Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Vinux Logos and Wallpaper!

I have now created a set of original Vinux Logos and Wallpapers which will be used in the next release of Vinux. These are released under the GNU Free Documentation Licence and the GPL respectively and are available for viewing and download from the Vinux Development Group homepage at http://groups.google.com/group/vinux-development/. Some people, might quite reasonably be puzzled as to why I would bother making graphical logos and wallpaper for a distribution that is primarily aimed at visually impaired users. Isn't this at best a misguided waste of time, or worse still an insult to the visually impaired? I would argue not, because the vast majority of people who are registered blind do have some vision and are able to see images and read text if it is big enough and has high enough constrast; even those that have little or no effective vision still understandably want the things they use to look cool to their sighted friends and relatives. With this in mind I have designed what I think to be an appropriate, professional looking set of logos for Vinux and an original collection of large high contrast wallpapers. The logo is based on a modified version of an image called 'The Eye of Horus' by Jeff Dahl published at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eye_of_Horus_bw.svg. I think this instantly recognisable ancient Eygptian symbol clearly represents the primary purpose of Vinux which is; to provide a way for the blind and partially sighted users to participate fully in the digital revolution and all of the benefits this bestows. I created the logos using the GIMP. I began by lowering the eyebrow, changing the colour of the iris to black and then adding a pupil using the Supernova filter. I then placed this image on three different types of stone tablet (granite, white marble and pink marble) in three different shapes (tablet, slab and icon) and three different sizes (large, medium and small).

The wallpapers were also created using the GIMP (it really is an amazing tool). In each case I began by creating a 1024 x 768 image with a black background. and then drew a few coloured lines (pretty much at random). I then applied a Gaussian Blur from the Filters menu and twiddled the controls on the Lens Distortion effect until I had something I liked the look of. After all, what could be more appropriate for a distribution aimed at the visually impaired than images produced by blurring and distortion! This process only took a few seconds to do, so I created about 30 images very quickly and then picked out the four I liked best. I then applied the Make Seamless filter to the remaining images (which makes the wallpaper tile-able across wide-screen and multi-monitor displays) and this produced six more interesting images. Although I will probably use one of the dark low contrast wallpapers by default, I hope that the high contrast wallpapers will allows users to have an original, eye-catching desktop that will be the envy of their sighted friends.