[ux] great meeting last week, let's keep it going

Isabela isabela at riseup.net
Wed Jul 13 13:42:10 UTC 2016

Hello everyone -- I am sorry for this late note but I have a conflict
today :( I had schedule a while back to be at this conference today and
it conflicts with our meeting. I am very sorry I will be missing it.

Phil -- sorry for not addressing your email  -- will do another time tho!


On 07/08/2016 10:41 AM, Philip Lammert wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> sorry to let you wait for my promised mail. Didn’t want to raise any
> obstacles for Elio and the style guide work. Let’s bring this on!
> 1. What can be done in an IRC meeting?
> 2. How can we manage and advance a dynamic brand design?
> 3. Feedback to Elio’s style guide drafts
> 4. Thoughts on a further brand design in advance
> 5. Thoughts on a very basic style guide
> Here we go …
> Besides the unclear point of what the extent of our basic style guide in
> the end should be and what my contribution to this could be, last
> meeting I had too many thoughts on the current drafts that I couldn’t
> express them fast enough. I also hesitated because it does not seem very
> productive to discuss all the details in that circle. I thought the
> meeting was about getting to know Elio and a first impression of the
> style guide. But of course we want to finish this groundwork quickly.
> I’ll use this mail to give feedback on Elio’s drafts and I hope it will
> make clear that if we are really talking about a basic style guide here,
> that we should reduce it to our few basic elements to leave enough space
> for branding ambitions and to not add any new elements or concepts that
> anticipate decisions and lead to a wrong direction.
> So, what should we use the meetings for when we discuss designs? I think
> Elio did a good job explaining his vision of the branding architecture.
> There should have been more time for explaining other design decisions,
> but I interrupted the discussion because of my general concerns. The
> explicit design decisions I mentioned—such as the logo application on
> dark backgrounds—were just to explain that there is yet too much of a
> brand design with new elements, not to discuss it in detail and serve
> explicit solutions. I think that can’t be done in an appropriate manner
> during a chat meeting. (Or maybe that is just my opinion as I am not
> very fast responding). And as a designer I think, before I can say what
> a distinct solution is, I need to visualize a few options. You can’t
> just talk about design. So, a meeting could be more about presenting
> designs and justifying design decisions and in response give feedback
> (correcting directions and saying what should be solved) not alternate
> solutions. That means that Elio and I—or later the designer
> section—should talk before presenting.
> Isabela mentioned it, there is no established process yet. How do we
> advance our basic style guide? If anyone will work on the brand design
> in future, how can we ensure quality? There has to be an agreement
> before adding or changing the style guide. So, if Elio’s work is
> finished, how can we keep up the process? Will the only decision makers
> be the people from the meeting? Who of the staff has to be involved? Who
> should be to not make it too complicated.
> The concerns I have about the final kick-off style guide is that it
> might give a manifested impression. We might be to cautious about
> changes. Ok, you told me we will not. I’ll deal with that for now :) The
> other concern is that, if it’s a PDF, it will find its ways to the
> coding community and people might take it for absolute. Or at least for
> the project they started working on. A solution would be only having the
> wiki and always referring to it. Especially in the beginning there
> should be a note that it is a dynamic brand design and that it is worth
> a second view during a UX or whatsoever working process.
> I am referring to the PDF here.
> Page 1: The logo is a great version of the current logo tidied up
> without getting away from its origin to far. The light yellow background
> is a new element. It is a difficult thing and should be tested carefully
> before. I also tried out Tor designs working with this background color,
> but couldn’t find a satisfying solution yet. Maybe we should advise
> against it for now and recommend working on white.
> The negative logo does not work well. It obviously looks like the
> reverse version of the right logo. You wouldn’t do that with a black and
> white photo, change white for black and black for white. We need an
> adaption here, but that might be too much for a basic style guide. I
> totally like and support that purple as a background color, but for now
> we should advise against it.
> The monochrome logo works fine.
> Page 2: I’m fine with the brand architecture. For now this might work.
> But Lato is a humanist typeface and does not look good set in capital
> letters. How does a longer subbrand name look like?
> Page 3: Material design application: The colored onion on purple does
> not work fine. Optically there is only left the light yellow cut out
> part of the onion. The purple side of the bulb, which would be the
> shadow side, looks wrong when the onion has a darker shadow. As our
> primary color is purple, we should find a version that supports
> application on such background. For now, should it be a white background?
> Page 4: The Lato font—I don’t see any connection to the Tor identity.
> I’d say typography is an important decision. For a new logo we would
> need awareness and time. So, let’s not rush here neither. I’d say, for
> now Arial is working fine. It has no neutral expression, but it looks
> like no conscious decision led to this typography. This leaves room for
> later.
> Sorry for blocking so many impulses, but everything we constitute now
> will anticipate decisions and make later decisions more difficult. Here
> is how a conscious and conceptual design process could look like. It’s
> just two examples from a mail to Elio. I hope this makes clear why all
> these details are important.
> The purple green color code is huge problem. You won’t believe I already
> spent hours on that. If you do an image search on „logo purple green“
> all the results look horrible. Thinking of well-known brands I could
> only think of the German mobilcom debitel, but it is more blue than
> purple. In a first step, without considering the performance
> (type/background), I come to two conclusions. The color code looks
> better, when the values are approximating, meaning a blueish purple
> rather than a reddish purple and solid or blueish green rather than a
> yellowish or brownish. And the contrast looks better when it still works
> in grayscale, meaning a dark purple and a light, less saturated green. I
> came to Purple CMYK 90/100/40/0 (#482c63), which in contrast to white
> still looks like purple (unless you use purple type). And the Green CMYK
> 40/0/90/0 (#afcb37). With a Light Yellow CMYK 5/0/35/0 (#f8f4bd) which
> still allows a contrast to white. Now in practice using these colors you
> can’t put a green regular type on the light yellow background. A Green
> CMYK 45/0/100/0 (#a2c617) type would be a good compromise, given that
> the type is only set on white background. Maybe we can use the light
> yellow only for the logo onion and as a tertiary color for special
> applications such as info bubbles or other highlights. For tabular line
> backgrounds we could define a light green pendant using only black type.
> For type on screen a dark grey type on white background has a friendlier
> contrast rather than a black type. A gray tone could be based on the
> purple, which is #484848 (CMYK 0/0/0/75). If we want purple headlines we
> would need to make my defined purple lighter. What do you think? Do you
> understand and have the same concerns? What do you think about my
> suggestions.
> I like that you use purple as a primary color and not the green. It is
> more confident and differentiating. A primary green looks a bit sick or
> spacey/slimy/zombielike to me. Let’s leave the green to the organic
> industry :) I think the community would rather wear a green Tor shirt
> than a purple shirt, but I guess that’s a special application … and
> there is always a black option.
> […]
> How do you describe your choice of Lato? With its classic/humanist
> proportions it has a friendly look when set in small text sizes. But in
> headline sizes you notice these incoherent half-rounded stroke endings.
> They are characteristic, but at the same time a bit awkward. Or am I too
> conservative here?
> Where do we place the brand values? Is Tor more friendly? Do we want to
> take focus on the people behind it and therefore use a humanist typeface
> which refers to handwritten/scribe origins (Lato, Calibri, Myriad,
> Verdana, Lucida Sans …)? As a “human voice“ of the project? Or do we
> want to say Tor is a strong instrument made to be steady and lasting.
> Therefore we could use a construed Neo-Grotesque typeface (Helvetica,
> Univers, Futura, Eurostile …)
> A compromise could be Source Sans or Fira. Fira is a Neo-Humanist
> typeface. It has no classic proportions, still it has a  friendly
> humanist/dynamic stroke. Besides it could be tagged as correspondence
> typeface as it is based on Meta which is based on Letter Gothic, the
> first Sans Serif Monospaced typeface. Correspondance typefaces have
> rather condensed proportions, maybe an i with head serif and narrow M,
> like in monospaced fonts. Correspondence would fit conceptually to Tor
> because of privacy in communication? Or am I drifting off here? :)
> Source Sans is an American Grotesque, I would say. Like most of the
> Gothic-named. Oswald is a free Gothic, but also the ugliest.
> Maybe we should try out a few options here.“
> Am I thinking tooo basic if I say the style guide should be like a
> three-pager for now? A logo, logo uses, an average/arbitrary green and a
> purple, a basic („websafe“) font. We don’t abolish all the ideas of
> business cards and slides. They are important model applications of the
> brand elements for the immediately following process. I think during a
> brand design process there needs to be stuff evolved either way.
> Otherwise you can’t decide whether the elements work or not. That means
> that the basic style guide would be more a basis for the further brand
> design process rather than design advise for applications. Still people
> would have a design guideline for their work and couldn’t make anything
> wrong.  
> Yep, that’s why I said I’d write to the mailing list and not write it
> down in the chat :) Please don’t take this long mail for absolute
> advise. This is my contribution to the discourse. I hope it doesn’t
> intimidate Elio. Let’s keep on designing this brand right after the
> initial work! And if we decide that all these concerns obstruct our
> kick-off, I’ll be fine with the white logo on purple :) We’ll change
> that later. It is more important to keep this stone rolling.
> Best regards
> Philip
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