F12 Wallpaper Sprinting

UPDATE: The links to the full-size images were actually linking to smaller thumbnails; I updated these where I could so they point to the full 2048×1536 wallpapers.

I've been working with Jon McCann, Charlie Brej, Nicu Buculei, Jeremy Perry, María Leandro, and Ian Weller's help and critique the past few days on trying to come up with a slicker version of the F12 background for the final. 1 newly color-managed Thinkpad, 4 Gimp brushes, several CC-BY and CC-BY-SA textures from Flickr, 2 dozen SLR photos of shower water, and 62 mockups later… this is what we have so far. Please let me know what you think. We are working to get it packaged by this coming Tuesday so we can make it, and be awesome while we’re at it. If you have any suggestions or modifications you’d like to propose please reply here or on design-team at lists dot fedoraproject dot org.


The GIMP XCF source is available: 62.xcf.gz.

How to Provide Helpful Critique

Some folks understandably believe art and design are stuffs enshrouded in a mysterious haze of incense smoke without much logic or reason involved. I get it. I’ve been there too, and I think it’s easy to feel that way – discussions about art works sometimes get a bad reputation for being anywhere from fussy, to bizarre, to completely pointless.

You may find solace in the fact that there’s actually plenty of logical principles and elements and a vocabulary for them that can be use to discuss such works in a productive manner that doesn’t involve ‘invoking an embodiment of emotive symbolism’ or similar. I strongly recommend you explore some of this vocabulary, as not only will it help you more effectively communicate your critique but reading through a brief survey of basic design principles will probably even help you explain why you feel a particular way about an element of a work you’re critiquing. Some basic resources:

The Progression

Mosaico by María Leandro

Created with Inkscape.

Mosaic Glow by Máirín Duffy

Created with Gimp using a photo by Nicu Buculei.

Constantine Perspective Mosaico by María Leandro and Máirín Duffy

Created in Inkscape.

Mosaic Tiles by Máirín Duffy and María Leandro

Created in Inkscape and Gimp.

Mosaico Tilt by Máirín Duffy and María Leandro

Created in Inkscape and Gimp.

Mosaico Tiles Rain by Máirín Duffy

Created in Inkscape and Gimp.

Pastel Rain by Máirín Duffy

Created in Gimp

Splash 1 by Máirín Duffy

Created in In Gimp

Bubbly Splash by Máirín Duffy

Created in Gimp, using an animated Gimp brush created by Charlie Brej.

Splash 2 by Máirín Duffy

Created in Gimp.

Clean Drops by Máirín Duffy

Created in Gimp.

These are all Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0. Please feel free to use them!

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

About Máirín Duffy

Máirín is a principal interaction designer at Red Hat. She is passionate about software freedom and free & open source tools, particularly in the creative domain: her favorite application is Inkscape. You can read more from Máirín on her blog at blog.linuxgrrl.com.


27 thoughts on “F12 Wallpaper Sprinting

  1. The care that you and the Design team have put into evolving these designs over the course of F12 is not just commendable but really outstanding. I have been darn happy with the F12 Beta wallpaper but I think the new design is even better, and I’m glad you showed here the history of how the graphics have played off ideas from different people and even spawned some really cool collaborations between community members.

    Nice work!

    Posted by Paul W. Frields | October 24, 2009, 12:38 am
  2. this was actually quite helpful to me too, and I’m on the same team! My long shifts and no internet make me miss a lot sometimes. I was kind of wondering how we got to this point in IRC tonight and now I know! *claps with glee*

    Posted by Michael Beckwith | October 24, 2009, 12:58 am
  3. I think that the new wallpaper “Clean Drops” is too bright. It looks very similar to Windows 7 wallpaper ( http://www.f-secure.com/weblog/archives/Windows7_Downadup_Autorun_inf.png )

    I like the colors of current wallpaper “Mosaic Tiles” and it fits well with Clearlooks. “Splash 1” looks good to me but it is a bit too chaotic.

    Posted by Jack | October 24, 2009, 3:33 am
    • That wallpaper actually looks very similar to the Fedora 9 “Waves” wallpaper. “Clean Drops” doesn’t look that close.

      What “Clean Drops” does look similar to is KDE’s Air wallpaper.

      Posted by Kevin Kofler | October 26, 2009, 1:05 pm
  4. Sorry maybe is a little OT but I wanted to show this to someone.

    I’ve been using the same wallpaper for about 4 years, then at October I wanted something new. I’ve changed my mind a thousand times at the end this is my desktop:

    As you can see Gimp is quite different, thx to Compiz now I have only the pictures items in the panel. The toolbox is thin and with no close/maximize/minimize buttons on top and the size is fixed, all the windows excluding the picture are always on top.

    Posted by Mirko | October 24, 2009, 4:33 am
    • Hi Mirko, thanks for pointing out that wallpaper. I actually tried to adapt some of its style but was running short on time to perfect it. I think that kind of effect would be cool to explore for another wallpaper though. Thanks again for the idea!

      Posted by mairin | October 27, 2009, 11:50 pm
  5. You are very talented.

    I like the splash ones.


    Posted by Tim | October 24, 2009, 6:24 am
  6. Aaaaargh, I’m blind!

    Seriously, it looks good to me but the upper right corner is by far too bright. On the other hand, I never liked Wallpapers that remind me of edge bleeding TFT’s but maybe that is just me. 🙂

    Posted by Torben | October 24, 2009, 7:00 am
  7. I also prefer the current wallpaper in the Beta — Mosaic Tiles. The new one is good too, but the top right corner is too bright. It would be nice if Mosaic Tiles could be the default with the new one as an additional wallpaper

    Posted by Seth | October 24, 2009, 9:06 am
  8. Most of them are way too bright and distracting. I prefer the beta wallpaper really.

    Posted by Rahul Sundaram | October 24, 2009, 3:15 pm
  9. Glad to see the progression on the default wallpaper. I like the direction you’re going with it. Bright, clean, professional.

    Posted by Leif | October 24, 2009, 3:23 pm
  10. I have to agree with the opinion about the top-right corner being to bright, it really draws your attention there.

    Posted by Nicu | October 26, 2009, 7:30 am
    • We’ve since discussed this, but the final version does address that issue. Thanks to everyone who pointed it out; toning it down really makes a big positive difference.

      Posted by mairin | October 27, 2009, 11:53 pm
  11. i enjoy it. thanks! anything that is blue usually gets +5 in my books. i have to be honest and say that i like “splash 1” and “splash 2” even more. yay for all the options 🙂

    Posted by james | October 26, 2009, 10:31 am
  12. great work. “clear drops” wallpaper is very neat. (I should also mention I loved the splash 1 &2).

    PS: And I also *really* like the mosaic tiles work too 🙂

    Posted by kashyap | October 28, 2009, 5:16 am
  13. I like the color of water, so help us, who are often too long in front of the computer, do not make my eyes tired
    matching color selection … good job

    Posted by al | November 5, 2009, 6:16 pm
  14. *80*.png is way much kooler than *62*.png.
    Just my 2 cents…

    Posted by Coschuetzer | November 6, 2009, 7:51 am
  15. I also like the last one.
    Just a remark however (I think it has already been said) : The upper right corner seems a bit too bright.
    I’ve also a question for the future releases :
    Do you (the fedora artists team) have any plan to make different color themes ?
    I know the blue is the Fedora flagship color, but it would be great to associate it with other colors, in order to make a collection of wallpapers that can fit with any themes.
    Anyway, you are already doing a great work !

    Posted by Stéphane | November 8, 2009, 8:32 am


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