During the last Ubuntu Developer Summit (virtualUDS), Ubuntu’s designer recruit, James Mathieu, showed off what he was working on. It was a new set of icons for Ubuntu’s touch and desktop interface. At that time it was more of a concept and future plans. Fast forward three weeks and we have a new blog post on design.canonical.com by designer James Mathieu confirming and showing off a detailed revamp what Ubuntu icons will go through.
The icon theme for Ubuntu, though distinctly different from other Linux distros, have not had got any major overhaul in the last 3-4 years. The last big revamp of UI for Ubuntu had happened during the 10.04 LTS cycle, although a selected number of new icons made its way into the last few releases of the desktop version of the OS.
The goal of the project is to create a single set of icons for the convergent OS – the OS, Mark Shuttleworth has been talking about for the past year. He had acknowledged the need to overhaul the icon set two years back when he was asked on “Ask Mark”. He said -
Yes, i agree, we need a new icon theme, we have agreed to do a proper study on iconography, with the university of reading and lay out a roadmap for a new icon set, which we will welcome participation.
The following year Canonical hired James Matthieu of Faenza icon theme fame. Fast forward one year and we have the new Ubuntu icon set being shown off by the designer.
We’ve been working on this on-going project for the past year. We’ve done extensive research on the subject with a focus on learning how best to classify the icons; and we’ve gone through several design iterations and explorations.
The present focus of the team is to finish these icons for Ubuntu Touch and then work on the desktop version. This means there is a high chance that the new icon set may miss Ubuntu 14.04 LTS desktop deadline. We are keeping our fingers crossed!
The latest iterations of the icons posted on the design blog are beautiful and complement the Ubuntu Touch OS really well. Matheu says these icons are not final and are subject to change. Nevertheless, the direction in which Ubuntu and Canonical are going is very good and I am hopeful that we will see a gorgeous icon set when its finally released. A revamp of the icon set is long overdue.
Source: Canonical Design