Aegir Gets a Fresh Coat of Paint

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Recently “Adrian”:http://www.developmentseed.org/node/adrian-rossouw asked me to take a look at rebranding Aegir in preparation for the upcoming release. The goal: freshen up the existing logo and pull together a theme tailored for Aegir to replace Garland.

h3. Designing a logo

For starters, it’s worth taking a look at Adrian’s explanation of the name Aegir :

“In Norse mythology, Ægir was the god of the oceans and if Drupal is a drop of water, Ægir is the deity of large bodies of water.”

!http://groups.drupal.org/files/aegir-logo.gif!

Given that background, the old Aegir logo was quite successful — it captured the concepts of waves and water well and we wanted to continue that theme. However, we identified a few practical problems with the logo:

  • The typography is inconsistent and a bit too casual.
  • There’s no clear path to a print or low-color version.
  • The tight fit of the waves to the æ don’t allow the logo to be displayed separately from the wordmark.

To remedy the problems I pulled together a logo that addresses these issues.

!http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3629/3500591039_7aa07ecdb1.jpg?v=0!

One of the biggest challenges of the design was the name Aegir itself. I took notes on the design process to outline what it took to get the typography under control:

!http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3401/3501405596_3168bbdabd.jpg?v=0!

h3. A new theme

On the theme front, my goal was to make a highly Drupal-core compatible theme with minimal maintenance costs. When Adrian walked me through Aegir initially, a recurring theme behind its design was minimal maintenance, minimal dependency. The system has been whittled down to four core components (Hostmaster, Hosting, Provision, Drush) with no other real dependencies.

Taking a similar approach, the Aegir theme was designed with

  • Only one template override: page.tpl.php.
  • As few theme function overrides as possible using a Drupal 6 preprocess emulation layer.
  • No other dependencies.

!http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3553/3501405714_ee6bc23ce6.jpg?v=0!

The new Aegir theme is a minimal, admin-focused theme called Eldir (in Norse mythology, Eldir was a servant of Aegir). It is designed to be simple, clean, and stay out of your way. It can be downloaded at http://drupal.org/project/eldir.

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