[ubuntu-art] What is our goal ?

volvoguy volvoguy at gmail.com
Wed Oct 19 07:50:01 CDT 2005

On 10/19/05, Frédéric van der Essen <fred at mentalwarp.com> wrote:
> I think that a few thing are going in the wrong way on this mailing list, and
> if we don't move our asses, nothing good will come for Dapper.
> the first is that we aren't doing anything.
> the second is that we don't know what are our goals
> the third is that we don't have any work to do.
> We can't do anything if we don't have any goals or projects or something, thus I'm asking you, the people who created this list.
> - create artwork for ubuntu ?
> - review artwork for ubuntu ?
> - create artwork guidelines and defining the ubuntu appearance ?
> - helping developpers to fill their apps with artwork ?
> - doing grunt artwork (making sure differents apps have consistant artwork)



Yes, out of date a bit, but we weren't given enough time to get much
done for Breezy.

> I don't think that our goal is either review artwork, or creating artwork guidelines, because this is a one man job. People have different tastes, and we can't simply vote on "what is good, what is bad" There should be an "Art Director" who creates guidelines for the whole ubuntu desktop. He should also act as a "Art Dictator" who said "this work sucks", "this work is good but not enough", "this is excellent, ready for inclusion into ubuntu".
> In a perfect world, this guy would be the one wo defined the actual ubuntu appearance.

At Canonical that would be Jeff Waugh
Representing the community that would be myself. (more on that later)

> So if our goal is to create artwork for ubuntu we need :
> - A clear and super detailed "Ubuntu style guide"
> -- this guide should be used as a reference of what is good for inclusion and what isn't.
> -- this guide shouldn't just be just a color palette but explain what is the thinking behind the current design, what to avoid, what to reach. What are the fonts to be used in artwork, When illustrating an object, should we prefer picturing it in plastic, metal, something alive, Using a Symbol instead ? These are all questions to be answered.

There are some guidelines for icons on the wiki. Unfortunately Andrew,
our icon designer, was busy working on the icons and hasn't been able
to write an in depth icon guideline page yet.

As far as the rest of the artwork goes, I don't think there are any
clear cut rules outside of licensing and using the Ubuntu color
palette. I think a guide with, "red offends this culture", "monkeys
offend this culture", "this word means something else in this
language" would be nearly impossible to maintain, so you almost have
to present a rough draft if you REALLY want to try to get it in the
main artwork and you're REALLY concerned about those issues.

If you want to see the kind of critiques we were doing for potential
Breezy artwork, check the list archives. We went through a few dozen
backgrounds and took notes - why they would/wouldn't work, what could
be done to fix something that's almost there, stuff like that. Really
the only "rule" that came out of it was to make sure any stock
photography that artists were using could really be used for our
purposes (and be licensed for our needs).

> - An Art Director who can give offical critiques and approval for the contributed work.
> What do you think ?

After spending 15 minutes (which stretched to about 4 hours)
critiquing artwork with the IRC folks, I can definitely say that this
shouldn't be a one man job. Perhaps one man could break a tie vote,
but artwork is just too subjective to have one person making all the

Now, about the art team leader thing... we've been talking about
having regular IRC meetings anyway, and I propose we have one soon.
I'll be having my surgery on November 4th and I could be offline for 3
weeks or 3 months. It's a big surgery and I just don't know (although
the doc says the total recovery time is 12 months). I don't expect to
keep my title while I'm gone, so we need to decide if we want to vote
someone else in, or if I should appoint someone based on their level
of work done for the team. My pain meds keep me asleep a lot, but I'm
generally awake between 0000-0800 UTC.


Ubuntu SVG Artwork - http://www.volvoguy.net/ubuntu
Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere. ~ G.K. Chesterton

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