive reaction to other suggestions. I like that it is more alliterative, too.

The many other fine suggestions, roughly ordered by poll responses, were

  • Burton
  • Maltodon/Maltstodon
  • Stout the Alephant
  • The Duke/Duchess of Ale
  • Vorlauf
  • Babar
  • Delirium
  • Hope
  • Suds McTusk
  • Tusky
  • Charles Tuskforth
  • Apollo
  • Carl
  • Marula

That's a lot of creativity. I am open to nicknames, honorifics, and superlatives for Eilidh. Maybe she is half Maltodon, from her father, Charles Tuskforth? Thandi created three versions differing only in color. I have been using the pinkish purple one because I happen to like it. Maybe the blue and the green ones are siblings? What do you all think?