Intrepid Ibex Gtk and Metacity

The art team and the community in general will use this page to display guidelines for creating the Metacity and Gtk for Intrepid Ibex.


My guidelines originated with my work on Clear- https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Artwork/Incoming/Intrepid/Clear_Intrepid?action=show

-- Acelin 2008-07-16 23:36:47

I must say, that the mockup I find best for 8.10, is the "New Clear"- https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Artwork/Incoming/Intrepid/Clear_Intrepid?action=AttachFile&do=view&target=NewClear.png

-- Claus 2008-07-18 13:37:22 (GMT+1)

Kimmik's Guidelines


Ken Vermette's Guidelines

General Mindset

  • Visually, Ubuntu themes must be dynamic, stand-out (bold), internally consistent, noninvasive, and provide proper visual feedback.
  • Technologically, Themes must be capable of running on machines of various capability while pushing the envelope, be fast on slow machines, expandable for fast machines, and be bug-free.


  • There are 3 (4 potentially) main theme technologies, and 2 themes required for Ubuntu Intrepid.
    • Emerald
    • Metacity
    • GTK
    • (potentially) KDE
    • Light Theme (users)
    • Dark Theme (developers)
  • All of the above listed should visually inter operate. The GTK should blend smoothly with Emerald and Metacity themes, Dark theme components (such as the frame) should still blend with the light components (such as the widgets). This could be accomplished by the following:
    • use the same colour pallets, but in different proportions. Ie brown, beige and orange should be the same hue, saturation, etc.
    • Do not use different textures, gradients, etc on the different shades. For example, instead of giving all dark elements gradients and all light elements gloss, use criteria other than color.

Users and Styles

  • Not everyone will like the slice of cake we carve for the Ubuntu InIx theme. That in mind, the majority of users can still be catered to. When building a theme or concept, the following are key to keep in mind:

    • Style takes a back-seat to usability. If there are textures that hamper readability, elements with poor visibility, or even just colours with distracting contrast, the users needs must be met.
    • Keep the theme professional. If the theme is all neon-green pastels, features dragon skulls lining the frame, or has a crude wallpaper - it will not present well.
    • Avoid being a carbon-copy. Yes, Apple Mac OSX has a beautiful interface, sure Microsoft Windows Vista has some nice glassy effects - we SHOULD be inspired by every interface for their merits; but if we copy the themes, then Ubuntu loses itself.
    • Avoid being a carbon copy, of itself. Ubuntu is a Linux distribution, and it looks like one. The technologies are there to create something new and unique for a theme, Hardy Heron should be the last release that looks like other Linux distributions.

A Complete Overhaul

  • Intrepid Ibex needs a new look, and a complete theme overhaul is planned. This theme could stick with Ubuntu for years; much like Mac OSX discovered an iconic design when it was overhauled - we should too.
    • Have a hook. The same look with a colour change is not a hook. It's turning a square into a diamond - it's the same thing. Your new idea should not be another themes old idea. Kith is a theme with an outer-halo, Espresso has a unified panel, and more. Seek out inspiration outside of operating systems.
    • Treat the theme like the existing themes cousin. The theme might be a completely different person, but the family gene pool is in there. Ubuntu has an identity, keep it while mixing things up.

List by Ken Vermette, not official

Comments / Feedback

  • I look forward to your comments! -- Acelin 2008-07-08 04:41:21

  • Two main line should work concurrently, one for light and second one for dark themes. -- SzerencseFia 2023-01-27 01:54:15

Attachment List

  • [get | view] (2008-07-10 04:48:49, 155.0 KB) [[attachment:SampleNautilus.png]]
  • [get | view] (2008-07-10 04:48:17, 50.5 KB) [[attachment:SampleNautilus_Small.png]]
 All files | Selected Files: delete move to page


Artwork/Incoming/Intrepid/Ubuntu_8.10_Theme_-_Art_Team (last edited 2008-08-06 16:59:43 by localhost)