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Hi Christoph, Design!

I'll respond to Christoph's Email below, but generally, lack of time has prevented work on the motif until now, quite understandable. While I have some time free I will be using it to "lead the charge" on the Design of a motif in 1 week. *That will start tomorrow (Monday 21st February).* I just wanted to give everyone a heads-up if they want to contribute. Over the next 2 days we will discuss this matter here on this thread and I will collate opinions on a wiki page.

Thank you Paulo, Rob, Tobias, Daniel and Rick for the support so far (by the way guys, if you're interested in helping -even down the track- it'd be great to see you on the Design team member list so we can start getting to know each other; But just to keep this discussion on track, the website mock-up was just to emphasise the power of using 1 "corner". It wasn't really a Design proposal for the website because that is not likely to be re-designed for some time, we can plan for it of course, but working on redesign right now is probably not a good idea.

Just wanted to draw focus back on the Motif;
- This will be undertaken in parallel with current "fund-raising" activities
- I will coordinate efforts, but will have no "decision-making" power (read end of Email)
- We will be *done by the end of the week*
- EVERYONE is welcome to take part


On 2/20/2011 11:39 AM, Christoph Noack wrote:
So what is the problem at the moment? The material that gets created
varies ... everyone in the community (you mentioned the CDs, banners,
leaflets) adds his own personal style / interpretation. It's hard to
take care of that, even for the "reference material" (a.k.a. what we can
create for the others) it's hard to keep track.
Let's be realistic: I don't think having a Design motif will "fix" this problem. I think having a Design motif will "improve" this problem.
Why? Because - looking at the requests during the last weeks - many of
the requests are still unanswered. Many of us are busy - you, Ivan,
Bernhard to just name a few people who have a higher workload at the
moment (independent from LibreOffice). So even if we decide on a common
motif, it's likely that we are not able to incorporate it. Thus, the
community takes care ... and is less strict with regard to the visual
quality (in terms of design language).
I will respectfully disagree on this point. If we have a Design motif, we won't /have/ to "answer" the outstanding requests: we will empower the community to do it themselves in a manner more consistent to the way we would do it if we had the time. Having it as a basis will prevent many community members thinking about creating a new Design from scratch. I think this currently happens because there is a lack of graphic resources for people to use if they have to make, for example, a CD label. But with an easily available motif, we would be addressing that shortage.

And I don't think its a matter of restriction, its a matter of facilitation. It will help US as much as the community...
Imagine we are asked to make business cards tomorrow, urgently;
- We will use the logo, that is the one fixed element
- The rest is up to the Designer really, they will probably use the "borders" from the icons because that is consistent with all the Designs so far, but realistically, what good are borders on a business card? especially when bleed is so crucial.
- They might use the vignette, but radial gradients "band" on poor printers
- They might use a corner, that would be nice, but overall the card would look bland and unexciting.

Having a Design motif (or a few variations of one style) would give us immediately an additional resource to use when tackling every new Design task. It will also mean that every task will look more consistent than if there were no recurring motif.
So my question is: If we can take care of such decisions within the next
days, I'm totally happy. But on the other hand, we really have to move
on and show that we are productive ... now. I'm surely not exaggerating
if I say "urgent" concerning the funding elements means we've "missed
some deadlines" already.

Believe me, I understand the fund-raising is the priority, I will be working on that in parallel. I don't mean to take effort away from this exercise, I just think it is unrealistic to think that we will get a "quiet moment" in the near future that would be a more appropriate time to create a motif. And every job that goes out in the mean time will just look like a document icon, even though an icon is not the appropriate message in that context.
So I still wonder whether an improved "motif" helps, or a more focused
work on the open items - even if it results in slight variation of the
outcome. (I know, it is an "chicken-and-egg problem" - if we know how to
do things, they can be achieved much faster, but we have to achieve some
things now...).
I see it slightly differently, I think it is futile working on the "open items" when we don't have the right tools to work on them. The logo is one tool, the colour palette is another, so is the clipped corner. Between the three of them, you will have a pretty unexciting Design. A motif is the tool that is missing, and it is the tool that will make every job afterwards, easier to start.

My personal take would be to invest 50% of the available time to work
on / improve the open issues. The remaining time, my very personal
opinion, are spend wisely by working on the motif improvements. But, we
need somebody who can guide / manages this effort ... is this something
you might want to do (I totally trust you). Of course, all the others
should join here.
That, would be me. I think it would be a very productive way to contribute during this limited free time I've been granted.
By the way, maybe I missed that, how does this relate (to you) to the
community branding we've talked about earlier?
The community branding, in my opinion, will take NOTHING from this motif, or logo, or anything else. The community needs to start with a clean slate and do the branding properly from the ground up. Let there be no restrictions placed on them and, though it will take courage on the part of LibO, trust that a re-imagined community branding will create exactly the kind of excitement and feeling of participation that every Open-Source project should endeavour to create.

I'll leave it in your hands to decide when that is, but when it does come around, I think we should expect radical change. Is this going to confuse some users? yes probably, change does that. But don't be blinded by tunnel-vision, we need to look to the future. The future will be brightest when the identity of this software is in the hands of the community. Otherwise, I have to question, why are we contributing at all? If this is an open-source initiative, the identity should be community-determined.
That sounds logical right?

Am Sonntag, den 20.02.2011, 01:40 +1100 schrieb Nik:
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.
Hehe, nice to read the term "leadership" - but I don't know whether this
is really appropriate. Maybe some experience when working in the
community and with devs. So without thinking about the given times, I've
shared my current perception of the situation.
This is one of the things I wanted to raise. The website team went through many tribulations, but they did so in order to self-organise and so that they had a clear sense of leadership. I admire that, even if some of the members approached it with disrespect to the SC. I think this team, without getting buried in politics, should elect a leadership. It will be easier for us, I think most people already know who to turn to for guidance?

Design-by-community doesn't work, everyone knows this. We need two (preferably three, so that every decision has a majority-vote) people who make the choices before our stuff goes out. Otherwise every major task will take forever. They have to be experienced, knowledgeable and trusted in Open-Source. They have to be people who've given the most of anyone subscribed on this list, to this project.

To me it's obvious, in another Email to come shortly, I'll formally propose that Bernhard DIPPOLD, Christoph NOACK and Ivan MISKOVIC be elected as the Team leads. That can wait until after the Fund-raising yes? But in the mean time, now that I'm spear-heading the Motif creation task, I'm insisting that the final Motif (and variations) will be judged by the 3 aforementioned members on 25th February 2011. I'm not so much "asking" as "demanding" actually =)

*So the schedule looks like this:*
Brainstorm ideas: Monday 21st Feb - Tuesday 22nd Feb.
Design vectors: Wednesday 23rd Feb - Thursday 24th Feb.
Decision: Friday 25th Feb.
Revisions: Saturday 26th Feb.
Finalised: Sunday 27th Feb.

I'll send another Email to the Design list tomorrow (whoops, today, for me) clarifying details and asking for ideas.
The wheels, they are a turning.


P.S. WHY ARE MY EMAILS SO LONG!?! Research students are supposed to be CONCISE >=[

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