An interesting tool I came across in the last week or so is this week’s Program of the Week: Agave, from the GNOME Community. Recently, we’ve been working on a new logo for the Utah Open Source Foundation, and needed to come up with some simple color schemes that would work well with our logo. In doing so, I came across Agave and started playing with possible combinations of colors we could use.
This tutorial will cover some of the simple, but effective features Agave provides to help provide a good contrast in designing logos, websites and more.
To install Agave, I simply did the following:
# yum -y install agave
.. snip ..
Installed: agave.i386 0:0.4.2-5.fc8
Dependency Installed: gconfmm26.i386 0:2.20.0-1.fc8
Once Agave is installed, it is immediately available from the main Applications -> Graphics menu in GNOME. If you use a different desktop, its possible to type
agave at the command line. Agave starts up similar to this screenshot:
As is shown above, its simple to see that the three colors here would go nicely together, maybe a bit bright for a website, but not too bad for a logo maybe. In our logo, however, we didn’t want such bright colors, plus we wanted to base it on a color that already existed in our already established brand logo seen below:
This logo is well known in our community, and thus we wanted to make sure to keep the look and feel as our org morphs into its true form. Out game GIMP and with the color picker tool, I obtained the bluish color needed for contrast. Agave only needs the value to give several different options through its several available views. The first view shown is the triads view, in other words, a scheme with three colors that fit well together:
But the real power of Agave is in this section of the application:
The color picker provides for easy to choose colors on the left.
On the right hand side, is the color scheme chooser which allows 6 different choices; Complements, Split-Complements, Triads (3 colors), Tetrads (4 colors), Analagous and Monochromatic. In addition, on the toolbar near the top, is another feature that allows random color schemes to be chosen.
When we’ve finished our site and logo, I’ll update this article with the results.
Try out Agave today and maybe even paint your house using its recommendations!