Recently, we got the chance to convert an unused office into a workspace for our creative teams. We brought in a work table and shelves stocked with paper samples, x-actos, and boxes of Sharpies. But something was still missing.
We needed art, and we wanted to take advantage of the brilliant pool of talent on our creative teams — especially those creative talents that we might not get to see during the work day. We ordered dozens of birch panels, 1 square foot each, and distributed them to Red Hatters with instructions to do whatever they wanted with that square foot and a color palette of red, black, gray, and white.
The sheer range of what we got back is a testament to the creativity of our creatives and the variety of interests and inspirations they apply to their work each day. When all panels are completed, they’ll hang together above our work table to remind us what’s possible when individuals bring their creative energy to a common purpose.
In the meantime, we’ll be featuring each panel here with a description from its creator, over the course of a 3-part series of posts.
Writer and editor | Marketing Communications Team
I’m a writer on the Content team, focusing on content strategy for events like Summit and Sales Kickoff. I love quilts, so I created this “Open Star” design from a traditional 6-pointed star block. Quilting could be seen as a very open source craft. There’s an abundance of freely shared patterns that you can make your own changes to and re-share, and collaboration is a big part of the quilting community. Plus, it’s just pretty.
Design intern | Brand Team
I feel like most of the time in our profession, we’re stuck at our desks working away at our computers—but then there are the times that we get to escape to the workroom and use our hands to make something. I’ve been trying to work on my illustration skills and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to make something fun and illustrative that captured the essence of the juxtaposition of digital and tactile design. So, in trying to merge those 2 ideas, I decided to digitally illustrate some of our prominent workroom tools, print and cut them out by hand, and use mod podge to adhere the pieces to the art board. In the end, it was just a fun and cute project that allowed me to hone my other skills and contribute to our shared area in a creative and crafty way.
Designer | Customer Content Services + Brand Teams
I chose to work at Red Hat because I no longer wanted to fly solo; I wanted a team to bounce ideas back and forth with. The brass birds represent collaboration — the birds can swivel and change direction because it’s important to recognize that things can turn on a dime and all situations are temporary in life and in technology. I used transparent red ink instead of solid red paint to represent how Red Hat values transparency and to show the wood grain of the panel.
Allison Harris, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Workplace brand specialist, Global | Workplace Innovation Team
Artist’s statement: The uneven horizontal lines represent the sedimentary nature of generations upon generations of the working class that go through the motions of society before, inevitably, dying. The rising parallelograms call to mind the initial optimism of man that grows weaker and evaporates over a lifetime.
Just kidding. I wanted to combine 2 textures, and 2 geometries, while using supplies I already own. I’m not that deep. But man, design school sure taught me how to make up a b.s. design intent after the fact.
Senior interface + visual designer | UXD Team
I’m not much of a painter or illustrator so I opted to go with a more 3D medium. I specifically choose origami because to me it very much represents open source. Origami is developed through iteration of the paper and its contents are visible for anyone to take apart and see.
Lead designer | Brand Team
Esse Quam Videri is the motto of the state of North Carolina, where I grew up and where Red Hat is based. It means “To be, rather than to seem,” which is just another way to express one of Red Hat’s brand attributes: Authenticity.
I use traditional sign painting and lettering techniques because I can get bold, graphic results without any computers whatsoever.
University outreach | Open Source and Standards Team
By day: I am on the university outreach team, so I spend my time finding ways to ensure students graduate with understanding of open source culture, concepts, and development methods.
My panel: A couple things were at work here. First, a challenge to myself, as someone who is uncomfortable with “making art” but quite comfortable with crafting — could I go to the “uncomfortable place” and do this? I found it easier to work with constraints, so the restricted palette and size were helpful in this case. Second, I’ve been fascinated of late by LED “sequins” and the possibility of adding interactivity to— well, everything— so this was an opportunity to do that. I got to code (a tiny bit) and do some circuitry, so I learned something too.
Senior graphic designer | Creative Strategy + Design Team
With the color requirements of black, white, gray, and red, I instantly thought of my Boston Terrier, Frito! I wanted to try something with texture so I created an illustration of Frito then converted it to layers of cut paper to build him with a little bit of depth. As a bonus, I only came close to cutting myself with the x-acto knife once!