Drupal Redesign is Much More than a Wordmark

Its been about 24 hours since Mark Boulton bravely posted some preliminary thoughts and sketches of a new Drupal wordmark. 60+ comments have been left on that post (and counting). Some of what has been said is useful to the discourse, others... perhaps not so much. I think the conversation can be boiled down to:

  • This is a work in progress
  • The initial concept is too 'Bauhausy' (i.e. people aren't crazy about the Bauhaus like word forms)
  • This will not be a design by committee process - the Designer will have the final word
  • Other options will be explored based on the feedback
  • Maybe it was too early to solicit feedback on the design

Luckily there is more to this redesign than just a wordmark
Its not surprising that so many people are responding to the wordmark. Everyone's got an opinion on how something looks. It doesn't take a degree to say what you like and what you don't like. As a result, its a bit of a 'what colour is your bike shed' question. I personally have every confidence that the end result of the new visual identity of Drupal will be the envy of the open source community.

Like Information Architecture
So, instead of pondering how best to draw six letters in such a way as to capture the essence of Drupal - why not get involved in Information Architecture discussions. Leisa has a card sorting exercise over at disambiguity.com.

Information architecture is one of the least rewarding jobs in the online world. When you've done the job right nobody in your target audience notices. But, if you get it wrong your target audience is left frustrated or just plain leaves. Drupal.org needs to get this right.

Don't worry if you're new to Drupal. Leisa is looking for feedback from both 'insiders' (crusty old Drupal veterans) and 'outsiders' (wide eyed Drupal newbs) and people in between. There isn't a single one of us that hasn't at one point or another had a hard time finding some nugget of information on Drupal.org. So we will all benefit if we make it easier for Leisa to design the new IA by providing feedback.


September 15th 2008 9PM
By: andre




I agree Mark's brave to open the design process to public scrutiny so early in the process. It takes strength of character and belief in yourself to do that.
I'm not entirely convinced it's useful, though.
As you say, you don't need a degree to hold an opinion: I just hope that Mark has enough belief in himself not to be swayed in any one direction by those vocal enough to leave a comment. The best design, in my opinion, always provides what's needed, not what's wanted.
Information architecture, well that's another matter. I think we all need to chip in and let Leisa know our thoughts on the structure of drupal.org, what we find useful now (download Drupal on the front page!) and what we struggle with (everything else!). I'm off over there now.