James tells us:
The CPAN is more than just an archive of code, it is a community of dedicated people that share and support that code. They make the CPAN what it is, showcasing the best of the Perl community.
There are about 9,500 CPAN authors. This logo honours those people with each petal representing 1,000. As the CPAN grows, the logo will expand, adding more petals – much like the United States flag adds a star for each state. This very visual change represents the ever-growing nature of the CPAN, and that like all code - it is never finished.
The organic flower-like shape shows the human side, with the colours representing the diversity of the Perl community. The mathematical precision required to create the image represents the rigour required to code. This confluence of humanity and technology makes the CPAN what it is, and this logo tries to show that.
In practical terms, the logo functions as a symbol without any typography and at any scale. Its shape is recognisable in colour, greyscale, and black and white. The type is NeoSans, a futuristic "ultra-modern" typeface that retains some friendliness. It works well at headline and body sizes, and is very versatile.