What project(s) do we start first?

gdemet's picture

At the BoF at DrupalCon Munich, we discussed various ways to help improve Drupal's branding. Some of those ideas included:

  • Contributing to the design of a kit that would provide consistent branding for DrupalCamps and other local events around the world (e.g., http://drupalcampkit.org).
  • Creating flexible brand guidelines that could be extended for larger events, such as DrupalCons.
  • Assisting the Drupal Association's marketing initiatives by helping design stickers, t-shirts, and other Drupal promotional materials.
  • Creating branding guidelines and an identity platform to be used for all or some of the above.

What did I miss in the list above, and which project do you think we should tackle first? Let me know!


Font(s) first, please

hexabinaer's picture

As everyone at the BoF agreed (and supposedly everyone else will), we should find an open font:

  • available for all platforms and as web font
  • preferredly a family (regular, bold, italic) - and since we are talking about printing, several weights (thin/light, black) will for sure be appreciated
  • additional headline font?

Suggestions, anyone?

If we can agree on the font/s soon, I'd give the mentioned print templates a makeover and we could discuss these next ;-)


Open Sans

jpamental's picture

Ken mentioned Open Sans, and I've looked at that and it looks really good. Available with lots of character set support, for print and for web use, on Google Fonts

I think it pairs pretty well with the word mark too.



Jason Pamental
[ @jpamental ]

Does it have a really good

kattekrab's picture

Does it have a really good unicode set? We had a gotcha in Munich - the font used on the badges did not have characters for many names from eastern europe.

Would hate our "corporate" font choice to have that mistake.


Donna Benjamin
Board Member Drupal Association

fda's picture

...rizontally, may I suggest the inclusion of "Liberation Sans Narrow" ?

Well, in fact, of any "Sans Narrow" existing in the fontface you would choose ?

Open Sans Narrow

hexabinaer's picture

Don't know if I got your point right, but we have a usable font face at hand. Any alternative suggestions should offer nearly as many options as Open Sans/Open Sans Narrow.
I'd prefer not to discuss based on personal aesthetics but in terms of efficiency or practicability.

The important point was "narrow".

fda's picture

(For some strange reason, by the way, font sizes are still the same as they were in the time of typewriters (when large characters were mandatory to get 2 to 4 legible carbon copies) or computer screens with 72 dpi. These font sizes are far from optimal for readability, as we can easily check by what is chosen for newspapers and books. The availability of so-called "narrow" fonts or styles is important if we do not want to get stuck forever with the painful A4 printer format (compared to the much more handy A5 format, when you have to read more that 4 pages) or uncomfortable "lanscape" orientation.

The standard for computer screens is now nearer 100 dpi rather than 72 (a 93% enhancement in surface !), and though smartphones have smaller screens, since the advent of the so-called "Retina" screen by Apple, 200 to 400dpi are announced (not a problem, as it is easier to move a smartphone screen nearer your eye that a 27" monitor :-)

So, of course, let us design with an eye on both past and present, but not to the point we would interfere with the immediate future).

Good point re: narrow, but it does 'narrow' options

jpamental's picture


@fda - good point about narrow, but I'd say we have a couple of very important considerations against which we need to vet any choices we make:

-Must be open source and exist for (essentially) all 'desktop' platforms (Mac, Win, *NIX) so it can be used to create print work

-Must have a legal option for either self-hosting or web hosting use - Font Squirrel is not an option as it is making very poor (and dubiously legal) conversions of fonts for web use, so are not hinted or optimized for cross-platform web use

-Must pair well with the Drupal word mark

-Have enough weights and variants to provide the variety necessary for standard use

-Have enough character sets to be usable internationally

So with that, unfortunately I don't think Liberation Sans is a viable option. The only place I've seen it as a web font is through Typekit, and while I like their service, it's not something we would want to essentially require.

Open Sans has a wide variety of weights, is available for desktop download and online use through Google Webfonts. There is a 'Condensed' option which is good, but only has 3 weights (regular, italic & bold, but no 'bold italic' - so is not a suitable choice on its own. It can certainly work in concert when required, but we likely would want to stick with the standard version for most use. Line lengths of text set in Open Sans are very similar to Helvetica & Arial, so I suspect that this is a pretty reasonable option. I've also done a bit of comparison and I think it can work quite well with the Drupal word mark also. The weight and width is just similar enough to be complementary but can still stand on its own quite well.

Jason Pamental
[ @jpamental ]


prestonso's picture

I don't know if this is salient for Drupal branding in particular, but we had issues bringing Open Sans into the Spark font stack because it is not released under GPLv2 but rather Apache 2.0. We chose to use Source Sans instead:


Other Font Options

kenwoodworth's picture

Good call Preston! Maybe they need to rethink the "Open" Sans name.

Source Sans looks good. PT Sans (http://www.google.com/webfonts/specimen/PT+Sans) was also mentioned but I worry that it's too stylized to pair well with the word-mark. Lato is another font that could work (http://www.google.com/webfonts/specimen/Lato).

Source Sans in Google docs

hexabinaer's picture

Nothing against Source Sans, I only want to mention that it "will shortly be available for use directly in Google documents and Google presentations" and thus probably soon become somewhat like a Verdana successor ...


+1 - thanks for the input

jpamental's picture

I saw the license but hadn't had a chance to really dig further. I'll look more closely at Source Sans.

Jason Pamental
[ @jpamental ]

Is that carved in stone?

hexabinaer's picture

In that issue you mentioned:
"3. See if there is a way to relicense Open Sans ..."

Has anyone yet tried to do so, i.e. has anyone contacted Steve Matteson? (https://profiles.google.com/107777320916704234605/about)


Landscaping-Guy's picture

I agree. Source Sans do look good but not sure about the Lato font you mentioned.

A Landscaping Guy at Heart.

Let's work on Strategy

Ben Finklea's picture

In several discussions at Drupalcon Munich, it was agreed that before we can effectively and properly do the visual elements of branding, we need to have a focused branding strategy for Drupal. I agree. While picking a font is necessary, it may be premature. There are considerations that are not technical that we should keep in mind.

I've started another thread where we can have a discussion on this topic:


Please feel free to join in.

Let me see if I can summarize

gdemet's picture

It seems like there's a consensus that Open Sans offers the most flexibility and options and it pairs well with our wordmark, but there's a concern that it's licensed under an Apache license, not the GPL.

Given that Apache is a more permissive license than the GPL and no one has so far proposed to integrate the typeface with GPL'd software on drupal.org, my question is: does this really matter? What can we not do with Open Sans that we might want to as part of Drupal branding efforts?

Visual Branding of Drupal

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