Creating a featured image for the Fedora Magazine

Process change in progress. The Fedora Magazine is currently moving to a new editorial workflow. Some inconsistencies might occur for a few days, starting 16 Sep 2019. Please follow the Fedora Magazine mailing list for further updates. All changes are expected be finalized by the end of the week.

Each article in the Fedora Magazine must have a featured image. The image gives the article added visual appeal. It also appears in links on social media, to attract more viewers.

These images are created as SVG (scalable vector graphic) images. To work with these images, you should install a SVG capable application such as Inkscape[Inkscape]. You will also need the git[git] utility installed.

Getting the image repository

Open a Terminal. (You’ll type commands into the terminal for some of the following steps.)

Install the git and inkscape packages if you don’t have them installed already:

$ sudo dnf install git inkscape

If desired, change directory into the folder where you like to store your project work. This example uses the folder name projects, but you should use a folder you have on your system. This step is optional:

cd projects

Now clone the git repository of Fedora Magazine images:

$ git clone https://pagure.io/fedoramagazine-images.git

Creating a new image using the template

Open Inkscape, and choose File > Open… (or hit Ctrl+O). Navigate to the project folder, then into fedoramagazine-images, then into images. Choose the template.svg file.

Save this as a new file with a different name.

You can use the assets inside this file to start with the right-sized document, with some pre-configured backgrounds. Feel free to look at other SVGs for guidance. If you don’t have experience with these images, try to stick with fonts and motifs that you see in recent banners. But also feel free to experiment! For instance, use photographs (freely licensed, such as CC-BY or CC-BY-SA) with a text overlay for a nice look. Unsplash.com has a large library of images in the public domain you can use to get started.

Fonts

There are a few fonts that are commonly used in featured images. You are encouraged to use these fonts in your images to help featured images fit into the general “theme” that other images follow. They are all freely available at the links provided. The fonts we commonly use on the Fedora Magazine are listed below.

Montserrat (friendly and Sans-like) Roboto Slab (friendly with serifs) Molot (heavier font, feels technical) Grand Hotel (for a fancy script-y feel)

To use these fonts on your Fedora system, download the font and unpack the OTF or TTF file (if required) into your ~/.fonts folder. Then update your font cache:

$ fc-cache

You will need to close and reopen Inkscape, GIMP, or other applications to take advantage of the new fonts.

Getting your work reviewed

If you’d like to post your work somewhere, convert it to a JPG first. This will typically be a smaller file. Make sure your SVG file is saved in the fedoramagazine-images/images/ folder as above. Typically these should be named after the article in some way to make it easier to find images later. For this example, let’s assume your SVG file is named using-inkscape.svg.

Open a Terminal and go to the fedoramagazine-images/images/ folder:

$ cd projects/fedoramagazine-images/images/

Now use the helpful make target we’ve provided. This creates the correct sized (1890x800 pixels) JPG automatically, if you provide the same name as your SVG file:

$ make using-inkscape.jpg

Now you can post this file, using-inkscape.jpg, online, and then provide that URL to the mailing list for review. Remember, don’t attach your JPG to a mailing list post. URLs are the correct way to have your file reviewed.