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Ubuntu Gets a New Visual Identity 683

Posted by samzenpus
from the it-cleans-up-well dept.
buntcake writes "Canonical has launched a new visual identity for the Ubuntu Linux distribution. Ubuntu is shedding its previous brown look and adopting a more professional color scheme with purple and orange. The colors will be used in a new GNOME theme and boot splash for Ubuntu 10.04. According to updated design documents that were published in the Ubuntu wiki, 'light' is the underlying concept behind the new visual identity. It displaces the 'human' concept that has been part of Ubuntu's theming and brand vernacular for the past five years. Ubuntu community manager Jono Bacon has posted a screenshot and additional information."
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Ubuntu Gets a New Visual Identity

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  • by grcumb (781340) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:11PM (#31353544) Homepage Journal

    Is professionalism a virtue? I like the notion of Ubuntu as being warm and fuzzy, especially with the adjective+animal names for the releases.

    Don't you worry. In the 15 years I've been doing web and interface design, I've never heard the words 'purple', 'orange' and 'professional' used in the same sentence.

  • Re:Dear Ubuntu (Score:2, Interesting)

    by piripiri (1476949) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:13PM (#31353576) Journal

    Rebranding almost never helps.

    And make the people who just bought some official merchandising [ubuntu.com] very frustrated.

  • Excuse me? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MarkusQ (450076) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:16PM (#31353592) Journal

    a more professional color scheme with purple and orange.

    Because brown seems so frivolous compared to a pair of secondary colours, and the other combinations were already taken by Barney, the Irish rebels, and these folks [adrants.com]?

    I suppose that's why industries that care about their professional image never use brown for anything.

    --MarkusQ

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:23PM (#31353644)

    Window control buttons are on the wrong side, if I wanted a Mac I would get one. Stop changing crap, clearlooks human or just clearlooks would have been fine.

  • by Skreems (598317) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:23PM (#31353652) Homepage
    I think I'm out of touch with the "young" school of graphic design, or something. I agree with you, purple and orange is ridiculous. I like the new boot splash screen they have on their wiki, but the rest is pretty clunky feeling.

    Then again, maybe they're just following Apple's lead. Apparently pictures of space are cool again. Maybe we've time-warped back to 1993.
  • Re:About Time (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Announcer (816755) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:27PM (#31353682) Homepage

    First impressions... Why did XP default to the "Playskool" look?

  • Re:Dear Ubuntu (Score:3, Interesting)

    by enoz (1181117) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:32PM (#31353720)

    I use Ubuntu but not Gnome. You see, with Linux the user can choose the UI.

    If you wanted something that looked or behaved like Windows then you would be looking at KDE, not Gnome.

  • Re:Dear Ubuntu (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:34PM (#31353732)

    With his billions, Shuttleworth needs to hire a crack team of icon developers for a year. OSS icons stink, and icons are what you look at. Personally, I never use 'em. Just plain, clean menus (fvwm2).

  • Re:Dear Ubuntu (Score:5, Interesting)

    by digitig (1056110) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:34PM (#31353736)

    As sentimental as that is, for the last five years I've heard nothing but complaints about the color scheme.

    Not from me -- I like the brown colour scheme. Still, when choosing an OS, colour scheme is quite low on my list of priorities. As long as it doesn't hurt my eyes...

  • Re:Dear Ubuntu (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:34PM (#31353744)

    It offers a UI that is visually pleasing. I find that using a nicer looking UI can reduce stress and helps with productivity and my creative thinking process.

    Comfort in computing is more important to me than trying to squeeze out every last ounce of power by using a stripped down, bland UI.

  • Re:Still brown... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by masshuu (1260516) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:59PM (#31353938)

    That reminds me. Some people just have a fixation on a color.
    My mom is gonna paint her red car...
    wait for it...
    you guessed it...
    red...

    Not like her car needs a paint job. And shes not getting the same red color, apparently the red she wants is 2 more notches red than the current red. I didn't realize there was more than 1 kind of red, but hay, I'm a guy.

    reminds me of the bash quote:
    http://www.bash.org/?914350 [bash.org]

    <Rex> He's a guy, he only sees like 10 colours or something, don't do this to him.

    Honestly though, it takes you what? a minute to change the style if you don't like it? I understand its Ubuntu, but skin change? Slow news day much?

  • by tux0r (604835) <magicfingers+slashdot&gmail,com> on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @11:10PM (#31354030) Homepage

    xorg.conf will still be used if you make one.

    Yes, I made an xorg.conf, but wrangling with drivers, text files and unanswered forum posts of others trying to do the same thing quickly became tiresome. It's the same old issue: desktop Linux configuration is too much for Everyman. I'm technically capable and not averse to troubleshooting, but still couldn't readily identify what to do to get it to work (or even whether it could be done at all). To search the net for desktop Linux configuraton advice is to trawl a wasteland of old information, misinformation and absent information.

    Why are you using s-video in 2010?

    S-video because it's an old rear projection TV, and I've got no money for upgrades. The point is that I've done it on the cheap, but not by using Ubuntu.

    WinXP Just Worked, and Boxee runs fine.

  • Re:Dated? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @11:11PM (#31354038)

    this basically sums up people's feelings about Windows 7 http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/windows_7.png [xkcd.com]

    I like how people say this about a cartoon released before the freaking OS.

  • Re:Dear Ubuntu (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zippthorne (748122) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @11:17PM (#31354060) Journal

    It's easy to change if you want a shiny and glossy brown & orange theme, or a KDE-inspired brown & orange theme. But if you want to get out of "We're trendy like a café" PaneraBucks land, you have to use some elbow grease. Manually change the individual colors of the screen elements, because the only pre-selected color schemes are variations on brown & orange.

    Which is great if you're a graphic artist, but if you don't know art and only "know what you like", if brown & orange isn't it, you're up a creek.

  • Re:Dear Ubuntu (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CAIMLAS (41445) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @11:18PM (#31354066) Homepage

    Dear CarrotTop,

    Please don't change your image. We like you just the way you are: attractive, sexy, loveable.

    Sincerely,

    Teenage Girls

    ... but seriously. Ubuntu has typically looked like shit: 9.10 has the "burnt amber" look, which is horrible.

    Orange (gold) and purple only really work for a very small subset of the populace. Brown and orange works for nobody: these are color schemes picked by football teams to differentiate themselves from each other, with no significant purpose other than that.

    Blue, on the other hand, is much more acceptable to everyone.

    Consider: both OS X and Windows have done "variations of blue" for the better part of a decade. Failing that, go with grey and accents (OS X 10.5 and pre-XP, at least).

    There is a good reason for using blue: blue is calming and generally appealing. Darker shades are rich and warm. Even KDE uses "blue" to one degree or another (and has since 2.0 I think - for the most part - unless you're using SuSE).

    Orange/gold and purple are regal colors. Whatever. I personally hate maroon, purple, and the like, and will theme anything I've got to look at all day a softer blue, grey, or the like. I suspect many people are the same in that regard.

  • Re:Dated? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Blakey Rat (99501) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @11:32PM (#31354136)

    Yes, Windows 7 isn't terrible, but it lacks the user-friendlyness and universal knowledge that XP had.

    When you use weasel-words like "universal knowledge" (what the hell does that even mean?), it's hard for people to refute you. But Microsoft does indeed do usability testing, a lot of it, and Windows 7 is provably more user friendly than Windows XP. (And since it's bound to come up: so is Office 2007.)

    And Vista might be "considered trash," but it's also measurably superior to XP-- in fact I think it says something that Vista and Windows 7 are virtually identical, yet for some reason 7 is liked and Vista is hated. (What it says? Slashdotters make knee-jerk snap decisions.)

    Usability isn't about hand-waving or saying "I think this color looks nice," it's about sitting people in front of your product and watching them use it. It's about defining a task, and measuring how well they complete it using your OS. It's about statistics, not hunches. Most divisions of Microsoft do that consistently and habitually. (Some don't.)

    In that rant, I'm not saying to say anything about this move from Ubuntu-- for all I know the new UI is great, I haven't used it yet, and I haven't seen any of their decision-making process. I'm just saying that your statement about XP is plain wrong.

  • Re:Dear Ubuntu (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wmac (1107843) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @11:42PM (#31354188) Homepage
    What do you mean by the word "Important". If you mean something that enables you to capture 90% of the market , then eye candy is more important.
  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @11:47PM (#31354206)

    I don't know about you, but I don't give a wet crap what the default theme looks like. Regardless of operating system, the defaults last just long enough for me to figure out how to change them to what I like. The only time I'm turned off by the defaults is when I can't change them. About the only graphics change in Ubuntu I'd care about is better support for a broader range of graphics cards.

    Mind you, if the change makes Ubuntu appeal more to the kind of people who think desktop color schemes make a difference in how professional they are, great. I'm just not one of those people, and I rather suspect most self-selected Linux users aren't, either.

  • Re:Still brown... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AvitarX (172628) <me AT brandywinehundred DOT org> on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @11:48PM (#31354216) Journal

    What I find stupid, is the moving of the window "action" buttons.

  • by ciroknight (601098) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @11:56PM (#31354272)
    The window controls are precisely where they should be.

    First, which side of the window, and for that matter the screen, are all of the menus on? That's right, the left-hand side. So why would you want to have to move your mouse a thousand pixels to close a window?

    Second, what is the most destructive operation you can perform on a window? Closing it. Why on earth are you beating your users over the head by putting the most destructive operation that close to the corner? When it's on the corner, it's much easier to hit by accident, for example when reaching to resize the window. This has happened time and again with me on Windows to the point of absolute fury

    What's the least destructive operation that still gets the window out of your line of sight? Minimize. If you hit it on accident, it takes you maybe a few hundred pixels to reach down, or up if you're like me, to restore the window. Unlike if it's closed by accident, which can take minutes to restore if it was a large networked word processing file.

    Every Mac user can immediately appreciate the position of the window controls, if they use them at all. They are clearly colored for improved accuracy, they're out of the way, and what's even better, you usually don't have to use them, since OS X's Expose is so much more convenient, even more so than Compiz, anyways. The only reason not to switch is because of existing Windows users, and we stated a long time ago that Ubuntu isn't Windows.
  • Re:Wait, what? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Brandybuck (704397) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @12:14AM (#31354362) Homepage Journal

    It's a complementary color scheme. It's hard to get right, but it's very common. Although purple and orange aren't complementary, bluish-purple and yellowish-orange are.

  • Re:Dear Ubuntu (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LordLimecat (1103839) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @12:41AM (#31354520)
  • by DMUTPeregrine (612791) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @12:59AM (#31354618) Journal
    You contradict yourself. The most destructive operation SHOULD be far from the most common operation. Putting the "close window" button on the left with the menus is asking for misclicks.
  • Re:Dear Ubuntu (Score:4, Interesting)

    by westyvw (653833) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @01:58AM (#31354926)

    Shocked at that statement. I have three environments, KDE, Gnome, and Windows. KDE is by far the most productive environment. Windows lacks so many features it simply hurts to use it, and for each feature thats similar Windows takes up too much real estate and takes waaay too many clicks.
    Gnome is the decent compromise, dont think, no particular workflow, just jump in and go. There is a place for that too.

  • Re:Dear Ubuntu (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @02:32AM (#31355080)

    I agree. I use Windows at home and KDE on my laptop, and I have to say I enjoy using KDE much more than Windows.

  • Re:Dear Ubuntu (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @04:17AM (#31355584) Journal

    So Canonical are trying something different, for better or worse.

    They tried different wallpapers before (calender wallpapers introduced with Breezy), just to prove that brown can indeed be beautiful. Alas, some prudish afterthoughts caused them to be discontinued (removed from Hoary).
    http://hacktolive.org/w/images/Ubuntu-calendar-november-ws.jpg [hacktolive.org]
    http://hacktolive.org/w/images/Ubuntu-calendar-december-ws.jpg [hacktolive.org]
    http://hacktolive.org/w/images/Ubuntu-calendar-march-ws.jpg [hacktolive.org]

    Body painting was used to promote Linux at a show, but as far as I recall, Ubuntu was never brave enough to make a wallpaper on the theme: http://linuxologist.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/linux_body_painting_kl-300x278.jpg [linuxologist.com]
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_jLaEIqL6T8Y/SNwXz548U6I/AAAAAAAABcU/SDCXCNMXVmE/s400/Linux_Body_Art.jpg [blogspot.com]

  • Re:Dear Ubuntu (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sqldr (838964) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @04:51AM (#31355768)

    If you wanted something that looked or behaved like Windows then you would be looking at KDE

    This statement was true back in the days of KDE1.0 because they had the audacity to have a start menu. If I wanted something to behave like windows I'll boot into windows. Right now, I'm happy with KDE.

  • Re:Dear Ubuntu (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2010 @06:41AM (#31356258)

    Instead of being indignant, the community should take responsibility and learn the lesson.

    The devil is in the details. Windows 7 makes the feature really easy to use, and the visual feedback about "hey, if you drop your windows here, we will maximize it!" is really intuitive. In Gnome it wasn't, AFAIK. Nor in other window managers that supported it, like Ion. Furthermore, the feature of half-wide windows is more useful with today's wide screens.

    That's the point, the features in X are great, but you have to very carefully apply them to make it intuitive. From a computer science perspective such a feature is not significant progress. From a usability perspective, it is.

  • by crhylove (205956) <rhy@leperkhanz.com> on Thursday March 04, 2010 @07:09AM (#31356382) Homepage Journal

    I've been loudly clammoring for Canonical to ditch the brown for the better part of a decade. On the forums, on IRC, on /., on Reddit, on my blog, literally everywhere, I've been pleading and begging for Shuttleworth et al to pull their heads out of their asses and make something that just generally appeals to a whole lot of people.

    Brown doesn't. It was hideous, and somewhat embarrassing, especially when I tried to convince some people who ONLY WANTED FIREFOX that Ubuntu was a superior OS:

    "But why is it so UGLY?!?"

    "Hold on.... click click click..... Is that better?"

    and of course those clicks are always changing the hideous default theme.

    That said, this new theme is nearly as bad. Great, getting rid of the brown for.... PURPLE?!?!

    Purple and Orange look god damned atrocious. Why don't you just make a better OS, and copy the superior look of just about every other OS on the market.

    Points for originality only count if you don't look like shit. This new design, STILL LOOKS LIKE SHIT.

    Why not just take a cue from Linux Mint? They actually have a very decent and PLEASING default look that is even original and different compared to Win and OSX.

    While you are fixing that, why not go ahead and install superior default apps by default?

    VLC is much, much better than any other video player for Linux.

    Thunderbird is much better than whatever that crap is you default to.

    Deluge is better than Transmission.

    Audacious is much better than Rhythmbox.

    In fact, other than Open Office, most of the Ubuntu default apps are right crap.

    It wouldn't be hard to make 2010 the year of Linux on the desktop. All the tools are here now.

    Sadly, all the distros I've seen are still too bulky, too ugly, and have all the worst default apps. Ubuntu is definitely a good example of that.

  • Re:Dear Ubuntu (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Alex Belits (437) * on Thursday March 04, 2010 @08:21AM (#31356710) Homepage

    The devil is in the details. Windows 7 makes the feature really easy to use, and the visual feedback about "hey, if you drop your windows here, we will maximize it!" is really intuitive.

    That's actually a bad part of Microsoft "solution". I don't want to drag window for any purpose other than moving it -- that would make windows hard to manage -- so X always used keys and buttons for this purpose.

    In Gnome it wasn't, AFAIK.

    Current GNOME-native window manager never supported this at all -- it was the answer to Windows users who complained about fvwm, window maker, fluxbox, enlightenment and countless others that had this feature.

    Nor in other window managers that supported it, like Ion. Furthermore, the feature of half-wide windows is more useful with today's wide screens.

    And even now I can't imagine a sane person dragging a window to resize it.

    That's the point, the features in X are great, but you have to very carefully apply them to make it intuitive. From a computer science perspective such a feature is not significant progress. From a usability perspective, it is.

    The point is, Windows users can go through great pains accommodating anything Microsoft implements, however they also happen to be vehemently against against the same features in any other desktop or operating system, even if non-Microsoft implementation is superior.

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