This post has generated an awful lot of hits. A new edition has come down the revision pipe. It has attempted to bring back a little more colour, as well as re-attach some of the little heads, although one has been lost in the translation. If there is one thing that impresses me about this foray into the non pablum milk of FOSS design, it is the very real fact that the design still has a certain degree of compositional value with the main heron element. That said, I still firmly believe that the overall compositional balance has been thrown out as a direct result of misplaced colour selection in the actual heron and the further reduction of background contrasting elements.
When Ashton Lafferty first put the Fela Kuti work he created up on the official Ubuntu wiki, I was impressed. It was contemporary in styling, well executed, and extremely artistic in craftsmanship.
It inspired me enough to remix it into a less minimalistic look -- something that I thought might suit the tone of the piece and twist it into a larger stylistic presence. I had very little idea that it would end up getting tried on in Ubuntu proper, let alone in the remixed version I posted. A quick and brutal hack with some simple compositional cues, and poof, the next thing it is in Ubuntu main. Strange world.
What Ashton's Fela Kuti had going for it:
- Contemporary. Hard to place a finger on, but certainly well within contemporary and progressive design trends.
- Stylized. Ashton gets a big pat on the back from me in this department.
- Non-monochromatic. Read colorful. Phew.
- Artistic. Finally a piece of work that demonstrated an actual application of artistic merit.
Let me preface this by stating loud and clear that I was well aware of the shortcomings of my original remix. Briefly:
- It was quick and ugly. Probably not suitable for prime time by a long margin.
- It was an exercise in demonstration -- what I personally thought Ashton's work might be better served as being if fleshed out further.
- Related to (1), it was a duplication of the original image into a more complex image. This generally irks me as it really looks lazy. That said, I wasn't able to duplicate the style in the extremely limited time committed to the demonstration. This meant that I was a slave to duplicating the original image. At best one could argue it was a stylistic choice. In reality, it was a byproduct of the reality of limited time and probably something akin to deconstructionism rather than what it should have been -- more time spent honing the style into new shapes.
- All things considered, the oversight of the unfortunate placing of the red Ubuntu tone could also be accredited to (1). That said, somewhere I still hear people looking at those Rorschach tests saying "All I can see is knives and death." To quote De Quincy, "Men whose work is of oxen, shall dream of oxen."
Then it happened.
- We-must-make-it-monochromatic-itus. Oopsie one.
- We-will-try-to-gut-the-style-and-integrate-it-into-gdm. Oopsie two.
- We-will-get-rid-of-the-blood-but-not-take-two-seconds-to-do-it-properly-lazy. Oopsie three, complete with regions of detached little mini-humanesque-heads.
- Absolute-monochromatic-itus-of-background-looks-like-every-other-piece-of-Ubuntu-rubbish-almost-vista-gutsy-garbage. Oopsie four.
Last remix completed by myself. Sources here:
March 26, 2008 Ubuntu main version:
April 9, 2008 Ubuntu main in repository version: