We are repeating history yet again. As noted in the previous post, Intrepid got a new wallpaper. It was a classic manifestation of traditional Canonical proportions. As I see it, Canonical tends to:
- Outright ignore art, design, and presence issues with their most important and historically significant product Ubuntu.
- Make inept decisions by proxy. The owner of a hockey team is responsible for the product they put on the ice.
- Monochromatic. This bug report made sure of that. For future reference, do not judge all implementations based upon a poor execution. The previous wallpaper's flailure had nothing to do with colour. The fight to add colour was finally started with the Heron. With this incarnation, we take a generational step backwards.
- Tepid. Whoever is steering the ghastly decision making is completely ignorant of all things art and design. A collage is a collage. You are an idiot if you take it and try to turn it into something else. Sorry.
- Lacking goal. Enough with the KDE and GNOME 'art direction' of providing random images and such. Design communicates. A picture of a house communicates what? How about a nice flower? How about swoopy swirly green monotony? The stripping of all things artistic from this image strips it too of its design goal.
The downside of Rico's choice to rework his beautiful collage into an Ubuntuized mess should be obvious. I'd suggest:
- It bails Canonical out of the poop pit again. They employ people to deliver the work that was in the final. They should stick to it. Now, thanks to Rico's effort, they have been granted yet another term of design myopia. Rico fades off into the distance and Canonical gets another get-out-of-jail-free card, and we are blessed with yet another six months of ignorance.
- It waters down Rico's work. Let's face it, the new manifestation of the wallpaper simply isn't what it was. It isn't a collage. It isn't even close to being as artistic as the proof-of-principle was in his initial sample. It is monochromatic. It is, in the end, a complete waste of talent and artistry.
Here is the closer to the original collage based work:
Now whether or not you think that it is too dark, too light, too contrasty, or any of the other typical Free Software art and design complaints, the bottom line is that the lower work is superior to the final Ubuntuized version on a number of fronts. If you analyze the direction and presentation of the lower collage versus the upper accidental coffee stain, you can clearly see that the lower speaks more of organics, more of artistry through collage, and more of Ibexes.
In no way is this an attempt to suggest that this is Rico's fault. The only thing that I could accuse Rico of is perhaps believing that he was helping the cause by permitting the Ubuntufication of his work.
I firmly believe that we would have achieved greater progress through community / press outcry if Canonical had been forced to use the pinnacle of effort their hired art and design team delivered under the scrutiny of their leadership.
Now let's round out Intrepid with some incredibly hideous packaging for the CD - some Wal-Mart flash photography should do the trick. Deck it out with a literal take on the Ubuntu logo, shall we? Genius! Perhaps something akin to the 8.04 packaging?
That was easy.
Rico and myself might be able to actually do something about this mess that we have permitted. It really will depend on time and execution - as with all things. I'll try to keep you all abreast of the matters as they happen.