[ubuntu-art] Styles/looks discussion

Frank Schoep frank at ffnn.nl
Tue Aug 22 10:30:31 BST 2006

On Aug 22, 2006, at 8:33 AM, Michiel Sikma wrote:
> On Aug 19, 2006, at 1:43 PM, Who wrote:
>> Personally, I was struggling to produce much that I liked with all  
>> out
>> gloss, I think that matte/gloss will be much easier to produce work
>> that is easy on the eyes and has a positive impact. Do people think
>> failsafe is matte or all out gloss? We seem to have one style from  
>> the
>> existing gdm and another from the splash...
> Well, judging by the guidelines laid out by Frank, it is both. :) Or
> can be, anyway. But I feel that with the stuff that I personally have
> made that felt like it belonged to Failsafe, it's more of a Matte/
> Gloss style than an all-out-gloss one. It just feels a lot better to
> me that way. Failsafe, as it has been retroactively named, was always
> a very sober and clean art direction, and I feel that Matte/Gloss
> continues that in a more elegant manner.

The basic idea was indeed to create artwork in combinations of all  
styles (Circles, Rounded and Failsafe) and all looks (Matte & Gloss  
and All out Gloss). I didn't intend to prescribe a certain look for a  
given style, but rather try them both. Of course, it's not  
unthinkable that a given style works best combined with a given look,  
but that'll become apparent once we see the bigger picture of all  

What Michiel proposed was a good idea - try to figure out what style  
and look would work best in your own opinion and start working on  
that. This way, we'll end up with the "best" combinations worked out  
first and they can be refined a bit more than the combinations that  
"won't" work as well.

>> In terms of designs, circles captivates me more than anything else,
>> because I think we can push a bit of new into it - but it is also not
>> as distinctive as it could be - with glossy circles we will need  
>> to be
>> very careful not to step on the toes of Fedora Core 5 (which, while
>> blue, was glossy/matte and circley)
> I don't think we need to focus on not having to look like Fedora Core
> 5, though. If anything we should just make neat art and not focus on
> whether we're stepping on anyone's toes. I can't really see Ubuntu
> ever taking the exact same artistic direction as Fedora, anyway.
> I hope that we can look even better than Fedora Core 5's art with the
> next release, by the way. I feel that the Core 5 art is just a little
> more sophisticated than ours as it is right now. It looks very
> lightweight, something which works well with the icon style they're
> trying to convey. I feel that our 6.06 had a mostly unfinished and
> unpolished look. Like the drop-down menu in the GDM, which totally
> does not fit in, or the end session dialog that looks bloated and is
> off-center. I personally also reject the large red "knob"-like icon
> used to end the session. If we look at Tangerine or Fedora's icons,
> we see that they use a door instead, which is much more low-profile
> and does a better job at staying consistently less noticeable to be a
> bother.
> I think that this release should, besides just making new and
> innovating art, also be to fix these inconsistencies and generally
> polish the entire thing up a bit, which is something Fedora Core 5 is
> ahead of, when compared to us.

Those are nice goals to pursue, and I hope we'll be making great  
steps towards achieving them with Edgy. But let's not forget that the  
fact we're discussing this here is already a major step forward. Edgy  
serves as much as a testbed for new art directions as well as the  
artwork process itself.

With regard to the Circles style - naturally I didn't intend to  
duplicate or replicate existing artwork for other distributions or  
operating systems, I wasn't aware of similarities when writing the  
document. To write down the directions I took all of the artwork that  
came in during earlier phases and decided which ideas might work and  
tried to sketch how the four artwork targets would look when using a  
consistent idea.

One goal I set for myself was to _only_ use ideas and sketches that  
came up during our collaborative brainstorming. I want the artwork  
we're producing to be the sum of our collaboration to showcase what  
we can do with the team, basically the end-goal of our new process.

>> As for the colours: they are much less orage than we have been using
>> (personally, a relief for me :P) - I don't know what implications  
>> this
>> has for the GTK them or icon set - I think the key will be to add
>> highlights in the other work that pick up on the icons - but I don't
>> really know about this - if anyone has any more concrete ideas about
>> how to make these other two look integrated....
> I was actually kind of peeved to learn that Frank's color palettes
> were more brownish than what I had been doing with the GTK theme at
> that point. I had been implementing hints of red and even tiny
> touches of yellow into the palette with my latest versions, and think
> that it works really well at refreshening the look. But well, perhaps
> there's still room for such colors in the future anyhow.
> I don't even know about the icon set anymore, to be honest. I've got
> quite a few things to say about icons in general, but feel that a
> discussion on that is totally out of place here (for reasons of space
> too...). But as long as I don't have sources for the Human icon set,
> I can't really suggest anything. Does anyone still have that link
> that contained it? I'm willing to do a lot for Ubuntu art, but
> reverse engineering the alpha channels of all icons of an icon set
> isn't one of them. :)

The color palettes I posted are actually purely referential right now  
and lean towards the safe side of the Ubuntu color spectrum. The  
light brown and beige colors come from the default "official" color  
palette and are a blend of the Human base and highlight colors. The  
more darkish brown tones were derived from the Dapper wallpaper (I  
think someone mentioned this already, good catch).

I probably don't need to say this again, but the palettes are purely  
to get some color on the artwork elements right now. With the idea of  
sharing source material, the need for using finished and definite  
palettes diminishes because of the fact you can easily change colors  
around (which is hard to do with finalized artwork).

The Official Human Icons SVG Effort(tm) is something that's passed  
right by me as of yet, to be honest. Troy has been doing work on  
creating new SVG versions of icons lately and has sent me some nice  
samples of what is possible with some spare time. I think I'll send  
another mail to the list to discuss this because it'd be good to sort  
it out where we stand and what we're going to achieve. I'm sorry I  
can't say anything more substantial at the moment on this.



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