Hi Bernhard, Christoph, all,

I know this isn't something on our current to-do list or a priority, but I've been watching the talk about the soon-to-be-launched Lib/O site;

I know this is a work-in-progress and I see the hard work that was put into its realisation. So I don't mean to undermine any efforts so far. But if the site is going to be live, I'd like to help address the overall appearance so it doesn't look so "raw". I've uploaded a couple of quick mock-ups here;

They show a potential arrangement for the Homepage and an example of a two-tiered navigation. (Past usability concerns about this type of horizontal menu bar can be addressed using some intelligent JavaScript). If I've jumped the gun, or contributed unnecessarily on a topic that has already been finalised, my apologies and no harm done.
I just want to help ensure Lib/O puts its best foot forward.

On a less helpful note, I wrote this Email (below) some time ago in response to the icons. For some reason it wasn't received by the list. I've included it below because I still feel that the concern I raised should be aired while discussion on the branding is still relevant. I hope you find time to read it even though it is somewhat long, but I'll understand if you don't get a chance (it *IS* Christmas after all).

Happy Holidays everyone!

PS. I know this is probably more relevant to the Website list but I didn't want to cross-post and I thought it warranted discussion on the Design list first.
In case I've made a mistake.

UNRECEIVED EMAIL;----------------------------------------

Hi Bernhard, Christoph, all,

Christoph Noack wrote:
> Okay, but - at the moment - you might be more interested in the page
> I've already mentioned:
> http://wiki.documentfoundation.org/User:ChristophNoack/Initial_MIME_Icons

Can a be a real wet sock and just bring up a concern quickly before everything is set in concrete regarding the file icons? I noticed that the icons carry on from the current logo design. While the logo design concept of the dog-eared document is iconic and intuitive, I think the implementation of the logo needs some work before it looks like a professional brand. But that may just be my opinion.

What is more relevant right now is the derived styling of the mime-type icons and the "reflective surface" in particular. I'll be bold and get straight to the point: I think there is no need for those icons to be reflective or "shiny".

The Document Foundation (TDF) and LibreOffice have a real opportunity to build a very strong brand from scratch. One that isn't driven by Internet-popularised trends like Web2.0 reflections. That's an opportunity to carve a distinct identity free from design fads and trends. The "reflection" will lose favour in time and stop being "new" soon. TDF should create a look that is unique and specific to it's character and purpose.

Paper is the heart of the Design concept of TDF right now if I'm not mistaken. I've never seen a piece of paper reflect light like a metallic object. Let's stick to the properties of common paper for our Design inspiration and we'll be more consistent for having done so;
Flat, smooth, porous and fibrous = Honest, simple, warm and natural.

This is just a request. But I hope you'll consider it an important one for getting our brand right? I know I'm raising concerns without offering solutions and I know it may not be practical to do so at this time. I'm sure I'm being idealistic while you're all being pragmatic, but I just thought it was worth asking in case it was an oversight.


PS. I'm guilty of using more than my fair share of the shine/reflection, but the first time I heard the name "The Document Foundation" I just knew this wouldn't be the place for that kind of Design. It just doesn't suit the cause. I hope I'm being more constructive and less obstructive. For what it's worth, I like the icons, I just don't think they're entirely appropriate?

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