Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Debian GNOME GUI Graphics Ubuntu

Ubuntu Gets a New Visual Identity 683

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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Ubuntu Gets a New Visual Identity

Comments Filter:
  • Dear Ubuntu (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pinkj ( 521155 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:03PM (#31353456)
    Don't change all the time like Windows seems to do. Be yourself and we'll accept you. Rebranding almost never helps. Consistency does.
    • Re:Dear Ubuntu (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SilverHatHacker ( 1381259 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:08PM (#31353506)
      As sentimental as that is, for the last five years I've heard nothing but complaints about the color scheme. No one accepts others for who they are unless they already like who they are.
      • Re:Dear Ubuntu (Score:4, Insightful)

        by GF678 ( 1453005 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:18PM (#31353602)

        You might have heard nothing but complaints about the color scheme because the theme is UNPOPULAR.

        Sometimes it's just that simple - the majority of people find the shit-stained brownness of Ubuntu uninviting. So Canonical are trying something different, for better or worse.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

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

          Yeah, the only problem is that the controls and icons still look like they were drawn by programmers in GIMP.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by VGPowerlord ( 621254 )

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

            Yeah, the only problem is that the controls and icons still look like they were drawn by programmers in GIMP.

            HA, WRONG!

            They were drawn by Shuttleworth's secretary in GIMP.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          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 eno

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

        by bondsbw ( 888959 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:20PM (#31353616)

        I don't care so much about the color scheme as the general UI. Windows has come a long way since 2002. Gnome hasn't.

        Not complaining... the Windows guys get more money. But still... competition is competition, and money or not, Gnome isn't competing with Windows 7 like it could with Windows XP.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by enoz ( 1181117 )

          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:5, Insightful)

            by bondsbw ( 888959 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @11:02PM (#31353966)

            KDE doesn't look/behave like Windows either.

            Agreed that you can choose the UI, but when there's not much to choose from... I guess I would have to write my own. But I'd rather pay Microsoft a couple hundred instead of doing that.

            I like Linux. I'm on the LFS list. Been through most of the distros over the years. But I give credit where it is due... Microsoft has an edge in the UI world. Apple had an edge over Microsoft for years (not as much any more). Personally... I think the Ubuntu Netbook Remix UI is the direction of the future that could take it past both Microsoft and Apple.

            • 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.

            • When you get away from Windows, you can not only choose the UI (bash, ksh, zsh, etc) or GUI [toastytech.com], but also change it. Before Microsoft became such a problem, it was the norm for people to not just tweak but show off their customizations. I know that most people really piss and moan about tweaking the defaults, but it is possible. The knowledge is gone from the mainstream, but the functionality is still there.

              Whether you use KDE, CDE, Xfce, or GNOME you can choose not just the theme (appearance) but also the

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Hurricane78 ( 562437 )

              KDE doesn't look/behave like Windows either.

              Yes, but unfortunately, they chose to take tons of horribly bad concepts from Windows. Down to little things. It’s only a surprise that there is no Clippy in KOffice (but there is something like it in OpenOffice).

              Don’t get me wrong, I really like KDE. And I am not only saying this for KDE, but for Gnome and XFCE too.
              Examples where it’s like windows (XP mostly):

              • Task bar
              • Start menu
              • Little things like search in the start menu
              • Clock on the right.
              • Little icons next to the clock
              • HAL
              • HAL-Icons next to
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by sqldr ( 838964 )

            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: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          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, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 04, 2010 @01:50AM (#31354888)
          Quite the opposite imho. For example: Where again do you do desktop zoom in windows to see that video fullscreen where the website prefers to surround it by ads? Or how do I control a window transparency with a key plus the mouse wheel, so that I can see the window behind it too? Is it possible at all to choose which windows remain 'always on top' or 'always on bottom'? Oh, and what shady buggy shareware do I need to get multiple desktops, and why can't I assign my own keyboard shortcuts to switch around them? Why can't I run a program on one computer and let it display on another?

          When I start a big program that takes a couple of seconds to start, and I go to the 'start' menu to start another program before the first one opens, then why does windows think it's a good idea to suddenly remove the menu where I'm trying to lookup that other program, just because the first program got far enough to open its first window?

          Why, after logging in, when it looks on the screen that the computer is ready for me, does the mouse pointer still blink/flash and not let me actually do usefull things while the only thing happening is the harddrive light being on and the junk bar on the bottom getting larger and larger.

          Why does every program inform me in a different way that it has an update, or wants to check online for updates, and why do I need to reboot that often for that?

          What is 'fast web search', why does it hyjack my browser and make everything slower and how did it get in there, and how do I get rid of it? (repeat for dozens more spyware/adware).

          What is an adware scanner anyway? And why do I still need a virus scanner band-aid in the 21st century? Shouldn't that OS problem be actually solved by now?

          Why did my webcam suddenly stop working after a windows update, and why do the Microsoft help pages do nothing more than ask me if their advice helped, instead of actually helping?

          Why can't I print a photo on my HP printer with the software that came with windows without it complaining about wrong paper size, unless I download and install a program like irfanview for that?

          Staring at 'Configuring updates Step 1 of 3' instead of letting me do what I need to do...

          And why does the 'home' version of windows not have simple effects such as a nice 3d flip/cover switcher?

          None of the above problems or limitations with Gnome nor KDE...

          Maybe the windows ui was grey in 2002 and has candy colors today, it still blows, that's all.
        • by houghi ( 78078 )

          I don't like Windows. I don't like GNOME. I don't like KDE. I use XFCE (with openSUSE)

          So I am also not complaining about the colour. The colour can be easily changed. And I am also not complaining about the desktop. I just change that to what I want as well. Since Win95 thye first thing I did was change the colour. Then when I started with Linux, I selected the desktop I wanted. First Enlightenment! then Windowmaker and now XFCE.

      • by Sark666 ( 756464 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:22PM (#31353630)

        Yeah I can see the plan.

        'Hmm... What colour could potentially be uglier than brown...'

        'Purple!!! Of course!!!'

      • a more professional color scheme with purple and orange.

        Professional? Maybe, if you went to Clemson. Is this the price for getting their official endorsement ("Clemson students are encouraged to use Ubuntu." [clemson.edu]?

      • 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: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by piripiri ( 1476949 )

      Rebranding almost never helps.

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

    • 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.


      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.

  • by JustinFreid ( 1723716 ) <mail@justinfreid.com> on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:05PM (#31353468) Homepage

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

  • Anonymous (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:06PM (#31353472)

    Does anyone actually ever use the default Ubuntu theme? I know whenever I install Gnome the first thing I do is set it to clearlooks.

  • by meow27 ( 1526173 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:08PM (#31353514)
    now im going to have to spend extra time getting the window tools to the right side of the window?
    ugh this blows

    cmon everyone knows the left side is the wrong one![/pun]

      in other news they really should be using the technix theme. it could use some tweaking with the font colors, but other than that, its excellent imho
    • When I saw the screenshot and noticed the state buttons were in the upper left...

      ..I thought immediately.. "ouch! now THATS a paper cut!"
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ciroknight ( 601098 )
      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 mu
      • by kjart ( 941720 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @12:37AM (#31354492)

        So, your first point is that the right corner is way out of the way compared to where you are most often clicking (menus) and the second point is you are always clicking in that corner? In any case, I'd think the far more common missclick would be someone hitting the window controls if they were right above the menus.

        Also, in case you didn't know, you can resize the window from any corner - though I must say that I don't think I've ever seen anyone resize with that corner. Seems like the kind of nonsense someone who likes window controls in the top left would do.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        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?

        One obvious reason I can think of is because you don't want to miss "File", and accidentally click on "Close" instead.

        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.


        Every Mac user can immediately appreciate the position of the window controls, if they use them at all.

        Uh... guess where the Close Window button in OS X is?..

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by curveclimber ( 17352 )

        Nah, I use OS X at work and Ubuntu at home: right side is the right side. You spend most of your time in a GUI opening, scrolling and closing windows. Putting controls on the left side means you have to cross the screen every time you want to work with a window. How do you accidently close a maximised window? I suppose your argument would make sense if a lot of what people did with windows was drag them all over their screen. Maybe people do. I certainly don't.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:08PM (#31353518) Homepage

    They changed the color scheme from brown to beige. How exciting.

    The small icons are still too cluttered. They're simply smaller versions of the large icons, which never works very well.

  • About Time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by honkycat ( 249849 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:11PM (#31353548) Homepage Journal

    This is long overdue. The brown theme was a major turnoff for me. It seems silly, I know, but the first impression is an important one. This was at least part of the reason I preferred Kubuntu. The quick screenshot looks a lot better to me.

    And yes, of course you can change the colors, but there's a lot of value of a nice out-of-the-box experience. Developing your own color scheme is trickier than you'd think to get "right."

  • by AlexBirch ( 1137019 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:12PM (#31353552) Homepage
    I'm sad that the babysh*t brown color will go away!!!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:12PM (#31353558)

    Don't like that the Window control buttons (maximize, close, etc.) are moved to the top left of the window, instead of the top right where they used to be.

    1. I'm used to them being on the right in both current Ubuntu and Windows. I know Mac has them on the left, but I never liked that.
    2. If the window is partially dragged off-screen, I can click either the X on the right side, or File -> Close on the left side. With both being on one side, I need to or drag the window back (if it works, which often doesn't if its dragged so much to the extreme that it's hard to grab the title bar with your mouse).

    I know the problem usually has trivial workarounds (such as a keyboard shortcut to close), but meh. Why not leave it the way it worked before.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by setagllib ( 753300 )

      You can close (and minimise, maximise, etc) windows by right clicking on the title bar or even the task bar's button corresponding to that window. This is consistent in KDE and several other window managers.

  • 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.


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

      Explain UPS then?

      • by MarkusQ ( 450076 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:35PM (#31353748) Journal

        Explain UPS then?

        An Uninterpretable Power Supply is basically a honking big battery (or, in advanced models, a desktop fusion setup) that takes over when the normal electrical supply fails.

        And sarcasm is a way of making a rhetorical point by stating something that is obviously untrue and yet is a plausible deduction to reach from a position you are trying to rebut.

        Of course, you probably already knew that.


      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

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

        Explain UPS then?

        The UPS trucks are painted "Pullman Brown". This is a paint color originally selected by the company that made the Pullman railroad cars.

        It was selected after considerable research: It is the color that can get the most road dirt on it before it LOOKS dirty. This lets them use a long interval between washings, saving money on cleaning while still having equipment that looks decent. When

  • Does anyone else think it looks more like mac os X?
  • Wait, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geminidomino ( 614729 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:20PM (#31353614) Journal

    "Purple and orange" is a professional color scheme?

    I don't even know what color tie goes with a blue shirt, but even I know that's awful.

  • Coral link to this: (Score:3, Informative)

    by Announcer ( 816755 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:21PM (#31353622) Homepage

    Looks like the server's starting to buckle under the Slashdot Effect!

    Here is the CORAL link to the page with screenshots:

    http://www.jonobacon.org.nyud.net/2010/03/03/refreshing-the-ubuntu-brand/ [nyud.net]

  • 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 dtbw ( 716889 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:25PM (#31353664)
    I would be happier if things like mounting digital cameras worked consistently from one release to the next without scouring the web looking for the latest hoop to jump through. Yes I can find the answer and make it work but a lot of potential converts will give up and pop the Windows 7 install disk in.
  • New theme (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ianare ( 1132971 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:33PM (#31353728)

    Ubuntu gets a new theme and ./ STILL uses the Debian icon?

  • by LighterShadeOfBlack ( 1011407 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:45PM (#31353846) Homepage

    They've moved the window frame buttons to a place that's counter-intuitive for most people but they've also cocked that up in a way that doesn't even make sense for people used to OSX (the buttons are still laid out in the same order as if right-aligned). So now you've got buttons in places nobody is used to, the X button no longer benefits from the 'infinite-dimension' effect of being in a corner, and plus you've got the window frame buttons directly above the menubar - instantly making 10% of attempts to open the Edit menu into accidental window closes. I guess they never stopped to think why most WMs have them on the right and OSX has them on the left.


  • by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @10:50PM (#31353872)
    Brown and orange at least look good together, like gold or wheat (they finally moved away from baby poop brown and used more orange in the last few releases). Purple and orange look like domestic violence.
  • by wiredlogic ( 135348 ) on Wednesday March 03, 2010 @11:39PM (#31354162)

    Shuttleworth or someone else with decisive control over the default theme is most likely colorblind. I find that colorblind people tend to chose odd muddy browns, greens, and yellows when coloring things on the computer. You can frequently spot them when they prepare Powerpoint presentations.

  • 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.

  • by pseudonomous ( 1389971 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @01:36AM (#31354818)

    I think if anybody ever bothered to use the default GNOME theme, the one the upstream developers ship, they would appreciate much of an improvement every Ubuntu theme has been over the default.

  • by Tarlus ( 1000874 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @01:58AM (#31354924)

    Ubuntu dumps the brown

    I'm an accomplished adult and yet I can only barely resist the urge to make a poo joke.

  • by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Thursday March 04, 2010 @02:01AM (#31354944)

    These open source designs always scream open source. They just lack the polish and careful thought that you get with Windows or OSX. Far too often the designer resorts to being different for the sake of being different. Having done interface design for years now there are a few things that come to mind off the top of my head I'd work on.

    A few critiques:
    Overall the design looks a bit dated. I'm not suggesting they should have done something obnoxious, but it feels like insufficient effort was put into this.

    Icons are flat, like they tried going for a dimensional look but either lacked the talent or the inclination to go all the way.

    Font selection is clumsy. The font itself is quite good, but it's a bit on the large size given the scale, but more importantly everything is crammed together.

    Icons and buttons almost look randomly placed. Why is zoom sitting between some icons and view selection. Is view selection even so important that it needs to be featured prominently? The folder buttons are too pronounced in relation to everything else and there's insufficient visual separation between that and the places dropdown.

    There's insufficiently visual separation between windows in the foreground and background, although honestly I think OSX has this problem too. It gets problematic trying to pick something out when multiple windows are open. There's no sense of prioritization to anything so everything blurs together at a glance.

    Those windows are poorly balanced. Why is everything left aligned, leaving most of the title banner empty?

    This really looks like the rough draft of a GUI. If you want to sell an OS to the average user you've really got to make it approachable. That means making it visually appealing and polished. This is one of those things that doesn't seem important when done right, but people always notice it when something is missing. Also important is giving real consideration to the user experience. These designs look to me like someone simply copied Windows and added in a bunch of elements from OSX. Certainly there's a sense of familiarity users have with Windows, but why not study both OSX and Windows and try to get a sense for what works and what doesn't then build your GUI around that? And based on some comments I've seen it seems elements of the design even break Fitt's laws.

    Having used the previous version of Ubuntu I wouldn't really say this is an improvement at all.

  • 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.

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!