[Clipart] OCAL identified by IBM as resource for Linux migrations
Jonadab the Unsightly One
jonadab at bright.net
Tue Dec 28 06:21:49 PST 2004
Bryce Harrington <bryce at bryceharrington.com> writes:
> One of the reasons I myself put time into the project was because I
> wanted to be able to use Inkscape to produce Christmas cards, yet
> had no artistic talent. This was also the motivation for doing the
> theme-based releases. Sadly, due to the freedesktop.org compromise
> and my inability to get it back up and running quickly, the outage
> meant we could not collect Christmas clipart, so once again I had to
> resort to commercial bought Christmas cards this year.
I propose that once we get the upload script working again, we put up
a news release apologizing for the outage and soliciting submissions
related to the just-past holidays, on the grounds that people may have
just created it in the last month and we'll be glad to have it in the
collection for next year. Holidays are a very useful thing to have
> Now, you'll probably think me a nut but I get really angry buying
> Christmas cards.
In that case, you're my kind of nut.
> Yet shopping for a card is a royal pain, because these days there
> are so few options!
So few _acceptable_ options. If you're into stupid lewd jokes or last
decade's recycled plattitudes there are a lot more options than if you
want something serious (much less original).
> For Christmas 2005, I want to be able to create all my own Christmas
> cards, with personalized phrasings of my own choosing, printed with
> Free art, and printed on good paper. I have no idea how to do this,
> and in fact I don't even have a color printer, but I figure I've got
> a year to do it.
If I were doing this, I'd set up a basic card in OpenOffice.org Writer
with the paper size and margins and columns and whatnot right and then
do all of the cards in the same basic shape, substituting different
images and of course text (and fonts) for each card.
It would be possible to set up several different basic card designs
(folding at the top, folding at the left, trifold, shaped front, ...),
but I think I would stick with just one if I were doing it, for
simplicity. Probably folding at the left would be easiest to do.
The key thing you'd need to do this well, besides the artwork and a
bunch of fonts (more on this in a moment), is a color printer that can
handle printing on a fairly heavy stock. Not all printers can handle
cardstock, so you'll want to check that when you buy the thing. (The
heavier cardstocks are probably too thick, since they don't fold well;
business card stock is probably close to what you want.) I believe
most inkjet printers these days can handle print quality that I would
consider adequate for this purpose, but printing on standard inkjet
paper is probably not going to be very satisfying.
Regarding fonts: besides some standard nice-looking straightforward
normal fonts (such as the Bitstream Vera fonts or the ones at
corefonts.sourceforge.net), for cards you will probably want some
specialty/novelty fonts. I've found the free ones at
larabiefonts.com are of pretty good technical quality and cover a fair
range of styles, although some of them tend toward the bizarre.
Of course, it will be nifty to see if SVG fonts can really take off;
that would allow for the creation of open-source fonts (which
currently is technically possible but to get any kind of quality
involves expensive commercial packages such as Fontographer) using
open-source tools. However, I don't think I'd count on that happening
by next year.
> I think this would be an excellent thing for the community, and
> would love to share this effort through OCAL.
Now, there's a thought. I suppose you could do the whole card in
Inkscape, as far as that goes, and then submit the whole thing. The
only thing that worries me about that is the fonts -- other users may
not have the same ones installed on their systems. Does Inkscape have
any way to trace around the letters in your card and create SVG shapes
based on them? Also, what would the copyright implications be of
doing so with non-public-domain fonts?
> I'm sure my cards would be too specific to my family,
If I did any they would probably only be of interest to
> Would anyone else be interested in collaborating on figuring out how to
> do this?
> Perhaps we could figure out how to emboss cards
You mean like with actual indentations? I suspect that would be
cost-prohibitive for me.
> or add cellophane and such to make them look a bit more
Things we definitely could do to make them look reasonably
* Use high-quality artwork
* Print on high-quality (possibly even textured) stock
* Be careful to get the layout right
* Use a high-quality straight edge when folding, and make sure to get
it lined up exactly right. (A carpenter's framing square would be
ideal for this. My dad has one that he picked up cheap at an
auction a few years back. But with careful measurements you could
use any quality solid-edged ruler.)
* Plan the size of the cards to exactly fit envelopes you can get
that match the color of the card stock. Having access to a paper
cutter will help with this. I have access to one at church; it's
old, but it's in good condition and cuts clean and very straight if
used properly. YMMV. Finding envelopes and cardstock that exactly
match in color probably means white.
Interesting to think about. And if you can do Christmas cards, you
can do Birthday cards and other occasions too. Think about how nice
it would be to be able to do custom get well cards, for example.
 As in freely available for $0
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