This originally was a response to a message posted by Chris Messina to the OpenID mailing list.
Since the original conversation that spawned OpenID, I’ve observed the rise of real identity versus obscuring it behind a [nonsensical] username @ someservice.com.
The fact is, the OpenID non-pattern has overwhelmingly ignored in favor of standard email + password signup. Hearteningly, the user experience of registration has been largely normalized. There are observable and copyable best practices here, that require neither a spec nor educating the user.
Basically, OpenID—as it is now—is irrelevant.
There were major lessons learned, but they were social rather than technical. The original problem that OpenID was conceived to solve has been supplanted by services like Disqus, Intense Debate and TypePad Connect.
The non-problem that OpenID  was intended to solve was putting a user in charge of how (and if) their identity online was centralized.
I say non-problem because it was already solved. Most people overwhelmingly didn’t care, and the people who did—knew how to set up multiple email addresses or use different usernames/passwords.
If email was invented today, it’s not to hard to imagine that we’d grant permission for a service to send us email using a mechanism similar to OAuth. Communicating with someone (or thing) via their preferred channel is just another ACL.
So OpenID won—not because it was the solution, but because it helped us understand the fundamental interaction problems that previous auth systems failed to address.
We didn’t build a better horse, but we did make some good glue.
Posted April 5, 2009 at 11:58 AM PST in OpenID
Created this back in May for the OpenID Foundation—not sure if it was ever released to the public.
OpenID logo in PDF format:
I’ve been displeased with certain aspects of the OpenID logo as it stands for a while. The orange is too reddish, the perspective of the o/d curve and arrowhead have always been wrong, and the type is too tightly kerned, light and, well, orange.
Additionally, it’s always worked poorly at small sizes and completely fails to work in monochrome. One school of thought says that the shape is the most important aspect of a logo. The colors, if there are any, should be secondary. The first two iterations used an outlined version of the o/d curve. This time I thought a gap would work better. Turns out it solved both problems at once, as well as strengthened the the I character that anchors the glyph.
- Added gap around ascender for small and single-color reproduction.
- Gap increases in size when shape is scaled down.
- Stem: Increased ascender height; reduced isometric perspective.
- Arrow: Rotated, reshaped, non-square.
- Type: Increased letter-spacing; Helvetica Neue Regular (vs Light).
- Color: Darker gray for curve/arrow; Pantone DS 32-1 C for stem; black for type.
Visual comparison of v2 and v3 (PDF).