|See that background, behind the "K"? You will see more of it in the future :)|
Another week has flown by, and what a week it has been! We are getting closer and closer to cracking the future themes for Plasma as well as Applications visuals. Ideas for layouts are being hammered together and there is plenty of things milling around in the VDG. Consider this blog the Beta to our Alpha work. We are one step ahead of it but present things as they get nailed definitely. So what you see here is the work done the week before the last.
First off lets talk about releases. We all know how these things are supposed to go: some teasing and then at a given date "The Big Reveal". Not so with the next version of Plasma. One of the things that I am so completely over-the-moon about with the way the Plasma Devs are handling the release for Plasma is that it will be done incrementally. What that means is that beyond the basics - the cool backend things, some slight visual changes - the first release of Plasma wont be anything drastic. The next release of Plasma will contain a little bit more in terms of change. The one after that a little bit more.
Why this slow pace? Because it's one thing knowing that your ideas and changes are sound and correct - another to see how we all react to them IRL. By changing bit by bit there is more room for community participation - for everyone to try them, see what they think, give feedback and suggestions and change or add to them if we have to - when there isn't ten thousand different things that are changed, hinging on each others existence to work.
This may not be great for marketing - everyone likes to write about a big splash - but it will be an insane improvement for the community and when the choice is between those two... well you know which side of the toast our bread is buttered on. :-)
Then lets talk about community participation! Now you all know that there are plenty of things to take part in the forums I hope? Plenty of ideas waiting to be commented on, plenty of dev's looking for design help. This is one of the best easiest ways to help KDE in a very practical way. Don't be shy. Jump in and get the ball rolling if you have a great idea or better yet look at the ones who need help and we will try to get you in contact with the devs :)
I also want to give a shout-out to one of the community participants for being an inspiration to me personally, you rock! (but who wants to be anonymous sadly)
Now let's get down to the moodboard! Two weeks ago this moodboard was posted in our group as a way of describing the theme we chose before that (presented in last weeks Monday Report). Now a moodboard is a way to define and describe the theme and the emotions so that all members of a team can grasp it, find it accessible and as a center around which to communicate further about other ideas.
The tricky bit with moodboards for something so big and complex as the Plasma Next desktop unlike say a printed publication or an ad-campaign is that you often find yourself striking too far out or being too specific - I think this one was a nice mix of it all and shows the look we're going for. Something clean, something futuristic but still bright, "hopeful and human without being too clingy" as it was described. (from top left to bottom right - Eve from Wall-E, City Scape from mirrors edge, "Futuristic City", "Cleaner", Flat Android Icons, Still from 2001 - A Space Odyssey, A lightbulb and a Pantone Card, Still from Mirrors Edge and A redone Star Trek Federation Insignia)
Colors. What about colors? The eagle-eyed among you may notice the Pantone card in the moodboard but before you link it with the end result I should post the correct color guide.
Now picking colors is a huge and tricky subject, its dangerous and involved a massive amount of debate. But when one of us (Cuan I think it was) posted the main colors to this we had a winner. The combination of greyscale hinting towards the blue side of the color scale and a stronger and lighter version of blue as main spot color played well together.
Combine that with a broad swath of strong colors from the other sides of the color wheel to counteract the blue-grey scale and use them sparingly to create striking visual change at times - a powerful exclamation mark when needed.
You may notice the transparency levels on the right. We will stick with those three levels of transparencies in all situations to avoid clashes and tricky details that may make: Transparencies are complex - especially in large flat work-communities with a lot of different designers and devs at play.
Now remember that colors are tightly connected to the individual themes - this is for the two base themes that are being planned - but the colors will be used for all visuals for Plasma Next, marketing, logos and imagery, and my hope is that they will find their way into further design work within the KDE application ecosystem.
There is a final tiny thing about colors - Sunburst Yellow - some have claimed that it feels "dirty" or "smudged" - but we will stick to it for now and see how everything pans out.
What about icons, well that's an interesting subject - we have some rather interesting news not only about Fabians systemtray icons, Acidtrays icon theme (yes a new icon theme) but also Andrew Lakes icon work. There will be more info of this next monday report.
Another thing coming next week are details on visuals and shapes - there are some nice news coming there too :) (soo many fun things that are still secrets .... iiiih)
So next time - there will be more and more community information coming along and of course next monday more about Plasma.