On Sat, 2012-12-01 at 14:25 -0700, Andres Silva wrote:
I think it's key to find the right balance between the four themes. In
my interpretation, too much of any one is undesirable.
Visual simplicity is the opposite of visual clutter. There shouldn't be
too much going on in the theme. Color should be limited to shades of
green and (optionally) something complimentary. Simplicity encourages
professionalism, which is a must for our themes. The ultimate form of
simplicity would be a monochrome background, but that would be too much
simplicity. The 12.2 theme is a strong example of simplicity because
there's not much going on: it's green, with a few spots that are
less-green, and that's it.
You might think that clarity is a synonym of simplicity, but it is
actually the opposite of subtlety. The 12.2 artwork is a poor example of
clarity, because the lighter splotches of green epitomize subtlety. I
question whether clarity should be a goal at all, since I prefer
subtlety to clarity. Clarity can work too, though: the 12.1 theme was a
strong example of clarity over subtlety.
Impact and memorability - the "wow factor" - is the opposite of
simplicity. If the user says wow and doesn't change the default
background, then the art has made its impact. But what wows some users
will not wow others - e.g. the Plymouth floaty fuzzy balls - so impact
is also risk. Without impact, the art will be boring, but with too much,
it will be considered ugly and unprofessional. Impact and simplicity are
conflicting ends that must be balanced.
Lastly, unity is focus. There should be one main idea. The GRUB theme
should match the Plymouth splash which should match the desktop
background which should match the custom brandings (LibreOffice, GIMP).
The 12.2 GRUB theme failed in this regard, since it was too separate
from the other themes. At the same time, too much unity is bad: the
brandings should stand out somewhat from the desktop background, and the
bootloader should be visually distinct from the desktop. But they must
all still convey the same unifying idea.
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