[Design-team] Wallpapers guidelines draft

Máirín Duffy mairin at linuxgrrl.com
Sat Aug 8 00:57:04 UTC 2009

On Fri, 2009-08-07 at 19:41 -0400, William Jon McCann wrote:

> All submissions or contributions:
[ snip ]
This section is great, no comments - well one suggestion, we could call
out good sources of appropriately-licensed image sources.

> Subject matter:
>  * Must not contain brand names or trademarks of any kind
>  * Must not contain material that is inappropriate, offensive,
> indecent, obscene, hateful, tortuous, defamatory, slanderous or
> libelous
>    - No sexually explicit or provocative subject matter
>    - No images of weapons or violent imagery
>    - No alcohol, smoking, or drug use imagery
>  * Must not contain material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or
> harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based
> on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation
> or age
>  * Must not contain material that is unlawful, in violation of or
> contrary to the laws or regulations in the jurisdiction where the work
> is created
>  * No religious, political, or nationalist imagery (including flags)
>  * No images of hats, particularly fedoras.
>    This is a matter of respect for our primary sponsor, Red Hat, Inc.,
> and is not negotiable. Of course, passive appearance of hats, such as
> those upon heads in a crowd, may be allowed. 
>  * No version numbers.
>    End users might prefer to continue to use an older theme, or use
> the latest theme in their older version of Fedora. To enable that
> choice, do not use any version numbers within the Fedora artwork. 

this section is great up to here
>  * No text.
>    Text should not be used in the backgrounds because the artwork is
> intended for a global audience and to be reused by derivative
> distributions.

This is reasonable, but artistic use of type is permitted and should
probably be specifically called out here.

>  * Should not contain images of people (contemporary, historical, or
> fictional)

Why is this? What about characters? The human figure? The human figure

>  * Should not contain images of pets, or captive or mistreated animals

The latter part I understand, but I'm unsure of the concern with images
of pets. E.g., a horse could be considered a pet and Samuele submitted
some very nice imagery with horses... e.g. if we're just trying to avoid
the flickr-zomg-look-at-my-cat syndrome we should just call it out...
but we've never had a problem with people submitting pictures of their

> Technical requirements:
>  * Must use a format that can be read by software available in Fedora
> Package Collection
>    Preferred image formats include SVG and PNG.  Master files, which
> may be further edited, should be maintained in non-lossy formats.
> Preserving vector graphics, raster layers, and channels is important
> for such materials. 

I would word it slightly differently, maybe break it out into proposals
vs. source files. Source files are required. Proposals should be in PNG
irregardless of whether or not it's vector or bitmap. Source files must
be SVG for vector format submissions and XCF or compressed XCF (xcf.bz2
or xcf.gz). 

We also require that any source images, brushes, textures, etc. used in
the design must be cited individually, referenced properly (download
site, author, license), and be under a license compatible with CC-BY-SA.

>  * Originals for landscape formats must be a minimum of 1600 pixels
> wide and 1200 pixels high
>    The larger the better.  Photographic submissions should be made at
> the highest resolution the camera is capable of.

I think we need to require higher resolution. But then again I'm not
sure what you're considering 'original.' I'm considering the submission.
I don't think you can make requirements for source images just because
someone might only use part of a  We support up to 2048x1536
for standard resolution, 1920x1200 for wide, but those are single-screen
too, what about dual... so you see it becomes a bit of a slippery slope
I think when trying to dictate a minimum resolution.

>  * Should be provided in a 16 x 9 aspect ratio

16x9 not ideal unless it's high resolution enough. It's easier
compositoinally to go to a 16:9 ratio with a 4:3 ratio image rather than

>  * No watermarks, signatures, photographer/creator names, or messages
> may be included in any part of the work
> Composition:
>  * Should strive for subtlety and poetry

I think I know what you're trying to get at with this but I think it's
going to confuse a lot of people. I'm not sure how to word it better,
though. If you're trying to guide people towards non-explicit /
non-obvious interpretations of ideas better to state that openly.
>  * Avoid high frequency images
> (http://forensicphotoshop.blogspot.com/2009/04/low-frequency-vs-high-frequency.html)

Might be easier to understand to expand on this point a bit more by
saying it should not have too much high contrast, and it shouldn't be
overly bright or dark either.

>    - A soft focus is one way to achieve this
>  * As the name suggests, visually, it should settle into the
> "background" of the activity scene.
>  * Fewer details on left side allows for good readability for primary
> icons on the desktop.
>    - Keep in mind that many users have icons covering the entire
> desktop view.
>  * Do not compete for the user's attention

I'd even expand this and say, the purpose of the wallpaper is to serve
as a backdrop for the user's documents and applications, and it's a
supporting actor - the documents and applications are the stars.

> Specific guidelines.

I wouldn't consider these guidelines so much as suggestions or ideas...
>  * Default background:
>   * The following adjectives should be used to select an appropriate
> design:
>    - Fresh
>    - Light
>    - Calm
>    - Clean
>    - Modern
>    - Harmonious
>    - Unfettered
>    - Elegant
>    - Graceful
>    - Hopeful
>    - Delightful

These seem like great suggestions to get artists into the right mindset
but I wouldn't consider them exclusive nor all absolutely required.

>  * Additional Themes:
>   * May use following categories:
>    - Nature
>    - Landscapes
>    - Cosmos
>    - Scenes
>    - (Region/country specific content)
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_wallpaper
> https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Artwork#Fedora_Artwork_Guidelines

This is a wonderful start at a great document, thank you so much for
kicking this off!


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