Creating Visual Guidelines for Xubuntu

Santiago Roland sroland at
Sun Jul 29 06:56:23 UTC 2012

Hash: SHA1

On 07/23/2012 02:28 PM, Pasi Lallinaho wrote:
> On 07/20/2012 01:59 AM, Benedek Imre wrote:
>> Hi there,
>> I think all of us know how important is the identity of a brand.
>> The brand identity visually appears through a graphic design.
>> This graphic design has to be aesthetically well formed,
>> pleasing, systematic and extended to every details. The big
>> brands always have a "Corporate Identity Book", what contains 
>> these graphic principles. (Just a sample: 
- - this is Corporate Brand Guidelines of Adobe.)
>> Since I got in contact with Xubuntu, I experienced its visual 
>> appearance is a bit fragmented in media, it's not so unified as
>> it should be.
>> Because of this I think we should create a Visual Guideline for
>> Xubuntu.
> I created one quickly around the Karmic cycle [1].
>> In case of such brand as Xubuntu is, which is definitely
>> 'worldwide', this kind of document should be very useful. If
>> somebody would like to create an official online or offline
>> document, presentation, learning material etc for Xubuntu
>> anywhere in the world, should check this public guideline only,
>> and he/she will be able to make it with appropriate, unified
>> design.
> How much we wanted this to happen, it is just not happening.
> Even if we had guidelines, people are not going to follow them as 
> strictly as we wanted (see above, we *had* one, but
> older-than-Karmic logos still exist in active websites). What we
> need is active people who are willing to contact people to change
> logos and such. Creating guidelines for *these* people would be
> good, though it actually exists at our website already at that
> scale [2].
>> Some examples what we should place into this document: - Short
>> introduction to the brand - The logo - How to use the logo
>> (positioning, sizes, clear spaces etc) - Usage examples (of the
>> logo - good and bad examples) - Using background picture for
>> header - Colors (RGB, CMYK, spot, accompanying colors) -
>> Typography (official and replacement typefaces, titles and 
>> subtitles, alignments etc) - Creating layouts (sizes,
>> proportions, columns etc) - Creating presentations - Creating
>> tables and charts - Creating online documents (using header and
>> footer, font sizes and types, colors, general suggestions) -
>> Using pictures - Creating banners - CD/DVD labels and covers
> We actually have the logo colors available at our website [2]! We
> can make the presentation more understandable – along with the
> colors as they appear on your monitor.
>> We should also create template files for LibreOffice Writer and 
>> Impress, and we have to ensure the access of these files on the
>> internet.
> I think creating template files is more sensible than telling
> people how to use the logo (including positioning, sizes and
> padding spaces). Most people doesn't really want to go deep enough
> to either care or understand about these guidelines.
>> I think there are good funds, what we could rely on - these are: 
>> - The existing logo - Identity of Ubuntu - Pasi's website theme
> The Ubuntu Brand Guidelines [3] you point to are fine, but
> seriously, I don't think we need a similar thing in all its
> complexiness for Xubuntu.
>> As I'm a graphic designer, I undertake this work - of course with
>> your active contribution and with listening to your suggestions.
>> What do You think about all of these?
>> Sincerely, Imre
>> (I've posted this also on mailing list.)
> For some reason, your mails tend to break my Thunderbird; I can't
> see correct header information, and there is no padding between the
> content and the window border. Can you try to send your mails in
> plaintext in the future, assuming that'd fix the issue? Thanks.
> Cheers, Pasi
> [1] [2]
> [3]
> -- Pasi Lallinaho (knome)                      »
> Leader of Shimmer Project and Xubuntu       »
> Graphic artist, webdesigner, Ubuntu
> member  »

In addition to this mail i wish to say some things that i believe
would make Xubuntu completely rock because it would mean a completely
replace for other Ubuntu desktops.

* Gmusicbruwser: Should be replaced by Banshee. It has better look and
feel (also name) and it supports many functions, and its better than
rhythmbox too. It shows album thumbs very nice and stuff and it is
fully GTK2 compatible

* Thunar: make available the "properties" function for
more-than-one-mouse-selected folders/items, and it should be capable
of showing free space in external devices like pendrives and stuff in
a more graphical way

* Thunar: make tabs available, the use of tabs is more than natural in
firefox, now thunderbird... thunar should have tabs too

* Thunar: The title text in folders and files should be aligned to
center and not to left, that breaks icon balance. It should be like

* Thunar: more feedback when ejecting pendrives, like 50% opacity in
the icon or something

* Thunar: Should have an extension for handling encryption, like
seahorse-encryption extension for nautilus. Encryption is going to be
very common in the future, so i believe that is will be needed a lot.

* Parole: I think that parole need some tweaks, it cannot reproduce a
video, or it take like 20 secs to load a stupid mp4 20 MB file...
Window resoze breaks aspect ratio and many formats are not played even
with the xubuntu-restricted-extras installed. Totem used to be a fine
video player but it suffers some of the same issues of Parole. The
only video player that never, and i mean NEVER failed to reproduce a
single video is VLC, but VLC GUI is not as polished as GTK ones of
Totem or Parole. Maybe a retouched version of VLC should replace all
video players around, Parole in this case.

* Themes: Xubuntu should have a light theme by default and not trying
to imitate Ubuntu ambiance theme or others, light themes are better
for understanding, reading and it is well demonstrated that light
themes are better for the understanding of the mind. Thats why the
kindle is black text over white surface and not backwards, and Faenza
icon theme should be default, this icon set is the most unified and
smooth i've ever seen (but that is my opinion). BTW, xfce used to ship
with light theme in previous versions.

This is the most important things i think should be
reviewed/changed/discussed... etc, maybe i could comment a few more

Off course someone will think, "hey, if you dont like Parole or
Gmusicbrowser, uninstall it and install whatever-favourite-player you
have in your box", but i ask, how many people really use Parole as
they everyday player? and how much people use VLC? You know what? I
use Parole many times and totem, but when im going to show some cool
video to a bunch of people, i use VLC because i know it will never
fail unless the file is corrupted or so.... and that should tell us
that VLC should be thy video player...

Off course someone will think, "hey, if you dont like Parole or
Gmusicbrowser, uninstall it and install whatever-favourite-player you
have in your box"... what about the people that install xubutu and
expect a completely fully functional OS out of the box.... that people
is the people that usually do not talk or not complain... they install
and they must have the best out of the box, because that is how
xubuntu will sky rocket up.

Finally i don't want to be miss understood here, i completely love
xubuntu and XFCE, and i think XFCE is the reason why i still using
ubuntu and still installing linux in ordinary people's PCs, because
XFCE kinda meet the essential needs without being the failure tha
meant in productivity other "new" and "so cool" desktops environments.

I would like to hear your opinion about this topics and i understand
that this discussions should be up always and always we should be
asking ourselves this kind of things. The fact that i love XFCE does
not mean that is perfect, it just mean that i will be sit on this
chair writing for half an hour about how can we get it better and better

Best regards to everyone

- -- 
Santiago Roland.-
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