Update: Luis, I truly regret missing the opportunity to take an active role in the judging. Have I not missed the discussion that apparently took place on the marketing list, which I am not subscribed to (as opposed to gnome themes for example), I would have not submitted the artwork for the contest myself. It doesn’t have anything to do with being busy.
At the time of writing the blog entry, “gosh it sucks” felt like it summed up my thoughts best. But here’s my take on the “constructive criticism” now that I calmed down:
Bad lighting. The foot shading doesn’t correspond to the shadow cast on the wall.
Color. Saturated purple gradient with a large contrast gap between the gradient stops is probably what makes it hard for me to accept.
Layout. There is no harmony between the individual elements of the splash. Especially the “GNOME” vs “2.10” text.
Font. I am guilty of breaking this rule myself, but the GNOME logo is supposed to use the Trebuchet MS font.
The problem is, a splash may comply with all the rules (which weren’t really mentioned in the initial call for participation) and still not be executed well. And there may (and were) many entries that break the rules, use the Gnome 1.0 foot for example, and still be appealing and well executed. As you know, artwork is subjective. As much as I hate writing guidelines, I guess we need some for the “look” as much as we needed it for the interface “feel”. This splash looks very alien on the GNOME desktop.
Not “bitching about it” after it happened is perhaps a valid point, but as a person who devoted a lot of time trying to give GNOME a consistent and pleasing look I simply couldn’t help myself.