[ubuntu-za] schoolforge.org.za header image

Péter Nel petern2 at openweb.co.za
Tue Mar 31 14:05:58 BST 2009

Hash: SHA1

> Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 20:40:36 +0200 From: Hannes Coetzee
> <scorpking at scorpking.za.org> Subject: [ubuntu-za]
> schoolforge.org.za header image To: Ubuntu South African Local
> Community <ubuntu-za at lists.ubuntu.com> Message-ID:
> <49D11224.8030908 at scorpking.za.org> Content-Type: text/plain;
> charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> Hi everyone
> I'm trying to get a theme together for schoolforge.org.za and after
> a weekend of learning some CSS, PHP and how to use inkscape I still
> need something decent for the header (the top part) to make the
> site a little more attractive. The idea I've got is this -
> http://i44.tinypic.com/fz6ys0.jpg (it's no piece of art). It could
> have symbolic meanings. For example:
> The paved road - FOSS paving the way for kids in SA The kids
> running closer out of the distance - They are coming closer to FOSS
>  The main logo - Something that would represent FOSS in schools
> If you put all of that together it almost makes sense. Oh and of
> course a background for the image (in this case the clouds) helps.
> What is everyone else's view on what the site should look like
> (colors & decor) and the header image in particular? What would
> make this site unique and yet attractive? Please share your ideas.
> The last part is I can't draw, not even a decent stick figure. So
> whatever will be the final product will have to be crafted somehow.
> I can redraw and color it in Inkscape or GIMP but I'll need
> something to work from. Time for more chit-chat between all the
> masterminds and hopefully we can come up with something attractive.
> Regards Hannes
(pardon my art-school bluntness)
I don't like the idea of running towards FOSS; FOSS is (and
will/should be seen by schools) as an enabling technology whose
relevance (at least initially) will be measured by its ability to
serve as a viable /alternative/, and of course its price (free); It
should not be depicted as the end-goal, which in this case would be
the bright and shining futures of the kids. This may be OUR end-goals,
but we're already sold... and software is life :-)
Perhaps something more open-ended like the horizon with a rising sun,
or perhaps just the glow of the corona, promising imminent sun-rise
(thoughts of 2001: a space odyssey, come to mind.. hmm.. )
Icons from the gnu world may just be meaningless to other folks - but
should maybe be included in a more subtle way (see below)

I also think that the SA flag should be left out of the picture, or at
least blend into the periphery - it detracts from the focus, which is
education and welfare of the children, not national pride; perhaps the
colors could be reflected in the clothing of multi-ethnical kids
frolicking towards their future (like that stupid do-broadband ad);
but the colors aren't all that appealing either.. just my opinion

I like the idea of FOSS paving the way, but this idea is all but lost
in that illustration - it should be made clearer.
* to see the 'road' better, perhaps a top-down perspective looking
down towards the kids; figures of kids running "upwards" towards
horizon; with the sun positioned towards the distant left or right
(typical place for focus in a composition)
* maybe the paving could be actual 'paving' as in bricks, where each
(golden?) brick fits into the 'road' and has a familiar icon of
popular FOSS software like, firefox, OO.org, thunderbird, etc. (most
identifiable and mainstream ones closest to the viewer, because bricks
get smaller as the road 'disappears' into horizon.)
* the further the road goes, the looser the bricks get, and some of
the kids, put the bricks into place; i.e. they're experimenting,
investigating, and actually "contributing" to the building of the
road.. their own futures, and FOSS itself...
* children should be photo-realistic (as in composited photographs of
real kids) - with kids of all ages, genders, races, religions?

Finally, get a skilled artist &| photographer to do it ;-)
(but seriously)

Péter Nel
"They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security,
deserve neither liberty nor security"
           - Benjamin Franklin

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