[ubuntu-art] Art Director

Ken Vermette vermette at gmail.com
Sat Dec 22 23:11:45 GMT 2007

Well, here are some wordy and general questions!

- Would you say it's better to have a unique visual identity that people my
not necessarily like, but would recognize; or have an identity people love,
but is not unique and people would not recognize?
 - Are there exceptions?

 - If you had to go with one or the other, would strong visual presentation
at the cost of performance & speed be better than a weak presentation that
runs smoothly? Going with the weaker/smoother prsentation will also risk
looking outdated, quickly.
 - If you could do both, and accept that neither would be as polished, would
you try to make them as similar as possible, or as unique as possible?

 - If you design a new, more intuitive user interface: would it be worth
alienating users of the old interface to switch to the new one? If you come
up with regular innovations, should you add them whenever you get the
chance, or allow users to first adjust to previous designs?
 - If other groups copy your innovation, should you update yours to remain

 - Common designs & specifications are commonly used in programs that are
installed on your system. You have a specification that works much better
for you and your users needs, but does not match other specifications. Is it
better to design your work around the other specifications and risk
monotony, or go with your own design specification and risk
 - Assuming other specifications are more polished because they've had time
to refine, how would that affect your decision?
 - Assuming other specifications aren't as good as what you could produce,
would you update their specifications or create your own?

 - People complain about one of the design decisions running through your
work - but it's part of your core visual identity. Assuming if you change
the design you completely lose your products years of built-up identity,
would the change be worth it?
 - Depending on whether or not people like/hate your brand (not necessarily
the design, but the underlying product), how would that affect your

 - Another group has a really great new feature/design in their product, and
you know your group needs something similar. Should you quickly copy the
exact feature as-is, or should you design something new with similar overall
 - What if you already had that feature, but your existing version was
somehow crippled?

 - Another group has a product that dominates the market, and you know you
need to take their market share to grow. Should you try to make your product
similar (so migrating users are more familiar) and risk duplicating any of
the other groups mistakes?
 - What if people love/hate the competitive product?

Hope those are good questions.
--Ken Vermette

On Dec 22, 2007 12:43 PM, Álvaro Medina Ballester <xlasttrainhomex at gmail.com>

> I think you said that we can make some questions... here are mines (less
> to more important):
> 1.- Andrew, do you think that Ubuntu can have a great design with
> brown/orange shades?
> 2.- Do you feel that Tango icons are better than a more-realistic icons?
> 3.- Should Ubuntu has monocrome icons in notification area?
> 4.- This is quite off-topic, sorry. Some gnome developers are thinking
> about changing gnome's visual metaphor, what do you think about gnome's
> desktop metaphor? In wich ways should be changed in your opinion? And what
> do you like about gnome?
> Thank you very much Andrew.
> Cheers.
> 2007/12/22, Troy James Sobotka <troy.sobotka at gmail.com>:
> > Hash: SHA1
> >
> > Greetings all.
> >
> > An art director / designer associate of mine has graciously
> > accepted an invitation for an interview.  His name is
> > Andrew Menzies ( http://imdb.com/name/nm0579980/ ).  He
> > is formally trained in Architectural design and has extended
> > his experience into art direction / design on feature
> > films.
> >
> > Aside from being a great and knowledgeable guy, I thought
> > that his insights might be able to elevate some of the
> > principles and notions of art / design / etc. in Free Software
> > if they were formalized into a 'Question and Answer' format.
> > It will be certainly a single person vantage, but one that
> > comes with a good deal of experience and training behind
> > the offerings.
> >
> > To this end, I am extending this invitation out to all of
> > the readers on the list (and I do mean _all_).  If you have
> > a question of workflow / approach / etc., please feel
> > free to offer it up.
> >
> > Sincerely,
> > TJS
> > Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (GNU/Linux)
> >
> > iD8DBQFHbWiWar0EasPEHjQRApn3AJsGWhG097BoP1pWS57YdbIMVrCZWACfSm7b
> > vlKHGcyD7GCP1rq3JCi/Iok=
> > =WNxh
> > -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
> >
> > --
> > ubuntu-art mailing list
> > ubuntu-art at lists.ubuntu.com
> > https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-art
> >
> --
> Álvaro.
> --
> ubuntu-art mailing list
> ubuntu-art at lists.ubuntu.com
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-art

-Ken Vermette
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