Fedora Open Badges (Badgers)
So you might be aware of an ongoing project to create and deploy an open badge system to reward contributors for doing cool stuff across Fedora. (What are open badges? You can read about them in detail at openbadges.org; the short of it is that it’s an open infrastructure/standard for awarding people digital badges for achievements.)
Ralph and crew, which includes RIT co-ops, have been doing an awesome job creating the Fedora badges infrastructure; Jenn, the team design co-op, also did some awesome badge artwork. To get the full set of badges needed for Flock together in time, though, they needed some help. Since I’d just come back from a long leave of absence last week and had a pretty clear plate to crank stuff out, Ralph & Spot asked me for some help in completing the set of Flock badges.
Creating a Template (Mushrooms)
The first thing I did was trawl around and look for the open badge artwork standards. They’re kind of loose and were pretty hard to find; basically the artwork should be at least 90×90 pixels and under 256k. Making a template that had 90×90 artwork seemed a good start there; it would kind of enforce keeping the artwork simple, clear, and legible at small sizes. Since all of the artwork is vector, too, it shouldn’t look terrible if scaled up. Jenn set the badges up to follow the shape of the Fedora logo bubble; I added colored bands around the edges using the Fedora color palette, as a lot of badge artwork I reviewed had a band and it seemed a nice feature to help differentiate between badges. The badges should also work on a variety of background colors since folks might want to display their badges on their blog as well as within the badge web application, so they have a white edge with a slight shadow behind it to show up on light backgrounds:
I think the shadow gives them a little bit of a Little Big Planet sticker feel.
I also thought the badges should be easy to make – over time we’ll be adding more and more badges so we’ll want Fedora design team members and other Fedora community members to feel empowered to create their own badge artwork when needed. So I put together a little system that, if followed, provides folks creating new badges a set of components and colors as well as a general framework to use for their badges:
Badge Series Within a Shared Category
As I put together badges, I thought it might be good to distinguish between badge series within the same category (e.g., tagger badges vs testing badges in the ‘quality’ category) so I started assigning different background colors to the center of the badges to distinguish these. So both the tagger and testing badges have the green outline accent for ‘quality,’ but tagger badges have a light blue background center while the testing badges have a yellow background center (see below to get what I mean):
Crankin’ Them Out (Snaaake!!)
Okay, so then it was time to crank out the badges. I actually spent probably 18-20 hours cranking them out. Since I didn’t have Jenn’s SVGs yet when I started out, I picked off the badges I knew she hadn’t gotten to from the set of badge rules. Once I got access to her SVGs (the ones at the bottom are hers including the impressive ten bulls drawings for the testing badges), I started modifying the artwork to read at the smaller size as well as take on the full Fedora color palette. Anyway, here’s a fuller sample of the general badge appearance:
You can see all of the badges completed so far by clicking on the thumbnail of the full sheet below:
I hope I’m not badgering you by pointing this out, but…
I say that’s the set of badges completed “so far” because we would love your help! 🙂 If you have any feedback or ideas I would love to hear it. A bunch of changes and edits have been made based on critique from #fedora-design and #fedora-apps; those two freenode channels are good places to get involved in the project as well if you’re interested (pop into #fedora-design if you’re interested in the artwork side, and #fedora-apps if you’re interested on the coding side!) I’m sure the team would love your suggestion for badges – especially series of badges – and ideas for artwork.
And whoops, where are my manners… here is the Inkscape SVG template file that also includes all of the artwork for the badges thus far. You can also grab the tarball of badge artwork if you’d like. Have a play with the SVG and let me know if it makes sense and if you think it’d help you create your own badge artwork or if there are things we can provide in the file to make it easier!
Also, I’m not sure what to do with the ‘unclaimed’ category for badges in the category listing, and also not sure what to do with the completely filled-in badges (the bottom row in the templates graphic)). If you’ve got ideas, let’s hear them. 🙂