Fedora 12’s default wallpaper

We took your feedback into account, had another IRC sprint session and came up with something we’re all pretty happy with:

2048 x 1536, single-screen

2048 x 1536, dual-screen

Super-special thanks go to Rex Dieter, Martin Sourada, and Ian Weller for getting these packaged on time and helping out!

The artwork was inspired by the codename of Fedora 12, “Constantine,” who brought order from the chaos of the old Roman empire as he is credited with the foundation of the Byzantine Empire. We played around with visually representing order from chaos, first by representing order as ’tiles’ and chaos as ‘clouds’ interacting with one another, but in this last set of wallpaper sprints resulted in the order being represented by light and chaos as scattered translucent circles. In between these solutions, one visual representation that was considered was water droplets (chaos) vs a stream of water (order).

Yes, I can see your eyes are glazing over and your head is starting to droop to the side. All right then, let’s just say it just looks cool and is blue! 🙂

I really hope you enjoy this new wallpaper. I know it’s not animated like Fedora 8’s was – we need to plan that into the schedule better. The animated variants completely slipped my mind when we planned the F12 schedule with John Poelstra so we’ll have to remember that for F13. Psssst! If you are interested in hacking on some animated Fedora 12 wallpapers to go into F12 post-GA please talk to me or contact the design team list at design-team at lists dot fedoraproject dot org. It could be a great opportunity for you to get started with the Fedora Design team; we’ll help you learn how the animated wallpapers work (they’re really not tough at all) and help you get them packaged.

Speaking of F13, a couple things I would love to hear your suggestions on regarding the F13 theme artwork process:

  1. How can we (the Fedora Design Team) improve the artwork process so more folks are delighted with the work, but the artists themselves are not overloaded with unrealistic expectations and the impossible task of trying to please everyone? (I’m really not trying to be provocative here 🙂 )
  2. What ideas do you have for the theme? Should we stick with the loose coupling to the release codename, or should we do something different?

For #1, I have a few random ideas. I really liked how we did live sprints in IRC to get the wallpapers done. The one thing that scares me about wallpapers, as someone who’s worked on them several times in the past, is that they quickly become a huge time suck and you may never end up satisfying folks no matter how much time you invest. We went through well over 82 mockups to arrive at the design we settled on. We could have easily taken up more time. I don’t think we have the resources to spend that much design team time.We couldplan some live sprint sessions in IRC, and ensure that at least 3-4 key design team members can be present at each session (maybe switching up the times so different design team members can participate). There could be a sprint session per wallpaper milestone, and we have to live with the result of that sprint after it. Honestly, we were arriving at designs we thought would probably be fine as a wallpaper in the 30’s, but kept going towards the 80’s because we really wanted something we didn’t feel like we rushed too much on. So I don’t think saying – ‘get it done in this time period and at the end, live with it’ means that we’ll live with crappy wallpapers. I think it just means, we all have other things we need to work on, and noodling on wallpapers will suck up every piece of free time you give it! Wallpapers are never really “done,” perhaps…

For #2, I just don’t know. I think the tie to the release codename is cool, and I’m not sure how we’d come up with a theme otherwise. We used to have a voting process, but that divided the team’s efforts – right when we should be working together, we ended up working against each other, and we had many people feeling like ‘losers’ in a competition. I would like to see us working more as a team, together. Maybe the Fedora Design team could do a brainstorming session for that. Take idea submissions from across the Fedora Community, and then the design team will meet and decide on which proposal we feel most excited about developing.

Anyway, I hope this post is met with delight and not groans…. but let us know about the groans (be productive though! Check out my little “How to Provide Helpful Critique” guide here) so we can adjust accordingly for F13. We’re always trying to improve the process – this is our first Fedora release we’ve had artwork drafts in the alpha! – so just let us know!

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.


22 thoughts on “Fedora 12’s default wallpaper

  1. Funny thing, two releases in a row I much prefer the beta artwork to the final artwork. Unfortunately for me, I never really have time to give that feedback, but I really like where you guys end up either way.

    I think this is already happening, but just in case it isn’t. Maybe it would be good to include the beta artwork as a package in the final release as well?



    Posted by Clint Savage | October 28, 2009, 12:39 am
  2. I used to prefer Beta wallpaper to earlier version (I think it was too bright on top right corner) but I like this new version is better.

    It’s really interesting to see how wallpaper evolve during release cycle and how community actually can involve how things go forward.

    Clearlooks theme, new XDG icons and a beautiful wallpaper makes this the best looking Fedora (distro) ever.

    Art Team did an excellent job!

    Posted by Jack | October 28, 2009, 1:11 am
  3. The IRC sprint session was fun, but due to large timezone difference I think is not very wise to rely on it as a major, scheduled tool. And I also think it would be better to have all developing earlier, even if at a much slower pace, so there is no need for such rush and stress.

    Posted by Nicu | October 28, 2009, 3:42 am
    • This release first wallpaper was out really early but it missed feedback. Later in development cycle you’ve got more feedback as more people install it. But again – it’s too late. So one idea – something like test days for features, like artwork day would be nice – downloadable images with latest artwork, blogging, artwork day wiki page with latest wallpapers + other artwork and designers sitting behind computers and listening to complains and fixing them online. I really like test days, it’s great idea – developers and users working one day together 😀

      Posted by jreznik | October 28, 2009, 9:01 am
      • Yeah, it would be super-fun if my employer (who all he know about fedora is *something* i like to spend my free time with) would allow me to spend dome full days on this 😀

        Posted by Nicu | October 28, 2009, 9:58 am
      • Yeah, it would be nice to spend all my time working on Fedora, sleeping is overrated action! But artwork team can manage more timezones, same as other teams do it – one developer is from Europe, another from US. It can be handled. And testers write report on Wiki.

        Posted by jreznik | October 29, 2009, 4:55 am
  4. Great work! I really like that wallpaper! Also, I love the choice to go with Clearlooks as the default theme and the enhanced Mist icons!

    For F13, what I really want to see is the icon mess cleared up. The fedora theme is shipping some ancient Bluecurve icons which should be removed. Then we have NetworkManager using old-style GNOME icons for signal strength and connection state, which should obviously be replaced by the new Tango variants. Finally, all of the system-config-* tools should get Tango artwork to match the rest of the system.

    Posted by Tom | October 28, 2009, 4:29 am
  5. How can we recruit you to work on Debian instead? Fedora Art folks rock.

    Posted by Debin | October 28, 2009, 5:17 am
  6. The beta artwork was a whole lot better though

    Posted by Friendya | October 28, 2009, 6:40 am
  7. For #1 – sometimes it’s not easy for me to be in touch with whole design team, I try to watch mailing list and I think I’m quite active there but I don’t have time to watch all IRC channels I should, all other communication channels etc… So for me – central place is mailining list – would be great to do more announcements there, then I can join IRC etc… I know many times it is but also many times I miss it.

    For #2 – some link should remain – one issue I see are Fedora release codenames. It’s not easy to imagine some codenames and find one real root element of it. Fedora is well-known for it. With Fn-1 connection some codenames are just codenames – tou can’t do any marketing around it and it miss feelings. My one cent.

    For me, I’m not against going far from codename theme, it would be probably nonsence to go with another theme than codename.

    Posted by jreznik | October 28, 2009, 9:11 am
  8. [I am not active on the community, so please bear with me if I am not well informed before I make my suggestion here.]

    Too many suggestions may spoil the wallpaper? Since nothing is going to please everyone and there is a team meant for artwork, shouldn’t it be only their decision, considering any number of factors? I mean, if it is official, let it be official.

    The community can fill in for the team if there is any ‘lack’ of ideas or whenever the team needs feedback (I don’t know if this is against the spirit of the whole process). I take it that the final aim is to represent fedora and the particular release of fedora. Beyond that, there are any number of ways by which the popular variants can be available for download/packaged up?

    Plus, it is kind of sad to see great work done for a version (I still love bubbles and dna and what not) not packaged with the next release. Why can’t the legacy be accumulated?

    Posted by sojourner | October 28, 2009, 11:19 am
    • Well, despite receiving high praises for the artwork in F8-F11, is seems we in the Design Team didn’t got ourselves in the position to be considered able to make a good decision by some important stakeholders in the community.

      Unfortunately artwork ins some old releases (like FC5 “bubbles”, FC6 “DNA”, F7 “Flying High”) make use of the trademarked Fedora logo, so they can’t be distributed as CC-BY-SA, as the rest of the artwork, we would have to package them under a more restrictive license (no modifications allowed). But they definitely can be packaged, we need only someone to carry the packaging work (the images are available).

      Posted by Nicu | October 28, 2009, 11:42 am
  9. A new constantine-kde-theme matching the new wallpaper has been built and tagged into dist-f12. Thanks to jreznik for the new KDM and KSplash themes and to rdieter for handling the quick tagging.

    Posted by Kevin Kofler | October 29, 2009, 2:04 am
  10. wow! just loved the wallpaper! especially the dual screen one!

    Posted by theG | October 29, 2009, 4:13 pm
  11. Can you make it like fedora 8 wallpapers , i mean change during day time
    i mean morning, afternoon, evening
    i think it will be more beautiful

    Posted by Ahmed Ibrahem | October 30, 2009, 7:55 pm
  12. Nice ! I vote for it
    “Maybe the Fedora Design team could do a brainstorming session for that.”
    Maybe we read this :

    Posted by Catalin | October 31, 2009, 6:54 am
  13. To be honest, I prefer beta artwork to this one. IMHO, there is no need to try to stick to the release’s code name so much. Some relevance is sweet, but should not hurt the design. BTW, keep up the good work 🙂

    Posted by Hedayat | November 6, 2009, 9:37 am


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