fedora-logo and fedora-themes discussions

Timur Kristóf timur at sch.bme.hu
Sat Apr 16 17:37:55 UTC 2011

Hello Robyn,

Wow! That felt like as if I was reading my own thoughts on the matter.

I need to clear up one thing though: despite what the Gnome team says, 
Gnome 3 can be very well modified, even more so than Gnome 2. (The 
central user experience, Gnome Shell, has a mechanism to load extensions 
which are a lot more powerful than anything on Gnome 2.) No 
misundersanding here, this is not a hack. Some extensions are even 
provided from Gnome's upstream.

Fedora using Gnome 3 can still be branded as Fedora. What I did on the 
design team's mailing list was a polite request to start a discussion 
about how to do this best. I have made a simplistic approach to display 
a logo there, and asked them to start discussing how to improve upon it.
Then I received some constructive criticism from some people, but 
completely negative reactions (and total unwillingness to discuss this) 
from the members of the Gnome team.

I completely agree with Robyn, I think that marketing is very important 
for Fedora if we want it to spread and be used by many people. And 
branding a product is a very important part of such marketing. And a 
logo is always the central piece of branding for any product, just like 
Robyn said.
So, I have made one approach to displaying the logo on Fedora 15. I have 
made it available as an installable package.

I'm looking forward to a civilised discussion about how we can improve 
upon that and give the final release a branding so that people can see 
and feel that they are still using the Fedora they love. :)


On 04/16/2011 04:02 PM, Robyn Bergeron wrote:
> On 04/15/2011 03:56 AM, Aleksandra Bookwar wrote:
>> Hello, everyone,
>> I would like to invite you to these two particular discussions:
>> 1) gnome-shell extension that adds a Fedora logo
>> http://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/design-team/2011-April/004233.html
>> 2) customization of themes and colors in gnome 3 desktop in Fedora 15
>> http://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/desktop/2011-April/007130.html
>> I don't have problem with the concept per se, but i have a problem with
>> the fact GNOME shell on my rather powerful laptop (Core 2 Duo T9300
>> 2,5GHZ, 4GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro NVS140m) is very slow. When the first
>> preview versions came out it was OK but the newer versions are very
>> slow. If it remains like this in the final release i will have to change
>>   GNOME for something else or use the older gnome-panel. The new concept
>> requires some time to get used to but after a while it feels quite
>> natural. I don't like the default black theme but i recently stumbled
>> upon this page -http://www.techdrivein.com/2010/09/top- ... -ever.html  <http://www.techdrivein.com/2010/09/top-6-gnome-shell-themes-ever.html>
>>   which contains a collection of gnome-shell themes (before that i didn't
>>   even know that there were themes for gnome-shell). Some of the themes
>> there are very beautiful. So in my opinion the basic concept is very
>> good but it needs some polishing - like improved responsiveness and
>> better default theme and icon theme. I also hope that there is more to
>> gnome than gnome-shell.
>> I think that these topics are important for promoting Fedora 15 to
>> end-users and Fedora Marketing Team should be involved.
> Let me first start off by saying: I wish we had known sooner. While 
> there was certainly discussion on the design-list about the impact of 
> branding by modifying/replacing the wallpaper, and discussion of the 
> fact that there would be no GNOME logo on the desktop, I don't think 
> that everyone was *acutely* aware that there would be no room for 
> *any* branding of *any* type on the desktop. I think more awareness of 
> that would have greatly changed the outcome of the wallpaper discussion.
> Also, I have no solution, and I'm just going to mostly rant here about 
> branding. All views are obviously my own and not of my employer. :p
> Branding is about exposure.  Yes, there is exposure when the browser 
> page defaults to start.fp.o - assuming people don't change their start 
> page, as many people do.  Impressions are made at start-up - and then 
> quickly disappear after the computer boots. The wallpaper, while being 
> part of our themed identity each release, does not have a Fedora logo 
> - and people change their wallpaper.  The small icon, while admittedly 
> incredibly small, is seen multiple times, over and over, every day, by 
> the person using the desktop. And by others around them as well.  It 
> is the singular thing that constantly, always identifies the desktop 
> at a glance when fully booted up, as Fedora.
> I suspect that *anyone* who works in a Branding role would say that to 
> have no plainly, constantly visible connection to Fedora is a 
> mistake.  We have worked very hard to build that brand, and to 
> associate the infinity logo with Fedora.  To not have a desktop easily 
> identifiable as Fedora on sight is just brand dilution, IMO.
> Let's talk about this metaphorically for a moment.
> There are many pieces that make up Fedora.  Think of it as cooking 
> something: We have lots of ingredients.  We put them all together, and 
> after it bakes in the oven for about 6 months, out comes Fedora. Yum! 
> (Sorry, bad joke, had to do it.) Sometimes the ingredients are 
> substitutable - empathy and pidgin, for example. Occasionally the 
> ingredients are modifiable - as GNOME has been in the past. And those 
> modifications to that particular ingredient are what made Fedora taste 
> like... Fedora.
> GNOME 3 is an ingredient in Fedora - not the other way around.  I 
> wouldn't expect that, if, for example, there was a GNOME 3 Remix of 
> Fedora, that there would be any trace of Fedora branding anywhere.  
> Fedora is the major ingredient in a Fedora Remix - but not the end 
> product.  Sadly, and I think mistakenly, the GNOME ingredient is 
> theoretically no longer modifiable.  I don't know that that prevents 
> us from bringing in another ingredient to help us retain the Fedora 
> flavor that we know and love.
> Imagine if Dell, who has spent a fortune branding their product, was 
> told by Intel that, rather than having a Dell background as part of 
> the out-of-the-box experience, there was to be no trace of Dell 
> branding anywhere, and instead ONLY Intel branding can be present. 
> That's not going to happen. Why? Because the physical computer is the 
> final product.  I don't expect that, if, someday, Fedora worked its 
> way into being an option for a PC that one might walk into Best Buy or 
> other large consumer electronics shop and purchase off the shelf, that 
> the Fedora desktop wallpaper would be present.  It would be the 
> desktop designed by the manufacturer.   Why? Because rather than being 
> the Final Product, we would now be an ingredient.
> The mobile phone food chain works much the same. Would Motorola, HTC, 
> and Samsung give up the the ability to have their logo or name etched 
> or stamped into the case of a phone running Android? No. Do they live 
> with the fact they have to put the Verizon logo on the phone before it 
> gets shipped to Verizon and put into a saleable package that goes to a 
> consumer? Of course they do. Despite the fact that the logos are 
> small. Because *every time* someone looks at their cell phone, they 
> see the words Motorola and Verizon.  Motorola doesn't say, well, they 
> see the Motorola logo every time they boot the cell phone for a few 
> seconds, and that's good enough. Verizon doesn't assume that everyone 
> will simply leave their mobile browser defaulting to the Verizon 
> wireless start page.
> Look around you, at all your gadgets, and products, and food in your 
> fridge.  Everything is *immediately* identifiable as a brand, 
> generally. Imagine going to a store and trying to pick between Coke 
> and Pepsi, if both of the cans are labelled "Carbonated Water and High 
> Fructose Corn Syrup."  Saying that we can see the logo at startup is 
> equivalent to to saying, "Well, if you happen to watch someone open 
> their fridge, you'll notice that the white can of Carbonated Water and 
> High Fructose Corn Syrup came out of a red Coca-Cola box." That's 
> obviously not the same as someone holding the signature Red Coke can, 
> or a blue Pepsi can.  Coca-Cola and Pepsi want their branding visible 
> ALL THE TIME - that's not an accident.
> And now we are essentially going to be Carbonated Water and High 
> Fructose Corn Syrup.
> There is no easy answer here. GNOME 3 has been intentionally designed, 
> at least as much as I can read into what i've read on the design-list, 
> to allow no trace of any branding of any type - other than the GNOME 3 
> look and feel.  And basically, in a nutshell, it sucks for us. 
> Branding at boot-up.  and branding in a browser that some people may 
> or may not use, that directs people to a page that may or not be set 
> to go to start.fp.o, that they immediately use to go to *some other 
> location on the interwebz*, is NOT the same as (a) having a Fedora 
> look-and-feel and (b) having a logo, even if miniscule, making a 
> constant impression and makes the desktop immediately identifiable as 
> Fedora, because the Fedora Logo has brand value.  (Much more than a 
> desktop wallpaper that, while being a compromise, is still completely 
> devoid of a Fedora logo.)  And it doesn't just suck for us - it also 
> sucks for everyone who does a Fedora Remix that wants to change the 
> look and feel as well and logos as well.
> Is trying to hack in a logo the right answer? Probably not. Is adding 
> that logo into the corner going to really going to destroy the "user 
> experience"? I can't say anything more than "probably not" to that 
> either.  Can we brainstorm, at this point in the release cycle, about 
> some way that is more permanent than a browser start page, to keep 
> logo and brand impressions on people, and then implement it without 
> impacting the schedule? Probably not. Is a wallpaper, which changes 
> from release to release and has no identifiable logo and changeable by 
> the user, in combination with a browser direct to a start page that 
> people see for a few seconds, assuming they don't change it, enough to 
> keep our brand in people's minds? I don't know. Does the loss of a 
> piece of real estate that constantly shows our logo diminish the value 
> of our branding? I think so.
> Ideally I'd really like the GNOME folks to reconsider how their 
> "ingredient" into other distros impacts the branding for those folks. 
> But as far as I can tell from reading the design-list, it's not even 
> something they're willing to consider or discuss. Which is a shame, 
> because I would expect that the Debians and RHELs and openSUSEs of the 
> world aren't thrilled about the idea of giving up their 
> heavily-invested-in, albeit it small, but IDENTIFIABLE, constantly 
> visible, constantly brand-reinforcing logos on the desktop either.
> -robyn

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