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Re: Artwork Quality (was Re: Sound themes)

Matthias Clasen wrote:
On Tue, 2008-10-28 at 20:33 -0400, Mairin Duffy wrote:

This is the problem - not talking about anything in particular, making very general and vague statements without any specifics.

Well, the quality of artwork to a large extent consists of the general
feeling that it gives the users. Which is a somewhat vague and
unspecific thing, and varies from person to person. It is next to
impossible to identify the one or two specific things that are wrong to cause the impression. I'll try anyway: the default Fedora backgrounds
are stuck in an 'abstract, blue' box for a long time now. Jon's timeline
(that you dismissed as 'just screenshots') shows this very nicely.

Okay. I remember very specifically that after F7 we were asked to focus more on abstract backgrounds. For example:


"something much less branded and image-based"

We have kept this up for a while so perhaps it is time to try to go back to the image-based artwork.

With Fedora 8 particularly I remember we had some purple in the artwork and we received a lot of negative feedback on it (not from Jef, of course) because it wasn't blue so we haven't ventured there again but it may be worth another shot.

I was not trying to dismiss Jon's timeline as unuseful, just that it doesn't really provide any analysis, just an overview. There is a lot that could be concluded from it.

I understand that there are a small number of very vocal desktop team members who do not like the artwork very much. We have known this for 2 years now. I have never seen any specific feedback about how the artwork is inappropriate nor any discussion about what audience they would like it to be designed for from these individuals. They seem to be in the minority,

This I can just not let stand. Mairin. The old us vs. them game again. While some desktop team members may be more vocal and harsh in their
critique than others (and, as you pointed out yourself, not native
speakers, this applies in both directions), I can assure you that the
dissatisfaction with some of the Fedora art is not limited to them.

I can understand an occasional slip up, believe me, but not a habit of being so extremely abrasive.

Okay. Let's discuss these questions then rather than harping on the fact that 'we may disagree on things and should discuss them':

- who do you think the audience for Fedora is / should be?

- what are the problems you see in the Fedora 10 wallpaper with that audience in mind?

Here I guess we come to the core of the problem. To cite the marketing
material you refer to further down:

PRIMARY TARGET * Free and open source software enthusiasts, developers, and

I haven't polled the entire team about it, but I can pretty much
guarantee you that this description is _not_ what we see as the target
audience for the Fedora Desktop.

Okay, so we may need to bring Fedora marketing into the discussion as to who Fedora's target audiences are since it seems the marketing team is marketing to the wrong audience, at least as far as the desktop spin is concerned? Perhaps marketing should develop different target audiences/strategy depending on the part of Fedora being marketed since maybe the audiences are different depending on the particular spin or other part of Fedora involved.

SECONDARY TARGET (AS NEEDED) * General desktop users

Comes probably much closer to what most Desktop team members have in
mind for their audience (of course, it is too vague to be very useful).

The vagueness is the problem.

Going back to the second question, and looking at the F10 wallpaper: A blue sun ? Who is that supposed to appeal to, apart from the SciFi
audience ? I admit that there is probably a larger overlap between 'open
source enthusiasts' and SciFi fans than between 'general desktop users'
and SciFi fans...

Honestly? How about a big abstract orange bird? Or green swirls? Or a field with flowers? Or an aurora in space?

Of course if you pose it in that way it sounds ridiculous. A lot of highly-ranked wallpapers on deviantart though, for example, are space-themed. When the concept was proposed in round 1, I don't remember there being any complaints about it; there was a lot of enthusiasm about Samuele's mockups.

Our focus right now is on the default wallpapers and other branded bits (firstboot/anaconda/syslinux/various splashes/media and sleeves/banners/etc) and we've never really done anything with the other wallpapers that ship by default. We usually are so busy with the default design that the non-default wallpapers become an afterthought since they are explicitly scheduled or planned, we just take what upstream gives us. For F11, I don't know if you think it's a good idea, we could try to have a focus on the others too and cleaning up some of the cruft that is in our wallpaper packages (there are some really horrible looking wallpaper tiles in one of the packages that the rpm post then deletes, for example.)

Indeed, the focus on the default background to the exclusion of anything
else is very detrimental to the consistency of the background set we
ship. I've mentioned this repeatedly in the past.

I honestly don't remember your bringing that up so I apologize. I also honestly did not think the artwork team *could* do that? There is always the mantra of upstream, upstream, so I had thought the default wallpaper should be Fedora, but the rest should be GNOME and I do not remember any proposals to the contrary to be honest. It's I guess the way it has been for a long time and it may be a good idea to change.

Do you think we should have our own *set* of Fedora wallpapers and not ship the GNOME defaults by default? Or should we be working with the GNOME art team upstream to change those defaults? (But is that appropriate, to be influencing upstream's default to be shipping wallpapers specifically chosen to 'go' with Fedora's brand?)

Again, looking at
Jon's document, it becomes very clear. We are shipping a bunch of
backgrounds basically unchanged since F1. We are shipping a slowly
changing set of upstream backgrounds. And we are shipping the default
background, which is always abstract and blue.

I look forward to continue this discussion with you, but please leave
out the talk about chainsaws in the future. It makes me feel uneasy.

This entire topic makes me feel uneasy. Hopefully this can be turned around.


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