28. Jun 2014

Artwork Overhaul a Possibility in openSUSE 13.2?

Nenad Latinović

As we stated in one of our earlier articles, the openSUSE team is working full steam. Even though it may sometimes seem quiet news-wise, it’s not so by any means. So, let’s look at the progress the artwork team has been making since the last time we posted about new bling-bling hitting openSUSE 13.2.

Let’s begin with one of the starting points regarding the new design paradigm for openSUSE. An interesting lecture was held during the openSUSE conference in Dubrovnik this year. It’s aptly titled “The Way Forward”. Namely, there’s a problem when we’re talking about the uniformity of openSUSE branding. Basically, there are a few guidelines in existence, which you can find here and here, which define mostly the color palette and appropriate logo use. That’s why probably the two most obvious associations to the openSUSE brand are “green” and “gecko”. But, which way is geeko facing, why that way, which shade of green and why…? It’s all quite vague, or better yet, it has washed out a little over the years. Two of SUSE’s professional designers, and also members of the openSUSE community (of course) Kenneth Wimer and Zvezdana Marjanović, have decided to create new artwork and branding guidelines to freshen up, modernize and uniform the openSUSE brand, making it good looking, unique and homogenous across the whole product spectrum. You are more than welcome to listen to the whole lecture here, as it’s quite informative. The idea sprung when they were assigned with the task of doing printed material for the conference. The new guidelines (there’s talk about colors, branding, branding process and typography) could , or, to be more accurate, might be a newly paved road for the artwork team to take for the coming releases. The lecture sprung quite a lively debate on both the mailing list and the official openSUSE forums that resulted in quite a number of ideas. Also, Ken and Zvezdana are working uploading the resources they created so the community could use them in an appropriate way. Today, some of the colors have been translated from CMYK to RGB, and have been uploaded. More is yet to come. The overall feeling is there’s a bit of a blue touch to the existing geeko green, and here’s how it all looks like:

There have also been some attempts in KDE theming, and, considering some of the recent discussion, here’s a new look at some wallpaper suggestions and improvements. Nothing’s official yet, as there’s a lot of work to be done, but it seems to work. There’s also work being done on LX panel theming, and there has been discussion on greening up GNOME, but we’re yet to see some substantial results for it. The hardest part is definitely behind the team, and that’s setting some base rules and putting things in motion.

The timing is also perfect as KDE will be going through substantial visual changes, so it could be a perfect chance for openSUSE to introduce some desktop branding uniformity without disrupting the users (too much :) ). Any way, consider this a call to join the debate with your artistic geeko portfolio, suggestions and comments on our mailing list and the forums. Don’t forget our Flickr and Pixel Pool pages. And, of course, we urge you to…

…have a lot of fun! :)

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