Summer 2017 Red Hat Intern Expo

Now wrapping up summer #2 as a Red Hat intern, the 2017 Intern Expo was a relatively familiar environment. This event this year for the Boston/Westford interns was held in the Westford office on August 17th, in the same “classic middle school science fair” manner as 2016. This year, though, I came prepared with visuals, visuals, and yes, more visuals (I’m a graphic designer, it’s in my blood)! I created a site, from scratch, that I had been working on in small bits and pieces throughout the course of the summer consisting of tutorials for getting involved in the Fedora Design-Team and Fedora-Badges groups, Fedora style basics, and a library of my entire summer of work. My original hope was to create the site using Fedora Bootstrap, but because of time constraints the static-HTML-to-Bootstrap conversion didn’t happen. Because I don’t have hosting for this site and cannot attach zip folders here, I’ve attached screenshots of the site!

My setup overall was my website running on my laptop as well as printouts of more of my print media designs for easy viewing. It was great to see a few familiar faces, to show fellow Red Hatters my adventures through Fedora designing, and to see what other interns have been up to throughout the course of the summer.

Tootaloo summer 2017 *insert a royalty wave here* 🙂

 

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Reaching Beyond My Screen

I’ve been involved with Women’s Leadership Community (WLC) at Red Hat since starting my first internship last summer and about a week and a half ago (maybe two weeks ago) I heard about an opportunity that I just could not turn down. This opportunity came in the form of an outreach and mentoring-type program hosted at Boston University (BU) called the Artemis Project. The Artemis Project is coordinated by a group of four female undergraduate students studying computer science or engineering at BU to expose Boston-area 9th grade girls to the traditionally made-dominated fields referred to as STEM (science, technology, engineering, math).

The folks at Artemis reached out to Red Hat in search for a couple of women willing to speak to the girls and I, having spoken about STEM initiatives for women and served as a coordinator for the I Hate Math: Women in STEM Conference at Southern New Hampshire University, immediately responded that I wanted to be involved! My friend, colleague, and fellow designer Laura Wright also volunteered to speak, so we decided to use this platform to draw connections between graphic design and computer science.

We just finished up speaking to about 20 of these girls about who we are, what we do, what Red Hat’s identity is, and how design and user experience tie into computer science. We ended our presentation with an interactive web-application UX/design activity to simulate something similar to what Laura or myself might do on a daily basis.

Below is the “style-guide”, smartphone template, and my sample app mockup for the *hopefully* fictitious burrito joint Boston Burrito Barn. 

 

We were very impressed with some of wireframes/ mockups that some of the girls came up with and presented to the group at the end of the workshop.

A really great experience to get to be involved in 🙂 #ArtemisProject #LadiesInSTEM #OpenSourceInTheCommunity

In the spirit of enthusiasm, Laura and I commemorated the day with a “we did it” selfie with our example mockup, which I didn’t realize until that I had held up backwards anyway… but the intention was there!

file
You can pretend that you see the app mockup

Building Design Team Approved Presentations

Throughout the last month I’ve been working on creating an updated presentation template for the Fedora community to use. With Flock coming up quickly, there’s no better time to give these new templates a shot as a vehicle to present your talks!

I’ve made these templates available on three different platforms; LibreOffice Impress, reveal.js/slides.redhat, and GoogleSlides. While any of these three ways to build your slides are perfectly usable, I want to point out a few differences between the three.

  1. LibreOffice slides have SVG graphic elements, so all of the visuals will look very clear, crisp, and professional during a presentation! The only *very minor* limitation is that in using SVGs, the subtle dark blue to light blue gradient that I designed (and that is present in the other two forms) is not present here. My option with LibreOffice was to either keep the gradients but have the visuals be PNG (which resulted in a blurry appearance when enlarged) or to sacrifice the gradient but keep the quality at the high level provided with an SVG. I opted for quality over gradient use 🙂
  2. GoogleSlides… User friendly and accessible…. and apparently not accepting of SVG graphics. So this is in fact an option, but I would probably suggest one of the other formats before this one. It’s a sad day when a graphic designer’s vector art gets bimapped!
  3. reveal.js/slides.redhat is the template that I think will produce the best product for presentations, with clean SVG backgrounds AND gradients *happy dances*. I’ve embedded the reveal template below.

//redhat.slides.com/mshaksho/deck/embed?token=PEg7VVfs

It doesn’t seem that I’m able to attach the actual documents here, so if you’re interested in using any of the mentioned templates feel free to check out the Design Team ticket that they all *should* be available on. The most updated files are in the last comment of the thread. If you have any issues accessing them through the ticket, feel free to reach out to me and I will manually email them to you too 🙂

Happy presenting!

Flock ’17 Design Tickets Rollin’ In!

Last summer it was one of my main projects over the summer to work on handful of designs for Flock Krakow 2016. Now, going into this summer I’ve been working on completing designs the various print media, apparel designs, and more needed in preparation for Flock “Cod” 2017. With the conference being in my home state, I’m excited to get to be present for Flock and see my designs transformed from, first off, ideas in my mind, to vector artwork on my Inkscape artboard, to then to physical shirts, lanyards, sings, and more!

While more Design-Team tickets will likely be rolling in in the next few months, I wanted to share the projects I’ve been working on. *Note: these are not final design iterations, but rather are my springboards for further feedback and Design-Team critique. Take a look at what I’ve been doing, and any feedback is welcomed!

Anaconda Install Banners get a Makeover!

A redesign/ update for Anaconda install banners has been an ongoing project for me since the summer and has recently, in the passed month or so, had a fair amount of conversation on its Pagure ticket. I have done multiple series of iterations for these banners, and in the couple of weeks have established a design that represents the Fedora vibe. There are three, sort of, sub-categories for the banners: Common Banners, Server-specific Banners, and Desktop-specific Banners. At this point I have completed drafts of the Common banners (available on all editions) and the Desktop-specific banners (available in addition to Common for Desktop editions).

If you’d like to follow the ticket and help give feedback on the incoming iterations, take a look at https://pagure.io/design/issue/438

Here’s a sneak peak of what’s to come for Anaconda!

ticket-438_common-banners4
COMMON BANNER series
ticket-438_desktop-specific
DESKTOP-SPECIFIC series

When every Beta closes another Alpha opens…

As many of you may know, deadlines for Beta packaging for Fedora 25 have recently come and gone. With this said, designs for the default wallpaper are underway and I’m continuing to work through quirks in the design in order to represent the subtle, yet bold and memorable aesthetic that is present in Fedora wallpapers. Getting closer to the Alpha package deadline, I figured that I’d post another progress picture of where I’m at so far. Be sure to check out https://fedorahosted.org/design-team/ticket/473 for more information as to the background and thought process of the design as well!

f25-wallpaper_alpha_attempt1

F25 Wallpaper

Here are my rough designs so far for the Fedora 25 release wallpaper! Design inspiration? Archimedes; mathematician and inventor of the Achimedean screw. Note: none of these are the final design; they are just to give a sneak peak at the progress begin made by myself and the rest of the Design Team on this project

Designs Round 1:

I think that something along the lines of the fourth attempt might be the route to continue looking into the most. Looking forward to sharing the finished product down the road!

 

 Design Round 2:

For those of you who have been following the updates on this project, I think that I will just be updating my progress on this post and re-posting the link to this page to my Pagure thread once updates have been posted. With that said, I looked more into algorithmic art and fractals as inspiration and made use of some of the more quanitfiable tools in Inkscape (ex. % scale, degree rotate) instead of simply basing things off of the naked eye’s visual perception, making for, what I consider to be, cleaner and crisper designs. This approach is represented in Attempt 7. I also made use of the “Fractal Explorer” tool in GIMP (which for someone who’s working on a dual degree in Design and Math is absolute asethetic bliss) in combination with Inkscape’s “Trace Bitmap” function to create Attempts 5 and 6. Take a look!

Design Round 3:

One more option since yesterday!

wallpaper_natural spiral 5
Attempt 8

 

Fedora Badges & Creative Freedom

During my first week of this internship, the first design that I tackled was one of the famed “Fedora Badges” and now about seven weeks in, they are one of my favorite things to design. Since my first badge design, I’ve worked on quite a few badges and badge-related designs (and received a few badges along the way *mini happy dance* which was pretty cool too!).

These badges really are, at least for me, a great test of my ability to design and of my general creativity. With the badges being small in size (typically 5opxX50px) and needing to convey a strong message while still keeping true to the Fedora style and spirit, badges can take a lot of though but I truly feel like designing them has strengthened my skill set. Having a happy medium between strict guidelines and complete creative liberty is a very comfortable place for me as a designer, and these badges fit that bill nicely 🙂

So here’s a few of my favorite badges that I’ve designed throughout the weeks:

1.) “You Suggested a Flock 2016 Location”

badge_ticket#199_attempt2_revised1

2.) “You Attended the Flock 2016 Brewery & Boat Party!”

badge ticket #465_attempt 2.5

3.) “You Participated in Fedora 24 Internationalization Test Day” (this one is still in-progres)

badge ticket #446_attempt 1

 

Fedora Flock 2016

I’ve been working on a shirt design for this year’s Fedora Flock in Krakow, Poland and figured that I’d share what I’ve put together! I’m also including some of my earlier attempts at the design as well to show my thought process as well. Ps. for those who may not be familiar with landmarks and iconic images of Krakow (and yes, I too am one of you too… much research was needed!) here’s a list of some of the imagery that I tied to incorporate in the designs.

  1. the symbol of Kraków is the Wawel dragon
  2. Wawel Castle is a significant landmark
  3. the Kościół Mariacki on the main square is distinctive because it features a pair of towers of uneven height.
  4. significant pattern used for decorating in Poland called”strój krakowski.”

Previous designs (before the final)

Screenshot from 2016-06-23 14-33-09

And here we have, what I am considering to be, the final design!

flock shirt_ design #1.5.5_ basic colors

The Creative Process

This week I took on designs that were much more, shall I say, involved, but that’s a good thing! Starting out the week, I worked on an “infographic” which is not something that I had designed before, but it allowed me to work on an aspect of graphic design that, I think, gets a bit overlooked in the creatives: layout. “Isn’t your job just to make things look good?” Yes… and no. As a designer, the aesthetic my work is of great importance but part of what I need to look at also is functionality: the “is-it-readable” and “is-it-understandable” factors.

So, I figured that I would post a little something about just how much thought and organization I put into a design! With simpler, less specific designs I sometimes can get away with just diving right into Inkscape, but with things like the infographic logic model and t-shirt designs that I worked on this week, there were a number of requirements, color requirements/ restrictions, and layout constraints, so much more planning had to be done. Typically I hit on four(ish) main steps in my own “creative process”:

  1. research/ notes
  2. sketching
  3. vector sketching/ layout
  4. designing

I’m including an example of how I applied these steps in the logic model design (something similar in reference to the t-shirt design might be posted too, depending on time!).

  1. research/ notes
    I research the design I’m about to do (looking at ticket information, browsing similar designs for inspiration, researching topic, etc.) and compile the information into some form of notes or a chart… I’m that kid that color codes her binders for school to match the textbook. I really like organization, if that isn’t already clear!
    On the left is the rough draft posted in the design ticket, and on the right I transferred that information into a word doc so that I would be able to just copy/paste the information into the logic model at the end.
    notes step
  2. sketching
    This is the sketch I made for myself; it’s very rough, but it at least gets my mind thinking about logical locations for things (but throughout the design process this is bound to change many times!). Apologies about the portrait orientation.
    sketch step
  3. vector sketching/ layout
    In this project, I used another logic model design help me think through possible layouts. I usually organize generic squares/ rectangles on the artboard to get a better feel for where things fit best.
    On the left is the logic model that I was using as inspiration, and on the right is my “blocked out” artboard.
    layout step
  4. designing
    This step is pretty self-explanatory. At this point, the layout should be relatively final and should be almost 100% functional. So far, I only have two iteration of my design, but typically I will have between 3-5 iterations of a similar design by the time I apply feedback from others and myself.
    Here’s what we’ve got so far with this! It’s pretty close to being complete.
    logic model_ ticket #432_revision 1