Temporary: Graph Banner Idea

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I'm obviously not a graphic artist, but by putzing around in Gimp, I was able to throw together an idea for a LinuxTV graphic banner that I've been envisioning for a good long while:

first revision

second revision

The Legalities

First off the bat, the images above are embedded with other images used to help convey the idea, and those embedded images have been taken (without permission -- as I'm using them strictly for illustrative purposes, and they should of course be replaced by original works in any final product) from:

The Ideas Behind the Graphic

The original idea or gist of the graphic was that it was meant to:

  • in some respect, encompass/tie-in/relate-to a little piece of LinuxTV's history: the graphic originally used on the website, as can seen in this wayback snapshot
  • be a parody of the well known RCA dogs (see here and here). Obviously, Nipper and Chipper would be transformed into Tux and a mini-Tux.

I remember a particular RCA Television commercial, from the 1990's, where the two dogs are sitting in front of what was being portrayed as a large state-of-the-art TV. In the closing scene, the larger dog Nipper is seen to momentarily glance down at the younger dog Chipper, as if to gauge the smaller dog's reaction to the content on the TV. The imagery I suppose was meant to be suggestive of

  • (a) a protective parent - carefully monitoring their child's reactions to television content, as well as
  • (b) a parent taking joy from watching their child happily being entertained or
  • (c) that the television somehow represented a new window of discovery for the child's exploration of the world.

In any regard, Chipper was indeed seen to be, with head slightly tilted, happily fixated upon the contents on screen. With that, Nipper returns his own gaze back to the screen.

As it happened, in throwing together the mockup, I found another image of Tux, on Tux Factory, that was suitable for producing a scene in which several penguins are observed gathered around a TV ... and that got me thinking that another potential image could be, say, of penguins coming up out of the sea and onto a little ice flow (which just happens to magically have a working HDTV on it!) to gather around and watch the video on screen ... to suggest as if they were being drawn towards it.

The "screen image" I took from the Entertainer Project, and used in the above mockups, is very representative of what I had always held in mind towards what I wanted the graphic to contain -- a modern HDTV screen, on the left hand side, that exhibits a glow emanating from the on screen content. I also like the way there is a reflection in the floor -- this is an attractive and commonly used effect on some of the better website designs.

The background is supposed to be a gradient sweeping from a lighter shade of blue on the left (naturally given the TV's glow) to a much darker shade on the right (which is perfect for housing the lettering). Again, unfortunately, I don't know squat about graphics design, so in simply pasting the screen with the grey background into the image, part of the gradient idea gets lost. A real graphics designer, however, would likely be able to produce something really good. I do like the idea of a floor (as seen in the grey screen image), and something like that could be easily translated into an ice flow -- which becomes apparent that it is an ice flow on the right hand side, by a jagged shoreline and an obvious waterline that dissapears into the deep blue on the right side of the gradient ... another idea is to maybe have another penguin seen waddling up to join with the group and, by having a little trail of water puddles being left behind him, is suggestive that he too just emerged from the sea (also being drawn to the group by the glow of the screen)?

The lettering on the right side of the banner would obviously be much more attractive if done by a graphics artist who is familiar with fonts and effects...but, more or less speaking, the "LinuxTV" is already pretty much representative of what I want the end product to look like.

The "insert winning caption here" bit is in regards to an idea I have to help promote knowledge of LinuxTV, as well as potentially drawing more interest in the project -- ie. attract new developers/talent. I'm hoping that we can obtain some corporate sponsorship by way of supplying a couple of devices that we could give away to the winners of a "come up with a caption for LinuxTV" contest. Obviously the devices should already be well supported under Linux, and, in addition, there has to be some flexibility towards what devices we can offer up as a prize to winners given the broader implications of geography (i.e whether their locality uses DVB-T, ATSC, NTSC, PAL, SECAM ..).

Besides being utilized on the main page of the unified wiki (for which a temporary main page mockup can be seen here), the Graphic Banner will eventually be incorporated into the main page of a redesigned LinuxTV website, and, thereby, presenting a unified look and feel -- or common theme if you prefer -- for all of LinuxTV.

So, is there any graphic designer willing to take up the challenge to rework the above mockup into an original creation based upon the ideas outlined above? I hope so...as I've just about stretched my graphic design capabilities to the maximum already ;)

Second Revision

I tried to implement some of what I talked about above.

In adding the ice flow in the second revision, I had removed the desired floor effect I talked about above, but that's only because I have no graphics arts talents and don't have a clue as to how to create it.

I also moved the Title header slightly. I would love to be able to create a body of water that actually looked "liquid", and perhaps with ripples or something. As well, I would love for there to be some sort of definitive or discernible boundary between sea and sky.

Lastly, I don't know if we could ever run a contest, but in any regard, I already have a good slogan suggestion (care of M.Krufky). I'll keep that to myself for the time being, just in case we do end up running something.