GNOME Visual Identity manual

Hi everybody,

Here is the first version of GNOME Visual Identity manual, all of them are 44 pages, there are include:

01- INTRODUCING GNOME

02- LOGO

03- COLORS

04- TYPEFACES

05- ICONS

06- APPLICATIONS

Please feel free to make comments!

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Iconic design applied in a table cloth and brochure

There were some excited things happened to me, I must write it in blog to share with you all.

One thing is my iconic design for GNOME VI somehow becoming used! when Emily asking me to design a tab page for COSCUP, it’s the first chance I put the icons be used. Although I was only retouched a poster based on an original (because time is so short, and I real like the original design), but when I put a lager cloud behind the little robot, I felling as happy as the little robot:) here you can find the editable svg sources.

Later I applying icons to a table cloth, which will be used in the Desktop Summit.

I have to say my mentor Andreas Nilsson gives me the important help which he always encourage me when I showing him my design. “I really like these. I love the footer!” some times he will say:)

I have to soon later follow up a blog post with more complete and integrate description of the visual identity  for feedback and comment.

Advocating OPW in Mozilla China’s office

I was invited to talk about OPW and my OPW experience in a communitty memeber gather-together event co-organized by Beijing GNOME user group and Mozillla China.

* The location: Mozilla China office lies in the heart of Beijing. Besides office building they have a special room just for activities, with lovely Firefox mascot and Firefox carpet.
* Our hostess is a girl, and besides her, one guest, one speaker (me). Everyone else are boys. I joke with them about lack of female in the group.
* All other talkes are highly technical.
* I spoke of having done some VI work, people then gets excited. They started to talk about VI plug-ins until they realize it’s about visual identity:)

GNOME 3 install-fest took place in Beijing, too

The install-fest event in Beijing was held yesterday (15 Jun) at Novell office, organized by Emily Chen (GNOME board member) and fellow bjgug (Beijing GNOME user group) members. Li Bin (developer in Novell, GNOME development of contributor, he will attend the summit in Berlin) introduce by running GNOME3 based on OpenSuse 11.4 for new features and operation.

We look forward to GNOME3 has been a long time, and yet GNOME3 show us many fashion features, including its Activities, Search, Workspaces, Switching, Maximizing and tiling, Dash. (I have no technology knowledge, so I don’t know this part of new features:)

I list the question who asked during the introduction and also more concerned about:

Shut-down button. When the speaker shows the magic the shut-down button will appear once you press the Alt key, everyone laughed, including both supportive and disagreeable audiences:)

Utilization of space on the desktop. The left and top space always made some people want to utilize it especially in the smaller screen.

Finally, thank Novell provided the venue, and thank all of your participation and support, there are includ some members in Novell, Debian, Ubuntu.

Start working on web stuff too

Hey all

Thanks for everybody supporting and commenting my work.

At the outset I was offered to work on visual identity OR gnome web work. I used to mostly work with jEdit (css/html) and gimp. I opted for doing visual identity for the excitement of potential achievement, and the special opportunity of learning and using Inkscape.

After having worked with VI for two week or so, I decide it’s best for me to battle two fronts at the same time: to start working on web stuff too. For inspiration do not come from concentrating but from diffusing one’s mind, and alteration of topic from day to day offered me the diffuseness I need. I am reading to see where I can be of aid to gnome website project.

Two things that come to mind is migrating Foundation web [1] and Friends of GNOME [2] to the WordPress version of the site.

Foundation – This one is pretty much about moving content and fixing the navigation and it’s a good task for getting started with WordPress and getting to know the template system, get a feel for the style etc. (a special footer graphics would be cool) I would advice to start with this one.

Friends – Needs slightly more work. I did some work late last year [3] with some jquery magic, but never finished it. It might need a specific WordPress template and some additional hacks to get working, but nothing too hard.

The challenge on gnome web work are two quite different ones, that I didn’t yet meet in my last foss contribution (news rss ticker website).

First, there is a web planning/interactiveness design challenge that exists on every web project. To make a good website is to first understand the audience. I am limited to only understand a segment of gnome audiences. I don’t program and don’t know what programmers look for on gnome website, nor work with other IT companies to establish upper-lower stream relationship, which means I don’t know what vendors look for from gnome website. Luckily the burden of this aspect seems to be on the shoulder of my mentors, but I should keep aware of the audiences during my work.

Second there is a technical challenge. I used to be confident about my basic knowledge of HTML/CSS, but I am a slow learner on getting used to a CMS. It took me one year or two to get used to theme for Drupal! I start to worry I may need a lot time to get used to wordpress. Most programmers must think me a slow learner. I do get used to technical things very slowly. I hope learning CMS is like learning a foreign language: as soon as you manage the 3rd language, the 4th, 5th languages are much easier.

BTW, here is a few VI mock-up and icons I retouched:

visual identity approach: simple line-drawing icons

Since Allan Day and Andreas Nilsson giving me some suggestion and inspirational material these days, I got the new idea to frame up GNOME VI in my head. As I get a view from the current GNOME style and trend, I suppose to create a series of “GNOME style” icons to design GNOME’s VI.  The idea is to offer a lot of icons with concepts not limited to representation of applications but can be used to form multiple publications, brochures and such like. A similar VI design approach is taken by IBM in their initiative “The Smart Planet”.

A few samples are attached. It’s a direction, an idea.

Here are a list of icons to establish vi concept, I draw some of these, some are taken from elements of GNOME exist icons:


A poster draft:

Small visual identity (VI) design by Gnome

For the last week, after the cheatsheet work being picked up by my mentor, I’ve been working on another task: to establish a visual identity (VI) for all medias (posters, cards, brochures) based on existing logo design for gnome in general. The task set fire on me, who never did VI before. I am a petite woman with limited energy, hard thinking often gets me so tired that I fall sleep instanatly when my “head touches pillow” (a Chinese saying).

To unify all publications and media, a few consistant design elements has to be there. Like the signature yello-on-red design pattern of McDonald, and the blue-black pattern of IBM, this design element should extend from the logo and be “in” the media instead of “on” it (blend in instead of added on). I tried many ideas and one is getting close to fruiting. Here it is:

I also want to associate not limited to LOGO with some supplementary visual identification, such the stripes background as above. But since none of them flying to me.

I really  appreciate if someone can share any idea or suggestion with me 🙂

Gnome Outreach Program for a clueless head

It could happen to anyone to have being using Gnome many years on Ubuntu or SuSE without knowing they are gnome users, and it did to me. I somehow get to know gnome by working on Beijing Gnome User Group community events, because many my other friends joined and asked me to. When I got a dim picture of what gnome is, I had been using it for years. Until now I still not so clear which application belongs to Gnome. I know Inkscape is of gnome, but a few month ago I thought (wrongly) SmartSVN in my toolbox is also of Gnome. I guess with this level of background knowledge I am the most clueless of all. I knows something about web building, graphical works and so like,Marina Zhurakhinskaya and Andreas Nilsson (my mentor) somehow thought I might be of use. “Get on-board”, they say, so here I am. I’ll try to be useful:)

So, unlike many other who can write so charming and in-depth I guess I have not much ideas to share with you on gnome in particular, and even worse I am still trying to picture the tasks laying ahead of me. I’ll do some self introduction in this post and hope to post more in-topic messages once I get more into the tasks.

I am a user of gnome for 6 years. I am a typical user, which means I fall well into  jokes of IT colleagues about “lusers” and “confusers” 😉 My background is web design, superficial knowledge of graphical works of both vector and photo-realistic. I don’t know much about programming or javascript/php stuff that friends kept talking about, but dumb as I am, occasionally I could point out people’s overuse of these technology, that many tasks can be done with elegant CSS and HTML. Well, at least I try to keep them elegant. Some of my work include building http://www.newsrssticker.com (also a gnome application) and theming http://www.yuemeilady.com just in case you are interested. I theme drupal, and is learning wordpress because of gnome.org (oh what a slow learner I am). My experience is mixed, having been school, having been work, having been school again, work again, having being staying at home for a while, and now working again. My last completion of school courses was in last year, and I am grateful WOP accepts non-students as well:)

I’m so glad to be one of Gnome Outreach Program for Women’s internship in this year working in Gnome art on web stuff, icon and marketing maternal design. I am excited to know I have a chance to contribute to Gnome in any way, even mere. These things will get me involved into open source software. All is new, meaningful, and useful to me.

P. S.

I am disturbed with my bad grammar and, thinking a blog post makes it somewhat formal, had to let my husband review and retouch this piece before posting, hence the delay. Kelly Sinnott who just joined the out-reach program mused about women’s dependence and that fits me well: I often go blank-headed or lost myself on the busy street of Beijing if without my husband. Sign. Emily Chen from Beijing Gnome User Group reassured me not many others are good at grammar and few seems to mind about it when reading, thus I’ll try be bold in the coming internship and pace up, perhaps at the cost of more grammar problems. I hope to have managed all the communication in the end. I, somehow being a Chinese for a few decades, managed to speak Chinese correctly, if you ever mind that 🙂 (Note: this is being rhetorical, I am native Chinese.)

The subtitle of my blog “housewife of a roomful of dogs” somehow reflected the truth. People say they never know if you are a dog on the Internet, well let me just admit my family all are, some sort of dogs. My husband somehow managed to live pretty much like a dog for forgetting things almost instantly and being cheerful seeing his human companion (me), so friends and I all call him “big dog”. We also have a small dog, this time real dog. That makes us a pack! We have often dog visitors too, when it happens I do my duty as a housewife.