The quadric Concept
What is a quadric? And what’s with the logo?
People ask this quite often. I wanted to put down a few thoughts on the matter and tie that concept with our brand.
In mathematics, a quadric or quadric hypersurface is the subspace of N-dimensional space defined by a polynomial equation of degree 2 over a field. Quadrics are fundamental examples in algebraic geometry. The theory is simplified by working in projective space rather than affine space. An example is the quadric surface
Quadrics are the extension of conic functions in higher dimensions. Spheres, ellipsoids, paraboloids are all shapes that can be described by quadric surfaces. By assembling them together, any complex body can be defined. This elegant simplicity inspires us to rethink computer architecture for a computing machine that can perceive and interact with the world around us. Using simple computational and mathematical concepts constructed in innovative ways, we can achieve computational performance and scalability never seen before. We are quadric.
I won’t bore you with the math, but we also think they LOOK cool. And the idea of capturing multi-dimensional information in a few coefficients is pretty cool as well. In fact, our initial requirements for logo concepts required: “A 2d projection of a hyperbolic paraboloid stylized to look good in 2d.” Our initial logo looked like this:
We received a lot of feedback that it wasn’t distinct enough for some other logo, the details of which are outside of the scope of this post. So when we initially launched more information about the company in 2019, we decided to redesign the logo. We were then put in touch with the guys over at Meadow Design, and they immediately understood what we needed. We came up with the logo you see today. It was love at first sight. The idea that the logo was a 2d projection of a 3d surface could finally be realized, but not yet!
From our brand book:
The source of the logo begins with a hyperbolic paraboloid quadric surface. The surface is trimmed, projected in 2 dimensions, and frames the text mark. The resulting logo evokes feelings of performance and futurism befitting of a premium computer hardware brand.
And the logo from the redesign:
Around late 2020, after the q16 Processor tapeout, I became interested in a piece of software called Blender. I noticed that Blender had a “quadric surface function.” So I typed in the equation for a hyperbolic paraboloid and was met with this:
In an instant, I realized that the whole story of the quadric concept could finally be told in a brief 3d montage. The desire to tell the entire logo story in 3D turned into a bit of a design challenge. The quest find the right person who could understand our vague specification, if you could call it that, and turn it into something really cool was on!. All that they had to go on a basic Blender file with the perspective and math setup and a short specification.
After sharing this with a lot of designers. And I mean a lot. Remember, this turned into a sort of design contest., I finally lucked upon a self-proclaimed 3d generalist, Matthew Partin. Armed with only our spec and a fundamental Blender file that had the math and perspective set up, he came up with this (PRESS PLAY!):
P.S. While not an official job post at the moment. BUT! If you enjoy the union of design, technical communication, mathematics, and software, we want to hear from you.