[ubuntu-art] Wallpaper

Troy James Sobotka troy.sobotka at gmail.com
Fri Dec 7 03:11:07 GMT 2007

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julian wrote:
> ..on Tue, Dec 04, 2007 at 04:30:53PM +0200, Özgür BASKIN wrote:
>> +1 for elephant-skin picture :)

> i think the cleanest themes are those that simply don't a) try to make a
> strong artistic statement and b) don't try to bring the corporeal world
> into the digital. 
> in the end is just smells like a bad magic trick.

Think again.

Your statement tends to put about 1000 years of art and design
knowledge into the back seat, lock the door, and throw out the

It has been proven time and time again that strong deliveries of
art / design _will_ have a very obvious impact on both sales(1),
adoption, and even perceived 'usability'(2).

If you need further proof aside from the general award winning
home designs, product design, or pretty much _anything_ else
surrounding you in your everyday life, you can always go back
to the rather standard comparisons with Apple and Microsoft.

Apple's Leopard campaign is a very tight presentation from wallpaper
to marketing to website embracing the spacey connotations of their
"Time Machine" software -- extending even into the sound design
of their promotional video that features a rather funky back masking

Vista, aside from their gaudy plastic packaging and such, uses
the simple connections to water godrays and like 'tricks' to
try and instill the user with 'awe' and 'wow'.  The wallpaper
works pretty well in this regard.

If you are hoping for more bland monochromatic presentations,
you might well get your wish as it is pretty trendy in our limited
design capacities out here in Free Software.  That said, it doesn't
make your opinion correct nor founded on any hard reality.  Tepid
watered down deliveries are not the path of the future.


1 - You can easily look to the advent of album cover design in
the music industry.  The 1930's, Alex Steinweiss created the
first 'album' cover as we know it today.  While working at
CBS records he had the 'epiphany' that the plain white album
jackets were unattractive and lacked any appeal.  With the
advent of artistic and designed album art hit the business,
sales rocketed.  Newsweek reported that sales for the
designed albums, including Bruno Walter's Beethoven Eroica
Symphony broke _all_ records compared to the same release
in a non-illustrated package.  The rest is, as they say,

2 - Consider the 'Aesthetic Usability Effect' as described
in "Universal Principles of Design".  Loosely, it describes
a noted response that designs hitting on the aesthetic
sensibilities of a given user will have resultant feedback
offered that a design was easier to use and more enjoyed
than a design devoid of the attempted aesthetic, despite
a similarity of features.

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