Broader Colour Spectrum


Ubuntu's identity has been defined by orange, yellow, and brown, and I think it should continue to do so despite the usual cravings for "blue/MacOS-like" desktops by some users. What I do think should be changed is the complete lack of other colours. Just because the focus is on warm earthy colours it doesn't mean we have to exclude blue, green, red, black, purple, etc. from our desktops. I'm thinking in particular about the icons here, which are almost entirely orange. I contest that an inherent lack of colours is just as boring as just using blue like KDE<4, Mac OS, and Windows. What do you think about this? -- SimonGray 2007-09-24 13:02:34


Concept Art



Attach File


  • For images, use a low resolution picture in the wiki page. It should be no taller than 240 pixels. If you need to upload higher resolutions, please upload them as an attachment and link to them from the page.
  • Use @SIG@ to leave your signature at the end of your comment. New comments should be placed at the bottom of the feedback.


  • I agree with SimonGray about the icons being very orange. In particular, the existing Emblems in Nautilus are orange to the point of being incomprehensible in comparison to the GNOME icons. Perhaps making them larger would help, as well, but I know colours are used to differentiate between objects; if everything is orange, it takes more work to tell the difference between one thing and another, and this is particularly difficult with tiny little emblems. -- DylanMccall 2007-09-24 14:59:49

  • I second this, namely, the need to have a variety of colors in the emblems. Couple of heron skin textures available here: and here: -- LituusLimacon Sep 24 2007, 10:26 PM

  • I agree, the way the current human theme sticks so rigidly to the "you can have any colour as long as it's brown" idea is getting a bit dated, it just looks muddy at the moment. The icons especially need a serious look. I will put together a revised colour palette to show you how I think we could improve it. -- Kidproquo 2007-09-30 03:37:49

  • I know Mark Shuttleworth has been a big fan of the brown and orange color theme. IIRC it's supposed to reflect the colors of people. But after thinking about this, I realized that we don't tend to think of our computers as people, but as places or environments. Our environments usually reflect the colors of our planet: brown, green, blue, and white. Brown and orange, on the other hand, reminds me of a polluted city. Blue is overdone, I'll admit, but I'd like to see some green or purple worked into the theme. Maybe the colors could be brown, orange, and yellow for the fall releases and brown, green, and purple for the spring releases. Wink ;) -- TomOldani 2007-10-08 14:33:52

  • Interesting Idea TomOldani, But whose spring/autumn? Northern Hemisphere or Southern?

  • I'm personally in favour of keeping within the brown range, but moving towards the golden end of the spectrum (like the lion claar wallpaper), and keeping it fresh by using a wider range of colours in the icons and emblems. Also, a lot more white (and to a lesser degree back) for contrast -- Kidproquo 2007-10-08 21:37:32

  • Currently, the Tangerine icon theme is very complete and Tango compliant. I only see two issues with it: 1) the ugly Tango-ish folders and 2) also too orange. 1st issue is easy to overcome: mix with original Tango stock icons (for back, forward, refresh, and so on...), as the Tango ones uses green and blue instead, so the overall desktop looks less brown/orange, more rich and causes less eye straining. About the ugly folders, I'm drawing a Human-like folder, but compliant to Tango and Tangerine, and also less glossy. I will put my efforts on the wiki under Incoming for Hardy, as a full desktop theme (GTK, Metacity and Icons). -- HenriqueFreakcode 2007-10-27 03:39:51

  • I understand the intentions of sticking to the orange-brown color theme but I heard a LOT of people saying that all-brown style of ubuntu is a bit yucky. Sure, one can change to a non-default theme, but it's the first impression that counts and if we want people leaving Win and giving Ubuntu a try, maybe opting for a not-so-dull color palette isn't such a bad idea. On the other hand I'm a little afraid of having a rainbow-colored desktop. Remember the old days when icons were ICONS? These days with all those colors and gradients and vectors and bling and... well, sometimes it's really hard to tell what an icon stands for. For that reason I really like Tangerine icon set, as it's clean and simple, not an effect show-off for the sake of eye-candy. -- Rolfbrocke 2008-01-06 14:16:50

Attachment List


Artwork/Incoming/Hardy/Alternate/BroadColourSpectrum (last edited 2008-08-06 17:00:43 by localhost)