[ubuntu-art] Stop kickin' the dead horse - Create a full Union GTK theme.

Ken Vermette vermette at gmail.com
Sat Jan 5 03:07:28 GMT 2008

On Jan 4, 2008 8:17 PM, Troy James Sobotka <troy.sobotka at gmail.com> wrote:

> Nemes Ioan Sorin wrote:
> > Blue OR blue + green, well combined will give you a Peace of Mind
> > feeling [don't think a second that $MS designers are stupid].
> Once again, colour psychology has been debunked 1000000 times
> in 100000 different environments.  Don't even think about going
> there.  Look no further than the most extreme cases of light -
> black and white.  Black is sometimes associated with death in
> some cultures, white in others.
> We have been over this rubbish 1000 times before.  Don't peddle
> it here without getting a swift bout of recourse.  It is utter
> tripe, utterly misleading, and a complete distraction from the
> point at hand.

This is a nature vs nurture argument, and nobody will ever be right. Colours
do affect people, but it will affect people differently. There's no point
going into a bloodcurdling rage over colour theory, because despite being a
theory, it still has merit. I know that bright yellow is a much happier
colour than a dark gray. When you see bluish green you're going to think of
water. You might even associate water with being clean or hydrated, but red
kool-aid would do that for red.

The only problem with colour theory is when you read too far into things. I
won't say any particular colour represents fear, or sadness. I just agree
that you associate colours with objects, and those materials will determine
how you associate with those colours. So if we wanted to choose colours we
should really look at why they represent what. Why is brown a clean/dirty
colour? Some people say brown is delicious, but it's not the colour they
like, it's the chocolate. When we know why a colour feels what way, then we
can design the hue, tone, lightness and texture of the colour around the
analog. Delicious brown might be chocolaty or coffee-like, sturdy brown
might look more like wood with a grain. Dry brown might look like sand, or
avoid dirty brown that might look like waste.

Nemes Ioan Sorin wrote:
> > First functionality, then the candy - that's the rule in Design.
> And you are aware that our now ubiquitous 'form versus function'
> was a general byproduct of the "Swiss Style" movement?  It is also
> a dated approach from a contemporary standpoint.

> You are also aware that movements change?  You just barfed up some
> fictional "fact" that once again is rooted in contextual relationship
> to society and artistic / design tends.

Functionality first. We didn't get to where we are now because as cavemen we
decided we wanted a round spear instead of a pointy one. You need to design
the functionality of your system before you polish it. You could design a
perfectly flat phone but at one point you had to carry the things in a bag -
but we did manage to make the bag look decent.

If you don't build the functionality of the system first, you have nowhere
to start, that's all. If we didn't have the functionality known as "buttons"
and "windows" you'd probably fight that the font of your command-line
interface needs to be serif because sans fonts are made for functionality.

Fact is, you need to design functionality first, with what you have. When
that's over with, you can polish with the room you have remaining. There's
so much leeway now that you might have the illusion that there's no need for
function - but you're still working with _functional_ elements. Even new
designs, like a round contextual menu, still first must have a functional
design. Design for arts sake might look good, but cripple the experience.

Sorry, but I have been reading this list too long to put up
> with yet-another-fictional-fact regarding art and design.  You
> just said something close to "Disco is the only musical style
> out there.  It will always be the way to create music." or
> "Food that is always built with no spice or herbs will always
> be successful to every audience that tastes them."

The main thing is that I do, partially agree with you. There's common sense
and then there's extreme Freudian theory. Common sense says I like milk
because I find it delicious. Freud might say I like milk because it
subconsciously reminds me of milk from my mother in after birth and I want
to feel young - so on. I was never breastfed.

The main thing about your comment I disagree with, was the attitude taken.
I'm sorry to point to call you out on it, but you should focus on the
contributing instead of attacking. Slogging through several paragraphs and
not one of them actually had real input. You can be a little more civil in
your argument - and get more done in the process.


-Ken Vermette
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