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Re: Design points from designer friends - for discussion at IRC meeting tonight.

On 03/04/2015 01:26 PM, Bernelle Verster wrote:
Hi all

I asked some friends about the design look and feel for DebConf16, and summarized their replies here for discussion at the meeting tonight, neatly numbered for ease of reference. :)

A. The outcome of design involvement:
  1. Not just be the logo, but also input on the look and feel of the website, the colour scheme, and the final report layout, possible including other things like overall campaign concept, posters, stationery, website, the works.
  2. An additional outcome, which is really where my passion lies, is to grow awareness for Debian, which requires public-focused interaction and wording.
B. Things to note/discuss:
  1. Debian is not mainstream, and not commercial.
  2. The purpose of DebConf is (Discussion needed) to showcase the uses and application of Debian related software
  3. The target audience is (Discussion needed), tech companies looking to drive their tech to new levels, explore leading edge and out there solutions. Also the 'hidden' sector - people who play in their spare time, and people who've been doing similar things without even knowing what it's called, or doing stuff out of necessity, in a shack somewhere perhaps... I do want a general public interface.
C. Recruitment
So we need someone with a designer background with some interest in IT related things, or Debian, rather than the other way around (Debianite with some design skills). At this stage I'm going with that we have no budget, but am going to ask for quotes to get an idea of the financial value anyway.

To get in touch with suitable designers I'm thinking of a few 'outreach events', starting with the CLUG talk in April, and then a few events at community groups, like Modern Alchemists, for example. And word of mouth. At these events, I'm thinking about an initial contextual/intro overview, then ask people to explain Debian in an easy-to-understand analogy/metaphor, and from the insiders, I've been trying to get out of them how Debian is adding value in the real world - got solar heliostat trackers, drug monitor via eye lenses, medical imaging machines... Need to document this all.

Timeline: This needs to happen in March and April, so that we can have at least a logo by August.

D. Juicy quotes
Lastly, I've included some quotes from my friends on how they feel about logo competitions, and Debian's brand. Please read through, it's juicy:
  1. “I would agree that logo designs are very off putting (to me) and I don't think I've ever participated in one - have never been convinced to invest time and effort in something if there is only a small chance I'd get credit or compensation for it.
    It would be much better to have an invested creative/ designer who will stick around to make improvements on the design, build the full communication style and develop awareness building campaigns around it too - so I guess thats a TEDx style team volunteer, unless you can find budget to contract it.”
  2. “logo design competitions are a "no-go" in the design community as it encourages spec work. To put it into perspective, one wouldn't request 5 plumbers to each get a chance to work on your broken tap, but only one gets chosen and rewarded... you get my drift.”
  3. “From what I can see, Debian needs to take their brand more seriously from the top. I don't think you can just "change" their logo, for the sake of a conference. If you have sway in the powers that be, then by all means suggest a complete brand overhaul done by a professional. If they value their brand, they will put their money where their mouth is. It is pretty clear that Debian does not currently place value on their brand, as the logo here [http://debian.org] is completely different to the one on the test site:
    The second option (compromise) is to keep the Debian look as a sideline (kind of awkward) and employ a professional to look at the conference specifically. Look and feel, overall campaign concept, posters, stationery, website, the works. However, I still don't think this process can be done void of Debian, since it will in theory be creating a "third" identity... First one being their main site, second one being their global conference site. And even if it looks "pretty", will further water down the Debian brand, which would be counter intuitive when it comes to hosting their conference....
    Last and least recommended option would be what designers call "polishing a turd".... Take the existing logo, slap on a subtitle saying something about developers conference, and roll out a campaign. Perhaps the most painless, but definitely not something most designers would voluntarily like to do.”
  4. “P.S.
    Why does Ubuntu get to be relatively sexy, but Debian looks like the poor cousin? Sigh, IT community!!
  5. “P.P.S.
    Even Red Hat is coming along nicely! http://www.redhat.com/en
    Tut, tut, Debian!”

I've added the above to the agenda for tonight http://whiteboard.debian.net/9fcb2.wb , can I ask we keep on track with the discussions and keep them on topic :)


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