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This page describes the philosophy and direction behind the default look for Kubuntu. The working name for this theme is now "O2" ("Oh Two"). Perhaps one day it will evolve to be called Ozone?

Official Artwork Specifications

The official logo and color palette are available on the /Artwork/Official Wiki page.


The O2 look should embody the principles of Kubuntu while, for now, bridging the gap between kde3 and kde4:

  • Freedom
  • Equality
  • Respect
  • Symbiosis

Each one of these principles implies a certain direction for the resulting artwork.


Kubuntu is based on the idea of having multiple freedoms, outlined in the Ubuntu Philosophy available at http://www.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/philosophy. These freedoms can be summarized as:

  • The freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, share, change and improve their software for any purpose, without paying licensing fees.
  • The freedom to use software in the language of your choice.
  • The freedom to use the software at every opportunity, even for people with disabilities.


One universal keywords for the freedom principle is openness.

Design Implications

  • Steer towards light but vivd tonal values.
  • Use uplifting, positive elements in the artwork.
  • Spatial relationships might be open.


The word Ubuntu means "humanity towards others", or "I am what I am because of what we all are". These explanations imply equality amongst human beings - no matter which desktop they use Smile :-)


The equality principle can be described with keywords like: symbiosis, balance, harmony, community / communication. This is especially important in Kubuntu and O2 as they represent an effort to combine the cross-application interaction that has made the KDE desktop so popular with usability, accessibility and artistic improvements to broaden it's effectiveness for everyone.

Design Implications

  • Consistency is important
  • Both symmetrical and asymmetrical designs should be well balanced compositionally.


The Ubuntu Code of Conduct aimed at people wanting to join the community contains a guideline "be respectful". The Code of Conduct is available at http://www.ubuntu.com/community/conduct. The aforementioned guideline can also be seen in the explanation of the word Ubuntu and is one of the principles for the artwork design.


Keywords that apply to the respect principle are: humanity, friendliness, compassion, empathy, emotion, trust.

Design Implications

  • When using imagery or textures, use ones that emphasize the above keyword suggestions.


The symbiosis principle indicates the interaction between people (nature) and technology.


The concept of symbiosis can be described using keywords like: nature, earth, environment, collective / collectiveness, communication and technology.

Design Implications

  • Designs could combine the three distinct parts of the symbiosis: people, nature and technology.

CategoryArtwork CategoryKubuntuReview

Artwork/Documentation/KubuntuPhilosophy (last edited 2014-05-07 12:05:24 by apachelogger)