Monday 25 May 2009

OSGeo Branding

One of my aims with the OSGeo Foundation is to always be working on the Brand. To that end I have been pushing for member projects to share a common theme (yes that goes way beyond the idea of a little OSGeo logo in the corner of a home page).

Compare the impression made by these these two foundations:
This week I have an oppertunity to put my money where my month is - GeoTools is looking to set up a website (rather than our initial wiki page).

The idea would be to set up OSGeo project and committee websites in a similar manner.

The far side has the OSGeo logo in the corder identifying the role of the webite (in this case an OSGeo project logo is used). A bare minimum of OSGeo links under the logo; along with I hope a roll of images (both sponsors and osgeo activites) such as the foss4g link shown. Under this we could have news for the group (as shown) or perhaps a navigation tree (as per this example) or nothing. I experimented with making this a floating box ontop of the background - and it looked really nifty (but more complicated). I rejected it as it made OSGeo involvement feel like an afterthought.

A minimal navigation bar along the top; where I hope we can identify a few common headings. It would be good to move the current "project", "pages" closer to the projects they describe - perhaps as the "About" page?

The main area in this case has a two column layout; I expect this area to be single column for documentation pages.

How did I pull this together?
- grabbed the basic structure from my udig site; the MapServer community is using Sphinx so I may take that as a recommendation
- background from this presentation template - (I still need to find the background without the gradient applied in order to produce images like the CD cover from the marketting material)
- heading colors - using a paint program (#004d87 - hopefully when these materials are published they will include RGB/CMKY/Pantone)
- osgeo project logo and font selection from here - (Bitstream Vera Sans - the logo use guidelines are written up for the previous logo - but they are very clear)
- I had to fool around with photoshop a bit to reproduce some of the effects from the marketting materials such as the green gradients.

In working on this I found a couple cases where the marketting materials are not consistent with our logo guidelines (insufficient white space around the logo; placing the logo over a complicated background; use of different colors; etc...).

Others effects look amazing - but I was unable to reproduce for a website (the use of white lettering with a blue drop shadow over top of the crop circle background - only works if I can find the background without the gradient applied).

I welcome feedback on this one; the GeoTools community is sure to provide me with some - and I am trotting these ideas out to the Marketting committee as well.

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