[seqfan] Re: OEIS page header image

Marc LeBrun mlb at well.com
Mon Jun 25 01:15:08 CEST 2012

It's great to see all this volunteer enthusiasm on behalf of the OEIS!

And I agree a nice new header would be good.  However I feel that the design
is, alas, diverging further and further off-track.

True, the typeface in the title now resembles "Comic Sans"[1] less (yay!)
but I find the recent proposals increasingly illegible against the saturated
busy "graph" (which overall is rather red/green colorblind-unfriendly).

The "brand/message" needs to "pop" in front, and whatever other graphics are
used for flavor should recede into the background.

To fix this I'd suggest making the graph a light blue or gray, and losing
some of the clutter (technically known by Tufte's term "chartjunk"[2])...

...EXCEPT in fact I don't think I really like the idea of a graph very much
at all in the first place!

For one thing, sequences are naturally discrete things, but a graph often
suggests more continuous material (yes, I know it's discontinuous at fine
enough scale, but we're dealing with banner zoom level here).  Graphs also
somehow convey a "statistical" or "empirical" slant or something.

As an alternative, why not use, say, the beginning of the Recaman sequence
that we used for the OEISF logo (0 1 3 6 2 7 13 20 12 21 11 22 10 23...)?

Make the numbers light cyan/gray (perhaps with light gray/cyan "quad paper"
ruling behind them) to set off the red title.

And speaking of fonts, generally it's unifying to use similar typefaces to
suggest relationships, so I'd recommend having the sequence be in some bold
sans serif version of that used for the OEISF logo.

For that matter the old header didn't suggest "geometry" to me so much as
"math" in general, and the "parchment" color resonated somehow with
scholarly themes like "encyclopedia".

Along these lines I'd suggest the text be expanded to say "Encyclopedia of
Integer Sequences".  After all the OEIS is MORE than just a bunch of integer
sequences, it's a research resource with a wealth of diverse information.

Lastly, consider extending the banner color (say parchment) across the
entire width of the page, rather than boxing things up.  And also try to
keep the header graphics region narrow vertically, so as to leave more of
the page for page data--after all folks come to the OEIS for the content,
not just to admire the logo!

Of course professional graphics designers get paid to wrestle with things
like this.  Perhaps we could get one to help the OEIS pro bono?



[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comic_Sans#Opposition

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chartjunk

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