Caveat to all the below: I am an amateur, and quite possibly the least
skilled and most inexperienced member on the Fedora design team, so you
might want to take my views with many grains of salt:
I like Máirín and Ryan's idea of using a visual brand language. The
Starbucks example Máirín mentions looks simple but each symbol
effectively signals different concepts while all being part of the same
theme. I think striving for that type of common brand language across
the Workstation, Server, and Cloud products is a great goal, and should
underpin the whole design/marketing framework for these products. That
said, I do think the sublogos for those products should include the text
"Workstation", "Server", or "Cloud" in the Comfortaa font,
the approach of the existing sublogo layout.
While we could use different colours to differentiate the products, I
think sticking with the same/similar shades of blue of the Fedora logo
could be more effective. It might better illustrate that the products
are all part of the Fedora project.
The Ford example also sounds good; Ford cars all have a common logo with
differentiating sublogos. However, there can be striking differences
between those sublogos: the Ford Mustang's is a galloping stallion,
while the Ford Taurus's is a sharp word mark. While the Starbucks visual
brand language has many clear commonalities, Ford automobile sublogos
look very different from each other.
I guess my point is: I think we should add these questions to the list
to ask the working groups:
(5) To what extent is your product different from
the other products in the Fedora.next initiative?
(6) To what extent is your product similar to the other
products in the Fedora.next initiative?
These may be somewhat trivial-sounding questions, but getting a sense of
how the working groups see their product in relation to the other
Fedora.next products could help to better establish a common branding
On 11/13/2013 05:01 PM, Máirín Duffy wrote:
(I'm cc'ing the marketing team so they are aware of the issues here
since it affects them too.)
You might be aware of the Fedora.next initiative  led by Matt Miller
and Stephen Gallagher, first presented at Flock this past summer. It
hasn't affected our team much yet, but it will in a few months so I
wanted to give you a heads up on how I think it will affect us and a
rough plan of how I think we should look at tackling some of the things
that are going to come up as a result.
Just as a quick recap, Fedora.next involves splitting Fedora into three
• Fedora Workstation
• Fedora Server
• Fedora Cloud
What each of these 'products' will be, exactly, who they are targeting,
and their various features, etc. is up to working groups that have been
formed for each product. Information about the working groups is
available at the following wiki pages per group:
• Fedora Workstation: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Workstation
• Fedora Server: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Server
• Fedora Cloud: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Cloud
Those working groups will come up with product requirements by January
2014, at which point we'll have more information about each product and
what it will be like.
"Okay, so what does all of this have to do with the Fedora Design Team?"
you may be wondering.
Well, having more than one main 'product' for Fedora is going to result
in our team - the main caretakers of the Fedora brand - having a lot of
requests we aren't quite equipped to handle right now. Here's a few
examples to show what I mean:
• Can you design us a logo for our Fedora product? (What should each of
the logos for these products look like? Should each product have its own
• Can you make some artwork for our Fedora product? (What kind of
artwork should be used to represent each? How can we give each product a
distinctive feel but still keep all of the products coherently 'Fedora'
looking in its branding so they look related / like a family?)
• Can you add our product to the Fedora website? Can you make our
product its own website? (How should we represent these products on the
website? Should we allow products to have their own separate websites?)
How do we answer these questions? How do we get on the same page about
how to answer these questions? Ryan and I talked about this a little bit
today, and we think that over time as these Fedora product plans
solidify, as a team we'll need to come up with a 'brand framework' to
support them all. (This sounds very fancy but it really isn't. I think
it's just going to amount to some extensions to our current brand
Well, all right - so where do we get started with that? Here's me and
• The Fedora brand is a strong brand, and we all collectively have
invested a lot in it. The Fedora brand isn't going anywhere.
• The products will all have a common core - Fedora. Their mission
statements should, hopefully, derive in part from Fedora's overall
mission statement of "leading the advancement of free and open source
software and content as a collaborative community." The products'
individual branding should reside under the umbrella of Fedora. We're
talking different models of vehicle from Ford, where Ford is the
overarching brand and each individual model of car has different target
audiences and strengths, and *not* a model where boutique brands are
spun up for each individual product (e.g., Lexus for high-end Toyotas,
Scion for entry-level Gen-Y Toyota customers. )
• Since the products will be sub-brands under Fedora, we'll probably use
one of the existing sublogo layouts  or design a new sublogo layout
• We can develop additional brand elements to extend the Fedora brand
and help give each of the products their own visual identity within the
main Fedora branding framework. What do I mean by brand elements? A very
simple example would be to associate each product with a specific color:
e.g., workstation is blue, server is green, cloud is yellow - or
something like this. The wikipedia "Visual brand language" article 
touches on this a little bit, especially with the example of the
original Starbucks Visual Brand Language.
• Specific brand framework elements we're thinking we'll need (much of
which exists in our current brand framework):
∘ Logo, sublogos, and usage guidelines
∘ Visual brand langauge / brand element system
∘ Imagery: Illustration and Photography, guidelines for these
∘ Chart / Diagram / Table design and guidelines
∘ Voice: What is the Fedora 'sound' in written communication?
• We'll probably need to review our current brand assets to verify
whether or not they make sense given the changes we'll be making as
well. E.g., will the four foundations still make sense? (Probably?)
Cool, okay. So if that all makes sense - how do we develop these
extensions onto the Fedora brand and build out our branding framework to
be able to encompass multiple products? Here's a rough specific plan we
came up with - the high level plan is basically to meet with the working
groups initially to make sure they're thinking about some of the things
we need to create these brand elements (e.g., mission statements, target
audience, etc. so we know what and who we're designing for) and then
once their product requirements (PRDs) are done, we can start mocking up
some ideas with a better understanding of what these products are going
to do and who they are for. Anyway, here's the timeline:
• This week: Reach out to the various working groups and ask them a few
(1) What problem does your product solve, in one sentence?
(2) Who is the target audience for your product, in one sentence?
(3) List at least 5 products that successfully target the same target
audience you are after.
(4) List at least 5 products that try to solve the same problem.
• This week: Blog all of this up for the wider Fedora community to read
and provide feedback and ideas on. :)
• Thursday, Nov 26: Deadline for the working groups to provide answers
to our questions.
• Monday, Dec 2: Set up meetings with each working group to gather some
more information and details about target audience, purpose / mission
statement, and competitive marketing.
• January 2014: PRDs are due
• Februrary 2014: Start some work on extending the Fedora brand framework.
What do you think? Does this make sense? Do you want to get involved?
Everyone here is more than welcome to help out with this as you'd like
if you think it makes sense. Just reply to this thread or let's chat in
#fedora-design. Whatever works!
 This may be a North Americanism, but hopefully you get the gist.
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