Hi Thorsten, hi David!
Before I start: I really appreciate any activity which strengthens our
community, improves collaboration and - not to forget - improves how our
users perceive our software and the community. Reading the initial idea
of the "art contest" reminds me of some of the darker sides of the
OpenOffice.org project. I won't go into details of the already written
thoughts - I think many people already expressed their experience with
Moreover, I think Thorsten seconds the experiences we made ... and
although I don't want to doom any kind of (well prepared, smaller)
contest or artwork request, I think this is neither the right time and
the right approach.
(By the way, I tried to comment Thorsten's thoughts, but I failed,
because everything is important to me. So please bear with the TOFU for
that single time *g*).
To start with an additional thought: Only start with such an activity,
if you are sure that the outcome will be really used. This is something
we try to make our internal clients aware of: If one misses to do some
homework (or the information you need is just not there), and the
contest doesn't lead to something the organization had in mind, then
either a) the "spirit" will turn into strong disappointment, or, b) you
just pick "any" design proposal to please somebody (design proposal:
artwork, workflow design, software architecture).
So are we ready to work on the "Community Branding"? We (in terms of the
LibO community) are still about planning the homework, not even doing
it. The "Community Roadmap" is e.g. one of the TDF work items  -
deriving the "goals", "mission statement", "strategy" Thorsten talked
about. So it might help even more people, to start to work on that.
This is one of the reasons why I've asked for the branding roadmap 
some days ago - and some of you agreed to it (most people I know from
the time at OOo), as well as the Steering Committee. We are aware that
the community branding is very important, and this is the reason for
letting the current dust settle a bit.
The dust ... We miss some "tailored" communication framework at the
moment to make our communicate more efficient. Furthermore, we currently
try to suit the needs of our users with a decent LibreOffice 3.3
release. I know that some of the people that I consider essential here,
are unable to support a topic like "artwork (contest)" at the moment.
To sum it up, I don't think that we are lacking skilled and experienced
artists (with regard to OOo) - the more I am pleased to see some new
names and great proposals. But what I really miss are both background
information and a better communication framework. For the community
branding - however we will develop it - these are essential
prerequisites. So, personally, I'd like to focus on that first.
Am Montag, den 15.11.2010, 10:51 +0100 schrieb Thorsten Wilms:
On Mon, 2010-11-15 at 16:25 +0800, David Nelson wrote:
@TDF guys: I'd like to make one last plea for my idea of a logo/mascot
competition (if you have clear arguments against it, I'll drop the
Contests are devoid of the traditional client/designer relationship.
There tends to be no strategy, no briefing, no iterations.
A contest means that each participant invests their time, betting on
creating the one design that will be selected. Contest holders don't
value people's time and effort and you have to wonder if participants
value their own time and effort.
Contests do not speak of community and cooperation. It's everyone
against everyone else. Building on each others work is discouraged.
The risk of ending up with a "good" design that just lacks some
refinement is sometimes met with a refinement stage after the contest.
There you can marvel at design by committee in action.
You will often see lots of participants with little or no design
education and a panel of judges that have little to no clue what they
are actually looking for, either. Do you think BMW, Apple or Gucci would
hold a logo design contest?
4) We can capitalize on the contact we've made with Ubuntu Artwork; if
they're willing, they can "foster" us in this to some extent, and LibO
participants can learn and develop a lot of good workflow methods and
practices from an experienced and successful "big brother" project. It
will also develop and strengthen this new relationship.
You are deluded regarding the scale, reach and success found in Ubuntu
Artwork (as a community project). I told you before, but apparently you
didn't listen. Does it help to show this are not just claims of some
random guy if I say I have been involved since 2007 and have been
sponsored to attend the Ubuntu Developer Summit 2 times? (Hmm, guess
that means nobody should ask me about successful team-building!)
Guess I sound overly negative, but I just want to avoid wrong
On to the constructive part, what should happen:
First you need a good briefing. Even if you still do a contest, you
should have one. At the core is the mission statement of the entire
project. What are the goals? Based on that, you might formulate a
strategy. That's the foundation to decide on your tone and message. What
do you want to express with your visual design? Set priorities.
Without a good briefing, you have nothing to evaluate designs, expect
for the highly subjective "I like this" vs "but I like that".
Developing such a briefing, as well as technical and legal requirements,
is a task best handled by a small group.
You could then select a single or maybe 2 or 3 designers, based on their
availability and past work.
Or, if you must, have a concept/drafting phase open for all. But instead
of turning it into a contest, it should be a designer's job distributed
on many shoulders.
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