[rfc-i] Branding

"Martin J. Dürst" duerst at it.aoyama.ac.jp
Sun Aug 5 18:32:04 PDT 2012

On 2012/08/04 23:52, Phillip Hallam-Baker wrote:
> How about a different color for Proposed and Standard?
> That might encourage more people to work on promotion...
> Also Informational and experimental could be visually distinct.
> I am thinking they should all have icons in the masthead. Experimental
> would have a test tube, retort, flasky chemistry set up. Only proposed
> and standard would have the IETF logo (proposed would have a question
> mark).
> Informational would be tricky.

I'm afraid that a chemistry look would give the impression that we are 
getting in the chemistry standard business :-). Also, we might want to 
keep fancy imagery to a minimum, the same way as for the documents 
themselves. The main advantage of a more flexible format is that the 
classification labels can be much bigger. See e.g. examples at W3C.

The W3C also has a bit of experience with using different colors, 
compare e.g.:
http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/single-page.html and

But the distinction is quite rough, it's just between official 
publications (including working drafts), which are blue, and inofficial 
versions (editor's copies,...), which are red.

The tools html version of drafts and rfcs uses about 10 colors, you can 
see them when clicking on the thin color stripe at the very top of the 
document e.g. at 

There is also an example of IETF branding with the IETF logo:
That was mostly the direction I was thinking in (of course without the 
W3C logo except for joint work).

Regards,    Martin.

> On Sat, Aug 4, 2012 at 2:02 AM, Joe Hildebrand (jhildebr)
> <jhildebr at cisco.com>  wrote:
>> On 8/3/12 2:30 AM, ""Martin J. Dürst""<duerst at it.aoyama.ac.jp>  wrote:
>>> As to the 'IETF' part, I think there are two broadly different views of
>>> the relationship between the IETF and the RFC Editor. I'd call the first
>>> the "insider view". That view sees the IETF and the RFC Editor as two
>>> essentially totally separate entities. The second view I'd call the
>>> "outsider view". That view thinks IETF when they hear RFC, and RFC when
>>> they hear IETF.
>>> You seem to argue from the viewpoint of the "insider view". Joe and I
>>> seem to argue from the viewpoint of the "outsider view". So maybe we
>>> have to change levels and talk about these two views before we can talk
>>> again about branding.
>> I largely agree with what Martin is saying, but I'd tweak it a little bit.
>>   Regardless of the format decided upon, we might decide to have a somewhat
>> different brand for consensus-based output of the IETF, IRTF, ISE, IAB,
>> etc.
>> Once you can have a brand that goes beyond the capabilities of the
>> lineprinter format, we might decide that the differences in brand are
>> important.  Alternately, we might decide that the "RFC" brand is more
>> important than the brand of the organization or individual that produced
>> the work.  I'm not convinced one way or the other yet, but it seems like
>> we should make an explicit decision.
>> For example, the fact that the IRC cluster of RFCs (2810-2813) is
>> informational and not really the output of a consensus-based approach by
>> the IETF has been surprising to many people that I've talked to over the
>> years.  "It's got an RFC number, so it must be good"
>> Note: I'm not saying that IRC is bad here, or that the process was flawed,
>> or anything like that.  The question is, to a casual observer, should
>> those RFCs look exactly the same (aside from the word "INFORMATIONAL" in
>> the title) as a fully consensus-based document?
>> --
>> Joe Hildebrand
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