[CentOS-promo] Timing: Re: CentOS Stream 9 "launch" promotion

Fri Nov 19 01:18:43 UTC 2021
Alain Reguera Delgado <alain.reguera at gmail.com>

On Thu, 2021-11-18 at 10:56 -0600, Rich Bowen wrote:
> So ... Y'all think there's any chance we can push this out next week?

Rich, wrt new logo design, I am afraid we are not ready yet.  While
making some implementation tests in CentOS Stream 9, I recently
observed two problems:

1. The symbol image in the new logo doesn't provide an acceptable level
of contrast in all the use-cases the distribution demands. For example,
if we use dark lines, it is not visible on dark backgrounds. If we use
light lines, it is not visible on light backgrounds. If we use neutral
color lines, it doesn't look good in any case.

2. The symbol image is poorly recognizable in small sizes (e.g., 16x16
pixels) as we see in Gnome Desktop, near Activities, and on the web
browser tab icon. The icon near Activities is probably the most
important image we have to identify the CentOS Project inside the
CentOS distribution because it is always visible. More than any other
image is.

These problems will be described soon with visual evidence
in https://git.centos.org/centos/Artwork/issues, looking for community
support and proposals. These are really challenging problems (at least
for me). My guess is that we will need another open design round to
solve them and the result will be visually different from what we have
now. Some points to address/think on:

- Recognition: It is probably necessary to simplify the symbol design
even more. It has too many lines, and when they are reduced, the symbol
starts to loose its meaning.

- Contrast: It is probably necessary to introduce a neutral plain color
to provide a fixed background that serves as stable base to express the
CentOS Symbol meaning on top of it. So, the CentOS Symbol looks always
the same on top of different color saturation. This has been already
proposed and rejected by me without any implementation test in the
distribution. The implementation tests threw that using only lines
doesn't provide a good visual presentation inside the distribution,
specially on icons reduced in size.

- Meaning: Whatever the solution for these problems be, it should
preserve the CentOS Symbol meaning without affecting its presentation
when the symbol is reduced to 16x16 pixels. The CentOS Symbol meaning
must be clearly expressed on that size. It must shine on that size!

Considering the problems mentioned earlier and the timelines, I would
propose to prepare the CentOS Stream 9 launch using the historical
CentOS Symbol, until we find a solution. Note, that the historical
CentOS Symbol suffers these problems as well, but it is more
recognizable than the new one. I prefer to introduce the new symbol to
CentOS distribution when it does provide a benefit. As consequence, and
to be consistent through all visual manifestations, the historical
CentOS Symbol should be preserved on websites and promotion materials.

Don't know if such thing is possible considering the intention and
immediate need of having the new brand active. I hope we can "as soon
as we are ready to do so" [1]

[1] https://git.centos.org/centos/board/issue/4#comment-483

Alain Reguera Delgado <alain.reguera at gmail.com>
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