Looking back some days, since the Document Foundation idea and LibreOffice has been announced, there have been both many questions and many proposals. But - as far as I remember - nobody ever asked: "Why green?"
Maybe our FAQ makes it very clear, LibreOffice is an intermediate name until all trademark questions are resolved. But since we had to use another name, we also had to substitute all the branding elements within the software. Despite being meant as a placeholder, we put - given the available time - a lot of effort into the branding you can now see in LibreOffice Beta, on the Document Foundation website and other locations.
Interested? I would like to explain how we came up with the visual design, the message "behind" the graphics. So let's start with the first blog posting ... let's start with "United Colors of Liberty" :-)
The base color is a saturated green - why? When we thought about a new logo for LibreOffice, one member within our group presented a draft using this color for the term "Libre". Although we had also other proposals, I started to like the idea and also worked out a rough design proposal with the elements you already know (the document icon, the LibreOffice text, ...).
I picked some green and checked how "versatile" it was, how it behaved on different backgrounds. This is something I missed a bit with regard to the OpenOffice.org branding refresh. The bright and friendly blue is a bit picky with regard to the background color ... "Open" is rather bright and "Office.org" is black. Both have to be presented on the same (bright) background. For LibreOffice, I reduced the luminance to make it a bit more versatile.
But does it fit to our project? Each color has a certain meaning depending on the cultural background. The most common one for green seems to be "nature"; and that is what we want to achieve ... a friendly and natural evolution. Moreover, our friends at BrOffice.org already use green in combination with blue. In my point-of-view, it fits very well.
But nothing decided yet ... it was still a proposal. We discussed all designs during a phone conference and when people decided to continue with the LibreOffice design you know now, I've asked whether they prefer green (the new color), or blue (the OpenOffice.org color). Interestingly, all participants agreed to go for green. It appeared to be a good choice.
So, we had the base color #18a303 (R24 G163 B3) - a more friendly name might be LibreGreen :-)
A very easy task ... for the background we chose either white or rather bright gray, because it is very neutral. But might this be too boring? Maybe ...
For several reasons, we needed some accent colors that nicely match with LibreGreen. The great little application Agave helped me to come up with three additional color proposals.
I repeated the steps in Agave several times until having a set of colors featuring different intensity (brightness). Those colors were good, but still needed some further polish. So I tweaked saturation and brightness until having a more or less balanced palette. One of those colors, LibreBlue, is also intended to build a visual bridge to OpenOffice.org.
Especially one of the brighter LibreBlues has been used to provide a fresh look to both our website and the planet, e.g. for the bullets. All have been used to beautify the download buttons - have a look.
What I missed to do was some more research concerning color blindness issues like I did for the Notes2 (improved comments in Writer) colors. But that should be okay, the Libre colors are just meant to be accent colors and don't represent a palette for e.g. icon creation. Nevertheless, I assume that they don't perform that bad ...
I hope you enjoyed this first story covering the colors we are now able to chose from ... primarily. As I said, it is a temporary branding / name, but there was no reason to pick just "anything" without thinking. What do you think?
If you want to know more, just write a comment or contact us via our mailing lists. Next time, we might dig into the mysteries of the document icon, the arrows, or even the font/text creation. Let's see ...