[ubuntu-art] Colour

Troy James Sobotka troy.sobotka at gmail.com
Fri Apr 13 17:17:56 BST 2007

Hash: SHA1

jmak wrote:

>> I wrote:
>> Colours are _culturally_ and _temporally_ rooted in meaning.  Look to
>> the colours of traditional wedding wear in Japan or different parts of
>> tribal Africa for examples of cultural meaning.  Look to the tonal
>> differences between the 60s and 80s pop culture art for temporal
>> examples.
> While I agree with you that the meaning of a color is culture
> dependent, but the question is how do you apply this principle in a
> cross-cultural context. After all, computer use cannot be reduced to a
> single cultural location but it is global.

You can't.  Attempting to do so would be no more foolish than attempting
to invent your own language and hoping that it would work in every
locale.  It is silly to attempt it, and not worth it.

It is not out of the ordinary to suggest that a design should choose an
audience and speak to it.  Companies that make creative design decisions
don't worry about appealing to everyone.  They choose a target and
attack it.

> So Alvaro has a point
> here. During the years, I installed ubuntu for many computers, (mostly
> for teenagers, the children of my friends) and so far, in each case, I
> was requested  to change Ubuntu's default color scheme. I still have
> to meet with the one who wants to keep it. 

I couldn't more strongly disagree.  Brown is a great base colour when
rounded out with a full design palette.  Ubuntu currently suffers most
desperately on at least the following three points:

1) No specified audience to speak to.
2) No communication goals.
3) In relation to the topic, lacking a well designed palette to
communicate (2) to (1) effectively.

Earth tones can work wondefully towards communicating 'earthy' ideals
when implemented in the design structure.  That said, when you fail to
apply those notions, or worse -- as Ubuntu does -- use 'brown' just for
'browns' sake, you end up in a mire of mediocre design.

Again, it is no huge leap of faith to suggest that brown _can_ work when
supported with thoughtful design.  Colour alone will do __nothing__ to
change a user's opinion.  Thoughtful design _will_.

Ultimately, poor design will yield complaints that are all over the map.
 Generally, people will choose the most obvious thing -- in Ubuntu's
case it is brown.

It is less about the brown and more about the absolute vacuum concerning
design matters relating to audience and communication goals.  Middle
grey 'appeal to everyone' mentality creates _zero_ 'must have' or 'need'
in _any_ individuals mind.

Version: GnuPG v1.4.3 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org


More information about the ubuntu-art mailing list