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Hi all,

this might also be a mail that'll get a bit longer ... sorry for that in
advance :-) And this it might be the last one for today, please bear
with me while I want to express a warm "Welcome" to the ones who newly
arrived: hi Catalin, hello Sean!

Okay, back to the initial topic, the "motif". Where to start? Well, I've
carefully read all the mails in the thread once again and tried to
understand the different opinion, proposals, ideas, concerns, ... But,
there might be some misunderstandings on my side, so please express your
thoughts as well.

*** Topic "What? Why? And how?" ***

When I browsed through the comments, and also the concerns summarized by
Mike, I've noticed that some of us (like me *g*) might not yet fully
know what this initiative is about. Thus, I'd like to summarize the idea
how I got it - just to make :-)

In Scope: The aim is to create a unique motif [1] that helps to let our
visual artwork to appear more unified by taking account the already
established branding guidelines [2]. The motif is created by a
collaborative process that takes place on the Design Team mailing list.
Besides the motif itself, documentation and examples will be made
available to ease its use.

Out of scope: The initiative is not meant to ...
      * Replace the current branding / visual design guidelines
      * Change the logo to a larger extend
      * Rush the (some time ago) announced Community Branding process
        that might still take place if required

Rationale: The visual artwork created over the last months (product,
website, promotion, ...) already differ in its style. The motif is
required to strengthen the visual consistency of us - referring to both
the community and the product.

Outcome: As Nik already said in another mail, everything will be
discussed on this list and ideas will be posted on the wiki. Here I'd
like to add that (although it might be quite natural) it might be
insanely helpful to address some of our "products" - like Nik already
for the website (explaining his thoughts).

*** In-Between Documentation ***

But this leads to the "how" it will be made. And here I'd also like to
comment - a lot of people will be addressed (maybe concerned, so to
say). So although I understand Nik's thoughts with regard to "how many
stakeholders are part of the game", I propose to at least communicate a
"daily" (given the current schedule) status to one of the official
communication channels like the TDF Planet.

So, Nik, your "neglected" blog needs to be there *g*. Otherwise, I fear,
a larger part of the community won't understand why the motif is so
important ... for most it might just be anything.

To me (purely personal impression), this seemed to work rather well in
the past - even if we had to strongly focus on certain things. For
example, some concerns by Sean might be reduced when knowing that some
of his questions are answered in the blogs I wrote in the past ... so if
anybody wants to have a look at the first steps of our community and the
initial branding, I'd recommend starting here:

By the way, the nice things Nik posted concerning the meaning of single
elements (e.g. pale inner border --> depth of paper stack) need to be
documented as well. Although here "off topic", somehow important to
me :-)

*** Available Stuff ***

When we started with LibreOffice, the thing that might be close to a
motive was the "triangle pattern" that can e.g. be found here:

Advantages: Unique, perfect "fit" to the document symbol, neutral

Disadvantages: Required a lot of space, needed to be re-positioned
sometimes (different edges, so the intended branding effect was less

*** Thoughts ***

Of course, most of these explanations (or let's call it "tries") cannot
hinder creativity ... or (even better) stop people from digging even
deeper into this. Since Paulo made some thoughtful statements concerning
how he perceives the project, here is a link to some information
Thorsten put together a while ago. Maybe it helps to incorporate some of
his thoughts ...

*** Topic "Stock Photography" ***

Having own stock photography is a great idea, and something which was
badly missing for And although some of us might own
nifty DSLRs, there might also be other sources ... we might ask there as

Like the LibreOffice community, there are other groups being e.g.
addicted to photography. I'm sure that some of them might help us - very
similar to how we currently get "hit" by people's friendliness with
regard to the foundation funding initiative.

Or, we might cooperate with photo magazines that usually do some kind of
"challenge" (although I don't like the word and its meaning). For
example, one of the German publishers that were very supportive during
the last years, both offers IT magazines and a photography magazine.

And, Dmitri Popov, a kind person I've met several times at conferences,
is an extraordinary photographer ... maybe we can ask him if sooner or

Okay, let's continue with some comments below ...

Am Dienstag, den 22.02.2011, 01:02 +1100 schrieb Nik:
On 2/21/2011 7:02 PM, Mike Houben wrote:
Am 20.02.2011 um 15:18 schrieb Nik:

*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.
Wy we have to rush on this? After some initial presentations on this List I had some Loooooong 
Discussions (FOSDEM was for me nearly only "NOACK" ;-) He is nice, but don't wan't to start a 
discussion with him, you end talking hours/days with him ;) - You should listen to him. He 
knows his stuff).

Christoph was understandably concerned about resources/time for the 
coordination of this task.
That resource is me. The time is mine.
Christoph is in support of this, as I have volunteered to do things 
(document progress) that would usually fall to him (or Bernhard) and 
occupy their time.
Christoph and I go a ways back, he knows I value his input, and I'm 
pretty certain he reciprocates =)

True, of course :-)

But I think I get Mike's concern - it is not only the resources, but
also how to get others informed that things are "decided" - maybe even
without their knowledge. That makes it usually hard to get some
understanding afterwards. But, this is my understanding, the number of
changes is limited anyway.

My Schedule-idea is a lot slower, because we have something already
in place so we can take time to work on the new Design motifs. It's
never a good idea to hurry in an FOSS-Community and to do it right and
for all possible aspects we should take a really slow but INTENSIV

That is the traditional wisdom yes, but you cannot apply that to every 
I need you to understand that this Time schedule is not "rushed", it is 
focused, yes, fast-paced, certainly, but "rushed" suggests there is no 
forethought/planning or time to reflect and improve.
That is not the case here. It is possible to work efficiently and that 
is what I propose. Anyone who has worked in a Design firm is capable of 
(and indeed, familiar with) rising to the challenge.

Maybe this matches nicely with what I've suggested before - it might
appear "rushed" if people cannot follow the progress and, thus, don't
understand what's going on. Then we fall into the "not invented here"
trap - both within the Design team, and within the rest of the

Usually, this can be avoided by trust by knowing that people do it
right ... simple, isn't it? ;-) But how should others (even outside the
Design team) know? This surely has to be taken into account.

Everyone should present his Ideas/Wishes/Presentations on his
personal Wikipage and we will present this ideas like that to the
others. If we have this, we can discuss and "vote" for the ideas here
on the Mailing list and make a Schedule on the Ideas we all have.
This will happen, it will be discussed on this list and ideas will be 
posted on the wiki.
Everyone will have a chance to participate, it will be conducted openly 
for all to see.
No one reports to me, I'm simply coordinating efforts.

Concerning the latter: I'm very thankful for this, because this is a
very tough part ...

[I think the Feature Request on many sites works like this. You make
a List with a little (or big) Presentation of every idea and the User
(outside and inside) can vote on the ideas.]

If we really wan't to rush this, I think that all of my ideas will
not see the light the outside of my head and will be presented to your
eyes. This would also be dismotivating for some others here.

Mike, work with me here. No one will be prohibited from adding ideas, 
EVERYONE will have a chance to contribute.
We cannot wait until it is convenient for everyone to participate, 
because such a time will never come.

Mmh, might it be helpful to "affirm" that the idea matters, not the
perfect visual representation (now)? In this case, the limited time can
be spent on ideas ... to me, a scan / photograph of a simple "paper and
pencil" sketch is totally sufficient to communicate the idea.


If we proceed and succeed, we might have a new confidence in this agile 
method of working. And a Motif to boot.
If we fail, we will have laid the ground-work for future completion of 
this task.
No harm done either way.

True, didn't think about that :-)

Places where I think we have to rethink:

- LibreOffice Product Placement Website
- Community Website
- Some specialised Marketing Pages...
- Other Graphical things (..pleas insert your places here..)

What you list here certainly needs attention, but you are a member of 
the marketing team also, you should be aware that much collateral is 
being purchased, many conferences being held, much advertising that 
needs a professional touch. The above points focus on the website in a 
narrow manner, the design of a Motif would benefit EVERYTHING that is 
Designed for the LibO project, not just web. And right now, that is what 
is asked of the Design team. To make Designs the whole community can 

Might there be a slight misunderstanding - I don't know ... from what I
understand, Mike wanted to make sure that the motif will work well when
used in different contexts. For example, I started to work on a "normal"
advertisement that will get printed. Our "screen optimized" design falls
pretty short with regard to these requirements ...

So either we take this into account, or we consider the motif as a first
"high level" step. And by the way, since I've talked about trust into
people, maybe it helps you Mike to know that Nik is aware about "usage
in context":

And, Nik also really knows how closed processes and behind-the-scenes
decisions can discourage people from actively participating ... I'm sure
he takes care. On the other hand, it just feels great to see that you,
Mike, pay so much attention to be inclusive as possible!

I hope that goes some way to addressing your concerns on the matter.
And I hope you'll find time to join in the discussion and ideation the 
next few days.

Okay, my time is up ... so no brainstorming today, just the comments and
questions above. I don't know whether they help anybody, but at least to
me, these reflective thoughts were helpful. To be honest, I'm a bit
tired ... so please bear with me if anything seems weird / less

Finally: Nik, Mike, Rob ... thank you all for your effort, your ideas,
your involvement.

Good night :-)




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