A very interesting discussion - I wished this one would have started
about one year within the OpenOffice.org project. So my personal
For reasons of efficiency, I'll refer to the Wikipedia article
considering branding , although some things are different if a
product is shaped by a community. But however, the main thoughts are
Am Sonntag, den 07.11.2010, 12:23 +0100 schrieb Bernhard Dippold:
In the most extreme definition branding is the umbrella for marketing,
art, user experience and user interface...
We start with a plain user - what does he perceive when finally using
our software? What is his experience? Having in mind, that most users
don't know the community and what Open-Source-Software really is
He will perceive the functionality (maybe a "just works"), the issues
("grrrr" and "never use it again"). This starts from the initial
installation of the software until the (hopefully not) removal. Usually
people refer to that being the (overall) "User Experience". One part of
that is the visual appearance - including logo text, graphics, claims.
In the best of all worlds (no issues, just pleasing experience), the
visual design exactly matches and emphasizes this positive experience.
So the logo and the visuals express the already perceived feelings and
emotions. But ...
The world isn't that optimal - so the branding does (at least in parts)
communicate what the creator(s) of the product had in mind - whether
they achieved the goal or not. So creators want to communicate a certain
"feeling" or "emotion" whether the product will create it or not
(usually producers of sweet beverages communicate the social aspect
within their promotion activities).
However, an example that is more valid for us: A very extreme and
progressive branding (new, innovative, cutting edge) will fail for most
people - because we (finally) cannot prove that this is correct (no
trust after a certain time). At the moment, we can provide something
like: versatility, productivity, quality.
Another aspect is, that we are a group of individuals and companies who
create a software - together. So we also think about our own motivation
- and usually want to express that. A famous example is the Ubuntu logo
- three people in a circle, warm colors. (By the way, Ubuntu has some
very good reading at .)
Finally, a good branding considers all of these aspects. It shapes how
we want to be perceived, but also what we currently stand for. It
considers our users and our community. If things are too different, then
we have to work on separate brandings for both software and community.
This is far more important than a simple logo. But this has to be done
without rush ...
... but I don't think that this will be shared by the majority here
and in the other teams involved, so I don't want to define a mega
category inside the community.
At the moment, we make up the "initial branding" without exact knowledge
what all the people here think, without a long-term product roadmap
which might have influence. So - to come back to the initial question -
we currently work on the "Visual brand identity"  and are assuming
some of the issues mentioned before.
To make sure that this is correct, we have these discussions on the
"object" (logo, presentations, colors) - although we should discuss
about values and visual language. When I initially made up the branding
page, I tried to quickly summarize my assumptions  based on our
discussions / previous experiences within OOo (to be continued).
This is now. I'm really looking forward to work with more experienced
designers, more knowledge about our project and the software we want to
shape to make up the "community branding" for LibreOffice. In the
meantime, thanks for your patience, support and the discussions to - at
least - create something that will work for the next release!
@ Bernhard: Still thinking about the structuring proposal :-)
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