(whoa, once again, LOOOOONG Email, sorry, but these issues were
"circumnavigated", they really need to be brought up).
This will seem counter-productive to say but I REALLY don't want to slow
us down! Especially now in this time of urgency.
*(I even have a very quick and stringent timeline/plan for execution of
these suggestions at the bottom of this long email)*
But I've been putting this off for some time already and the situation
will get worse if we do much more without considering it;
There are many *many* things that need to be designed RIGHT NOW:
banners, cd covers, collateral, ads, website graphics, flyers.
The Community cannot wait any more.
Because we are unable to provide all of this right now, the community
will go ahead and make their own (often harmful to our desire for a
professional image). It is already happening.
Right now we are asked to make banners, the point of which is to be seen
by as many people as possible.
I don't think we're ready for that yet to be quite frank. But we have
to, nonetheless, it's for the best cause!
Since the MIME-type icons have been the only major work so far to go
through rigorous iteration within this community, their design is being
appropriated onto all the formats we are working on;
- The fund-raising banners are using the "pale innerborder + dark
outerborder + clipped corner" treatment from the logo/icons
- The impress templates are using the radial gradient / vignette from
the icons (this is a great project/initiative by the way)
- Paulo has turned the icons into --may I be so rude as to say-- F#©k!n%
GORGEOUS wallpapers! =O
But there is a problem. These design elements made sense on the icons;
- Coloured outline: a folder lining
- Pale inner border: depth of paper-stack
- Radial gradient: top-lighting of pile
- Clipped corner: from our logo
But they don't make sense everywhere, and right now they are being
carried over to other formats due to convenience/consensus-status.
*This problem and the other one mentioned above, could be fixed if we
created a Design motif or theme;*
- We could use it (the motif) without mixing metaphors
- The /community/ could use it without having to design from scratch and
undoing our work on brand consistency
This wasn't a problem in OOo because there was;
- The Seagulls = theme (openness, sky, flying, freedom)
- The wired gulls (as fugly as they were) = motif
The usual process for this (I know most of you will know this, but bare
with me one sec) is that;
1. The chief characteristic of the company/org is identified. Specified
as a desirable "image/perception".
2. A strong logo is created, which allows for;
3. The extrapolation/derivation of a design motif. (preferably VECTOR
and simple, it will need to be printed on LARGE materials)
4. They form the basis for a start to the style guide, including Brand
guidelines and colours which reflect the "image/perception"
5. High quality stock photography is used to support (which is glaringly
absent in LibO)
6. Templates are made available to all, to make it easier to adhere to
this consistent "image/perception"
I think it has (wisely) been decided that our LibO design /theme/ is:
"paper". To build on user familiarity with a paper office. Good, "check".
I'll skip my reservations about the logo and deciding colours without a
"theme" for now.
If anyone has a D90+ / 450D+ or other higher quality DSLR, please
consider taking some stock photography we can use (the potential subject
matter would need to be discussed in another thread).
Right now the closest thing we have to a motif is the clipped corner,
which is promising, BUT...
At the moment *all* things are inheriting a "bordered box and corner"
which creates many "cornered boxes" on one page, this isn't a great move.
It reduces the effectiveness of the corner design if it is in too many
places, being used like a layout element rather than as a branding element.
For example, it is present on the LibO homepage in 6 places right now,
with no rhythm or alignment.
One very prominent clipped corner on the page should be enough. This
isn't to say it shouldn't reappear elsewhere, but the dark grey
"floating" corner element should NOT appear elsewhere in the layout.
Repetition isn't always a sign of consistency, sometimes it's a great
sign of limitations.
For example, I've uploaded a (nasty and rough) example of how I would
imagine 1 corner would suffice and make a bigger impact;
It could also serve some important purpose: download button /
back-to-top button / or if LibO is feeling adventurous and moves the
Logo to the top-right, it could serve as the home button.
But this is all branding-speak. What I want to say, loud and clear;
*WE NEED A DESIGN-MOTIF. URGENTLY.*
I propose the following timeline because it is necessary and because I
have heard a few people (Johannes? Paulo? Jaron?) suggest they may be
- *2 or 3 days* to discuss on this list ideas about what the motif
should be. What the "perception" should be.
- *1 or 2 days* to design a vector composition
- *1 day* when Bernhard+Christoph+Ivan (as the most-active and senior
members of the Design list) decide on 1 motif
- *1 day* to refine as per feedback.
So this could be all done in a week if we are agile.
I know it isn't ideal, but the current logo was made in the same
circumstance. And we cannot go on treating the logo/icons as
As soon as we have a Design motif, in a couple of variations, it will be
easier to make everything look professional and clean (assuming the
motif itself looks this way).
In the mean time, I strongly recommend that the fund-raising banners be
made *IN AS SIMPLE A WAY AS POSSIBLE!*
So that they do not hint at a Design/style that we will not adhere to
long-term, or create a perception of a Design direction which has not
already been decided.
They should be as /neutral/ and /occasion/-specific as possible and bare
no strong /stylistic/ elements whatsoever. Otherwise people will come to
think of them as the LibO "style" and we will have to honour it.
Right now too many
different/incomplete/disparate/unintentional/inconsistent design items
are making their way to the public and our ability to intelligently
"master" a design style or direction for LibO is slipping out of our
hands. The more this continues, the more LibO will be a haphazard
collection of randomly made design elements.
It'll be like OOo all over again.
I would really appreciate if some of the Design leadership (Bernhard,
Christoph, Ivan) commented on whether they thought this plan is
feasible. Or updated it with times that are more appropriate.
On 2/19/2011 9:28 AM, Christoph Noack wrote:
@ Paulo, Nik: If you have some time, could you please dive into working
on the missing graphics? It would be great if you could coordinate this
on this list, to avoid doubled effort. If you miss the time, I'll jump
in tomorrow ... but I'd like to work on other less visible funding
The missing items are listed here:
Hi Paulo and Christoph,
I will work on some Community banners seeing as how they are urgent.
I think Paulo can work on the same thing without "doubling" our efforts
seeing as how multiple banners are needed.
you know, some people do also miss normal web banners.
Yes. Most of them are called "Marketing executives" ;)
But they invented Google-ads to satisfy /that/ crowd.
I know you're immensely busy old chap, but I'd be super-interested to
know what you think about all this.