Satin Ribbon


In general, I prefer minimalism and subtlety. I wanted to think past the contemporary use of glass controls and translucent windows and imagine what would come next after the appearance of OSX had grown as old as System 7.x and Vista users admitted that invisible windows are counter-productive.

The concept provides a nearly flat window interior, bordered on top and bottom by bars with a subtle gradient creating a satiny sheen and a sense of depth. Indeed, the title and bottom bars are like the rolls of a scroll, separated to reveal the flat paper between. The title and bottom bars should appear as two satin ribbons that are slightly closer to the view in the center.

The menu bar is shadowed by the title bar overhead. The idea is not to suggest that the title bar is rounded in any way but to reinforce the flatness of the interior and the dimensional aspect of the title bar. In keeping with the slight depth cue the title bar provides, the selected menu header and attached menu appear above the plane of the window interior, at the same perceived plane of title bar. Thus, the selected menu header is not shadowed by the title bar. The selected menu header and menu appear as one continuous object with a slight sheen propagating towards the lower right-hand corner, as a wide satin ribbon would appear when viewed flat.

To create a softer appearance, borders between elements are formed with drop shadows or brown lines only a few shades darker than the surroundings. To enhance the legibility of the title bar text and window controls without harshness, a darker brown outer glow is used instead of outlines.

Concept Art


Fullsize Image by aremes


Icons to match the Satin Ribbon Theme



In Progress




Icons by srattan


I've not created "themes" since the days of Kaleidoscope 1.01 on Mac System 7.5 - amazingly, still on the web at (In fact, while flirting with Mandrake and KDE long ago, I discovered my "Khaki" theme, with widgets from my "Althea" series themes, had been ported - no credit was given, though).

I'm still figuring out the architecture of how windows are displayed in linux. The available options for display managers, window theme engines and gtk themes offer great control but also a lot of confusion for newcomers. From what I've learned so far, it seems that this concept could be realized with Emerald. Can it be done with Metacity?



GTK2 Theme

THIS IS PRELIMINARY WORK. It doesn't look that good, yet. (Oh, and I'm still waiting for widget concepts. Big Grin :) -kido)

Known limitations:

Update! 0.3 (yes, we have versions now!) is Clearlooks-based. Changes include fixes for the panel, and a much much better metacity theme (I think). Download here: Satin Ribbon_0_3.tar.gz

0.2 is Murrine-based. Tell us if you like this one more than the new one. Note that both archives extract to the same folder, so unzipping both in the themes folder directly will overwrite one of them. Try it here: Satin_Ribbon.tar.gz


Thank you, kido, for starting work on a GTK theme! I installed it and took a screenshot:


Fullsize Image by aremes

Maybe I should work on some concepts for buttons, check boxes, progress bars, etc. -aremes

Attach File


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I like it -- Jm55 2007-11-28 01:18:15Jm

I like it too! -Linducker

Really stands out! -maumac

This is awesome. If you can make it just a tad less 'golden/metallic' it would be perfect. Come to think of it, it is already pretty close to perfect, are you going to be makin a GTK+ theme anytime soon? - PrashantVaibhav

I really like this. It is strikingly different without being overly complex. Best of all it is not just trying to copy Windows or Apple, it is forging new ground. Please keep working on this concept! -Lee Sharp

Very good gtk theme mockup! Make more contrast between the active menuitem and menu. I don't care if it's looks like metallic bronze, it's nice. - kikke

Great! I already use it on a day-2-day basis. See it with a matching wallpaper here: -Truefire

I really like the original concept art. But I'm not very fond of the GTK implementation. The original is similar to what I had in mind when I posted "Garyu's idea" linked above. -- Garyu 2008-04-16 00:00:56

Attachment List

  • [get | view] (2008-02-27 09:59:52, 12.1 KB) [[attachment:Satin Ribbon_0_3.tar.gz]]
  • [get | view] (2008-01-14 15:58:34, 360.8 KB) [[attachment:SatinRibbonGTK01.png]]
  • [get | view] (2008-01-14 15:58:45, 67.7 KB) [[attachment:SatinRibbonGTK01t.png]]
  • [get | view] (2008-02-12 21:35:43, 12.1 KB) [[attachment:Satin_Ribbon.tar.gz]]
  • [get | view] (2008-01-14 05:43:37, 2.0 KB) [[attachment:u-icon-satin-computer.png]]
  • [get | view] (2008-01-14 05:43:49, 2.5 KB) [[attachment:u-icon-satin-folder.png]]
  • [get | view] (2007-11-28 00:32:59, 34.1 KB) [[attachment:u-theme-satin-1.png]]
  • [get | view] (2007-11-28 00:32:06, 22.4 KB) [[attachment:u-theme-satin-1t.png]]
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Artwork/Incoming/Hardy/Alternate/SatinRibbon (last edited 2008-08-06 17:00:08 by localhost)