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Vim is beautiful (on the inside).  It deserves some beautiful reference material that actually helps you learn & use it!
Vim is beautiful (on the inside).  It deserves some beautiful reference material that actually helps you learn & use it!
Vim is beautiful (on the inside). It deserves some beautiful reference material that actually helps you learn & use it!
467 backers pledged $12,023 to help bring this project to life.

Funding Accelerated to Ludicrous Speed

$10,000 is already a quickly-receding dot in our rear-view mirror.  Nice job, everyone!  I've been trying to think of something wacky to do to celebrate such a magnificent monetary milestone, but I think everyone just wants their posters ASAP!  So, I have been churning out design ideas and playing with existing ones, searching for the elusive "home run" design.

Since I haven't thought of a crazy $10k mega-reward yet, here are some pictures!

I had vital cat-help while perusing the early draft print.

This is maybe half of the notes & sketches I've made for this poster so far.  Trying to figure out what to include is a challenge; figuring out where to put it is something else entirely!  Also, why do we stop playing with colored construction paper after kindergarten? It's useful stuff!

Finally, here are two design drafts that I've been kicking around:

A different version of the above draft.  The structure of this one has some promise, but I haven't yet been able to find a good balance of flow between the different sections.  

A new design idea from tonight. It's more attractive than the above predecessor, but it relies on a "weird" idea, namely that certain commands are better off speaking for themselves without being explicitly described.  I have a theory that you don't learn how to navigate with these keys by reading them on a cheat sheet; you learn how to use them by using them.  For simple things like linear horizontal & vertical navigation, it might be enough just to let people know they exist, and let empirical usage take care of the rest.

Let me know what you think, everyone!  Since there are too many backers to have back-and-forth conversations with, I will have to restrict active dialogue regarding the design to the people who picked the "Feedback" reward tier (that's why it's there), but if you have a suggestion or comment, I will definitely read it, so feel free to drop me a line!

A lot of people are curious about timeframes; my goal is to have the design finished by the end of the month and the posters shipped out by early June.  If I really have to take a little bit more time to get the design spot-on, I will, but I don't want this to drag on any more than you guys do!  I'll keep everyone updated with my progress, so you won't get left in the dark during the rest of the design process.

As usual, thanks to everyone for your excitement and support.  It is such a delight to be able to do this for the vim community!


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    1. Matt Lambie on May 10, 2012

      As a point of interest, the first draft has a few black on red letters. As a person who is red/green colourblind, I have a hard time reading the black on red. The red is clearly red to me (sometimes reds or greens will appear brownish) but the black letter on top of the red box is difficult to process.

      As an alternative, perhaps using a white letter would preserve the readability whilst retaining the style that's used in the vim logo on the poster (white on red).

    2. Hazel Smith on May 10, 2012

      Hmm, not sure about the cross idea, could be interesting, but I don't think as a major theme of the poster, I think it would be kinda distracting. Maybe in one corner?

      (Or as a watermark in the background, but I'm not sure how well that would come out in print.)

    3. Missing avatar

      Don Frazier on May 10, 2012

      As a novice (but learning) vim user I would prefer the first draft over the cross. I get the idea of the cross, but navigation isn't the thing I have to look up most.

    4. Robin Wood on May 10, 2012

      Have you thought of going 3D? No idea how it would work but it would add a novel twist to it.

    5. Missing avatar

      Arnold Werschky on May 10, 2012

      Max, I like the graphic idea of the cross, I think it makes navigation really easy to find on the cheat sheet (what good is a cheat sheet if you can't find the cheat).
      Perhaps a compromise between the two?
      Find some cool way to graphically tie command to line, word, document, so its more intuitive that the commands are for that reason?
      My vote would be for the cross version, regardless of any sort of compromise.

    6. _Zed_ on May 10, 2012

      +1 to Bill as well
      It might be a bit more cluttered then the cross, but that is from making the information more visible, hence easier to read.

    7. Kyle on May 10, 2012

      +1 to Bill.

      That seems so simple and I'd like to add more, but he basically said what I wanted to.

    8. sterfield on May 10, 2012

      I prefer the first draft, the one presented in the Update #1. The cross is interesting, but as a rookie vim user, I perfectly understand movement such as "gg", "G", "0" etc.. but not "b", "e", "W", etc... The first draft explains it WAY better than the cross.

      My 2 cents

    9. Missing avatar

      Bill LaPierre on May 10, 2012

      I like the original idea best (that's what make me want to give up $50) and the first draft looks like it would work. I really don't want a cheat sheet that is complicated or needs a cheat sheet (or quick lesson) to understand. If it can't be referenced quickly and easily, it becomes art and not a tool. I'd say go with the original and color code sections like you do in the first draft. Honestly, the curly braces help me to mentally separate the parts of the command (is that as silly as it sounds to me?). Most importantly, make it easy to read. If your non-vim-aware friend can read it, it's probably good. If not, it may not be straight forward enough.

    10. Sven Opitz on May 10, 2012

      I really like the cross idea, it works beautifully to convey the different movement options in relation to each other. So one look is enough to understand the movement. I call this idea excellent.