MHonArc Images


This document provides the usage policy and creation history of the MHonArc butterfly and related images.


Since the various butterfly images are original creations, applicable copyrights apply. Use of these images are restricted within in the context of MHonArc. For example, it is okay to use the images when making a reference to MHonArc, but it is not okay to use these images in other contexts unrelated to MHonArc.

Creation History

The Butterfly

The first incarnation of the MHonArc logo was created back in September of 1994 for the first release of MHonArc, the compatible successor to the more utilitarian named mail2html. The name mail2html was non-unique, so I knew I had to come up with a unique name and a logo to have the program standout among the others like the comparable program Hypermail did (who says that free software does not need a little marketing).

My mother had an old animal encyclopedia set, so we went through it in the hope to get some ideas. But nothing clicked. So I played with related terms like "MH" (an MUA that I used and the main reason MHonArc exists because there was no program that supported MH mail folders), "mail", "archive", and "HTML" and thought, "What animals have names that have letters/syllables in common with those terms?" Then it clicked, "Monarch." I decided to move the 'h' to follow the 'M' and use a mixed-case name to make the spelling unique and to imply some meaning. The capitalized letters stand for "Mail", "HTML", and "Archive." An alternative meaning for "MH" is to represent the venerable MH mail program.

My mother did a line sketch of half of the butterfly based on a photo within the encyclopedia set. With an Atari MegaST, I scanned the sketch with a hand scanner. The image was then colored using Degas Elite and mirrored to make the complete butterfly. Some artistic license was used in the color choices since monarch butterflies typically do not have the kind of variations shown here within the main red/orange/yellow part of the wings.

All the pseudo anti-aliasing effects to smooth out the lines and edges were all done by hand, pixel-by-pixel.

Since the MegaST color-mode only supported 16 colors, the image only has 12 unique colors, even though it appears to have more.

All other MHonArc images are derived from this image.

MHonArc Stamp (version 1)

The stamp border and lettering was done with XPaint in September of 1994. I could not use my Atari MegaST since the maximum color resolution was 320x200, which the base butterfly image mostly filled. The transparent background version was done by using ImageMagick. Most of the main images have a non-transparent and transparent background version, and for brevity, I only display one or the other since the background is all that differs.

The number "1521" represent the main RFC that documented the MIME standard at the time the image was created (which has now been superceded by RFCs 2045-2049).

The Version 1 stamp was used in the table-of-contents of the Reference Manual, but was eventually replaced by the Version 2 stamp in 1998.

MHonArc Stamp (version 2)

In July of 1998, I had access to a system with Adobe Photoshop (version 4 I believe). So I played with it. The results is the second version of the stamp logo using some of the visual effects capabilities in Photoshop.

If you are wondering, "Why didn't you use Gimp?" at the time, I was not very familiar with Gimp, and I believe Gimp was in its pre-1.0 stage. I now use Gimp for all my fancy image editing needs.

This version of the stamp logo serves as the main logo for the homepage and the Reference Manual, and has done so for several years. Version 1 of the stamp is no longer used and only exists for historical reasons.

FAQ Logo

This version was generated by scaling down the butterfly with ImageMagick and then making the background transparent. The anti-aliasing effects of the scaling provided a nice side-effect of creating a blue halo around the image. The halo helps make the logo useful on any colored background (especially black).

Graphic Title

This image was also created using Photoshop in '98 by using the the text "MHonArc" as a stencil cut-out of the butterfly. The graphical title is used on the homepage.

Butterfly Background Tile

This image was also created using Photoshop in '98 by having a layer for the butterfly and a layer for the bumpy background with the butterfly being mostly transparent. It took me a long time to finally come up with a graphical background tile I liked. All the other variations and styles I tried are not shown here.

Note, this background tile is actually a 75% reduction of the original tile which was the same size as the butterfly image. This was done to avoid any alignment problems when the regular-sized butterfly appeared above this background.

The background tile is used for the homepage , and the table-of-contents page of the Reference Manual.


This version was generated by scaling down butterfly with ImageMagick. It also has the touch of blue.

This icon is used throughout the documentation and the homepage.

Navigation Icons

These images are the navigational buttons used in the Reference Manual. If I remember correctly. these are also done using Photoshop in 1998 when the Version 2 stamp was done.

Initially, large versions of the icons were created to make it easy to edit and work with. Once done, I used ImageMagick to scale down the images to what you see here.

The only thing borrowed when creating the icons was the little house for the home icon. The house was taken from Netscape. I have not gotten in trouble, yet, for doing this. The home icon is also the only navigational icon where the butterfly appears behind the symbolic graphic.

Powered By

The "Powered By" logo was contributed by Ian Richardson in the Novermber of 2000. I do not know what software was used, but the Icon and Graphic Title were used in its composition.

$Date: 2002/09/11 05:04:35 $
Copyright © 2002, Earl Hood,