Ours is better than theirs!

He-Mark

A bit late, but here’s a drawing in wallpaper format in celebration of the Ubuntu 10.04 release and the new visual identity that made its first real appearance with it.


Full size 2560 x 1600 pixels

It all makes perfect sense, I swear:
Mark Shuttleworth is the founder of Ubuntu/Canonical. Additional software packages for Ubuntu are organized in Universe and Multiverse. The packagers are called Masters of the Universe (MOTU), referencing an 80ies toy line / animated series, with a hero known as He-Man. So this led to the idea of He-Mark.

The UDS-M video interview might be the best reference, if you can’t compare with the real Mark.

He-Man rides on Battlecat, a beast resembling a tiger. The mascot for 10.04 is a Lynx, so my version of Battlecat had to have characteristic ears, a short tail and dots. Battlecat’s helmet has a beak … as have penguins, so I had a color scheme for the armor. Aubergine is the new color for Canonical and the business-oriented aspects of Ubuntu.

The 9.10 release still had the brown (and orange) look and a Koala as mascot. The arch-enemy of He-Man is Skeletor. Ever had a look at the skeleton of a Koala? Well, I borrowed elsewhere. Darth Koala was born.

The small fellows represent the community, of course.

Made with MyPaint and GIMP. Note to self: watch out for anti-aliasing issues with too thin lines right from start.

Design in Collaborative Projects

If you just let things happen in a collaborative project with design/artwork needs, you will likely see a few people creating proposals that mostly cover the same ground. They all will base there work on their own assumptions regarding various aspects of the project. This might not even happen consciously, but be more about gut feeling.

The same applies to other collaborators providing feedback. Everyone has an opinion on matters of design. People talk a lot of what they like or don’t like, seldom giving reasons.

This way there is no shared idea of what should be achieved and how to judge proposals. No common ground for collaboration.

People trying to pull a project in various directions.

A collaborative project should have a documented mission statement/vision/set of goals. You need to define where you wan to end up, before you can take care of getting there. Otherwise you rely on chance alone. This is especially important for artwork, because it shouldn’t be about individual taste or the latest fashion, but rather be constructed to help further the goals of the project.

People pulling a project in the same direction.

Even making some people unhappy is better than having no direction.

People pulling in the same direction, but one is unhappy.

You should work from a mission statement, a project briefing, towards defining your audience, the desired tone and your message. This will be your measure to decide what is and isn’t appropriate regarding design and artwork.

Your audience, your users might be quite different from your collaborators.

Everyone paints the project in the color they prefer.

There’s also the aspect of breaking a big problem down into a set of smaller ones. This helps with covering every aspect and detail. As far as there is subjectivity, it’s much better to deal with it in small parts instead of at once, for the entire design.

iStockphoto

I’m trying out iStockphoto :)

One of three images:

bar_chart_ninjas_s

Ubuntu Countdown 9.10

For the 3rd time in a row, one of my designs has been chosen as one of 2 options for the official Ubuntu countdown banner :)

Besides the official options, there are PHP versions that allow to have changing images even in places where no JavaScript is permitted. Such as this blog! Use one of the snippets below, thanks to Huber Florian:

Andrew Higginson’s design:

Ubuntu 9.10 Countdown

<a href="http://www.ubuntu.com"><img src="http://neogates.ath.cx/~huwa/ubuntuKarmic/karmic2.php" id="countdownimage" alt="Ubuntu 9.10 Countdown"></a>

Mine:

Ubuntu 9.10 Countdown

<a href="http://www.ubuntu.com"><img src="http://neogates.ath.cx/~huwa/ubuntuKarmic/karmic1.php" id="countdownimage" alt="Ubuntu 9.10 Countdown"></a>

Orange Woman

Pastel chalk and coloured pencils on 2 layers of paper (DIN A 3). No digital editing besides color correction and fixing the highlights in the eyes, as they didn’t appear like on the original. Drawn as birthday present for my dad. He really likes oranges and poppy ;)

orange_woman
Full size 1675 x 2842 pixels

The Deer and the Dryad

Made as a birthday present. So I wanted something warm, nice and friendly, but otherwise didn’t second guess the ideas building up in front of my inner eye :)

Contains tiny, no-details nudity, so it should be safe for work in most places ;)


Full size: 831 x 1024 pixel

Chalk and crayons on layout paper. Only colour correction and minor clean-up happened in the digital realm.