Earlier this year, we gave out two dozen wood panels to designers and other creative Red Hatters as part of a collaborative project to fill a wall in our workroom. Each designer got a square foot to fill however they wanted—as long as they used red, white, gray, and black to do it.
They came up with 24 totally different approaches, and as good as each individual panel looks, the best part is seeing them all together on the wall.
Senior Director | Global Brand Strategy & Management
For this panel, I chose to simply highlight four major elements of Red Hat culture (memo-list, The Show, Red Hat Summit, and our very own Shadowman) in a popular design format that might look familiar to folks. As detailed on the How Design blog, the “Helvetica list” meme dates back as early as 2001, when an Amsterdam design studio designed a shirt in celebration of the Beatles. The meme really took hold in 2012 when myriad t-shirt designs started popping up on design-focused shopping sites like Fab.com. I just thought it would be a fun, easy way to very clearly celebrate Red Hat and some of its most popular properties.
Furniture + Ergonomics Specialist | Workplace Innovation — GWS
My panel idea + inspiration was derived from my co-worker (thanks, Allison). I wanted to combine textures, color and layers to form a three dimensional panel of some kind. Other than those components, I had no rhyme or reason behind my panel. This is what I love about Red Hat – I have the opportunity to exercise my creativity and take part in other fun projects outside of my department. In doing so, I learn along the way and find I am more open, collaborative and innovative because of it!
Allison Harris, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Workplace brand specialist, Global | Workplace Innovation Team
Several years ago, when Red Hat HQ was on Centennial Campus, the Gandhi quote was displayed over the reception desk. As we prepared to move downtown, the painters pulled the letters off the wall and, being at the right place at the right time, I rescued them from the dumpster pile. I have been hoarding them in my craft stash, hoping to make something for my house, but inspiration never struck… mostly because the Gandhi quote makes for TERRIBLE anagrams.
Fast forward to 2016 and I had the idea to return the letters to their rightful home at Red Hat, but stack each letter by type. I’d like to say it’s because I liked the sorting, or the topography it makes. But really, I’m just tired of having the quote in our offices and wanted a little bit of rebellion. Even still, I put his initials in the bottom corner as a way to honor the origins of the letters.
Senior writer and team lead | Corporate Marketing Content Team
I doodled with Sharpie markers while watching Stranger Things (which I recommend) and “wrasslin’” [edit: wrestling]. I like to draw intricate or surreal things, often with little hidden details.
Production video editor | Creative Strategy + Design
At first, when I was brainstorming on how best to use a 1′ x 1′ raw wood panel, all my ideas involved straight lines and shapes over a white-primed background. I had a set plan to complement the angles and symmetry of the square. As I sketched, though, I did not land on a single design I actually liked. Feeling uninspired, I started looking more closely at the natural grain of the wood. It was only when I threw away my preconceived notions about what it had to be that I started feeling more creative freedom and seeing a path forward. The natural grain inspired my final choice of the large wave, and, although stray brush strokes of grey led to my choice to leave the bottom half raw, I found it to be another opportunity to let go of a plan and just follow the creative process.
Space Planning Specialist | GWS — Workplace Innovation
My favorite thing about Red Hat is the people. Not a single person is the same and we are all so uniquely different. When we collaborate, partner, and work together, we create experiences and products that are perfectly imperfect. Like this panel, all of the misshapen little pieces are unique and purposeful on their own, but when you bring them together, they create a much bigger picture and larger contribution.
Senior web designer | WebUX Team
I started thinking about how this will be placed in a creative workroom and the people who will see it will be looking at it mid-project. In that state, you kind of want to see things that are different than what you’re working on so they don’t muddle your idea, but maybe they give you weird counterpoints. I was also thinking about Impostor syndrome and this list of “30 steps to mastery” that I saw online that stuck with me (spoiler alert: ‘keep going’). So I wanted to make something that was weird, but also encouraging. You have to leave ‘here’ and go through to get ‘there’, but what you arrive at could be amazing. I wanted it to have depth, but be simple and since I’ve never done a full-on from-pencil-sketches layered paper cut, I figured I’d try it using my electronic cutting machine, which has the added benefit of leaving me with an svg of my final layers that I can open source.