Professional Graphics

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Please consider adding more professional desktop, startup, etc graphics to RHEL 7.  RHEL 5's was acceptable, but the images provided in RHEL 6 seem a little 'cheap' and ‘fedora’ish’.





I'd certainly agree that distancing Red Hat graphically from Fedora is something of a necessity.  The artwork community continues to trot out awful wallpaper & themes.  Yes, I'm fully aware that I can change my wallpaper etc, but to be honest the Verne theme is almost as ridiculous as the balloons theme (I forget which version).


I'm using a RHEL 6 Workstation at the moment and the graphics certainly look a touch dated.  I wouldn't ask for anything that changes too much between releases of course.  Continually keeping up with the latest trends is a thankless task.

Could you please specify which graphics you're critiquing? The iconography? The bootsplash? The login screen? The wallpaper?


A lot of graphics go into RHEL and it's hard to understand your feedback without more specificity.





(The photographer of the RHEL 6 wallpaper)



For me it's the desktop & login screen.  The photo wallpaper isn't an issue (I'm currently using the lightening strike at sea for example).  The bootsplash is good.


I've commented on the Fedora artwork process a few times.  When the link between the release name and the wallpaper is broken, things generally work well.  When attempts are made to link the wallpaper to the release name (look little further than Sulphur), things degenerate rapidly.  I mean no offense with my amateur critique of any their work, however.


Red Hat clearly target the server market, but creating a desktop identity wouldn't be out of the question surely?  Not being an arty type of person, it's difficult to describe.  Windows & Mac OS X (regardless of the underlying product) have a clear and unmistakeable branding to them.  It's crisp, concise, and clearly belongs to them.  Ubuntu also go a long way to creating an identity.  I don't mean the brownwash that seemed to cover everything initially either.  The menus, icons, font & wallpaper all let you know it's an Ubuntu desktop you're sitting at.


Pulling down a RHEL 6 Workstation Applications menu, however, shows you a range of icon styles; some isometric, some not (that's the limit of my description of icons I'm afraid).  Some are downright crude - "Scanner Tool".  Some make no sense - "Logical Volume Management" (although to be fair - I don't know what on Earth you could do to iconise that!).  Some menu options have icons, others (the whole System drop down & "connect to", "Search" & "Recent Docs" in the Places menu) don't.


Small bugbear - right click on the wastebasket icon in the panel.  It's all too easy to select "Remove from panel" rather than "Empty Wastebasket".



Okay, let's keep the critique to RHEL specifically and leave the Fedora commentary out, okay? It's confusing / distracting to the point, I think.


When you say "desktop" do you mean the default wallpaper on the desktop? Or do you mean the icons on the desktop? What exactly do you mean?


(The default wallpaper, btw, is a photo, but it's an abstract photo, so that might be confusing.)


What I understand right now from your critique is that you're not happy with the login screen specifically - what about it works? What doesn't work for you?


Yes - I strayed a bit there - appologies.  It's just that I know you are involved to some extent (perhaps just comments) in the Fedora artwork.


The icons, specifically, require some work.  They're mostly isometric (right phrase?), but there are exceptions that.  Some might be direct from the applications, but there are some comlpetely missing.  There need to be icons in the System menu main section.  Shouldn't all menu entries from the Gnome menu have an associated icon.  The whole look of the icons, though, needs an update.  They have more the look of lego about them than anything else.


The wallpaper isn't particularly where improvement is needed - the icons and window "dressing" is more what defines the brand I think.


The login screen is functional - so it works.  There should be an option to disable the display of any users though.  I know that's a security functionallity issue mind you.


RHEL 6 uses the upstream GNOME icon theme, which is not isometric. It follows the Tango icon guidelines for perspective, which involves either a flat perspective (from above) or a slight one-point perspective (on the table). Generally, document / mimetype icons use the flat perspective, and application icons use the 'on the table' perspective. More information about this standard is available here:


There has been a lot of expansion of the GNOME icon theme in the past couple of years and I don't think a lot of the new icons have made it into RHEL 6 (a few bugs filed here and there have caused some to be included but not the full set.) So in RHEL 7, you'll definitely notice wider icon coverage across the applications available.


As a designer I don't believe the GNOME icon theme is particularly dated looking; it's relatively fresh especially compared to RHEL 5's Bluecurve theme. The set is being expanded to include much higher resolution icons that are simply beautiful. (  It's also being expanded to include single-color 'symbolic' icons which look much better in the panel than the full-color ones and gives it a more contemporary look.


RHEL 6 uses Clearlooks as the GTK theme, I think. My guess is that RHEL 7 will sport the much more contemporary-looking Adwaita theme (



Hope this information helps.

I don't want to go too off topic, but I really hope that RHEL 7 does *not* that have that Adwaita theme in its current form.  If the color scheme AND fonts were different, it probably wouldn't be too bad.  However, as it is, it's hideous.

Certainly I am sure the upstream GNOME folks working on the theme are interested in feedback, but constructive criticism is far more useful than "it's hideous" (which isn't actually all that useful and just makes people feel bad.) If you want to provide them critique, think about what exactly makes you react negatively, why, and potentially suggestions for improvement with some reasoned rationale / outline of the thought process. Good luck.

Can we make RHEL 7 look like this?:


Frankly, most Linux themes do feel like cheap OS X and Windows clones.  It would be nice if there was some solid investment in the UI to make it look and work better.  I also want to see better hardware acceleration support.


Personally, I don’t like where GNOME 3 or Unity is going, so I strongly agree with the separation from a Fedora-like look and feel.  A lot of those Fedora wallpapers and themes are clearly made in GIMP, and it shows. 


While on the topic of GNOME 3, since I do, unfortunately, expect that to hit RHEL, the default font they are using is atrocious.  They are some very good open source fonts, one of which is already included in RHEL: Nimbus Sans L.  This is a pretty good Helvetica clone, so I don't understand why it isn't used more often.  I personally like Google's Roboto font (there is some controversy over Roboto, but it's certainly better than awful Arial or their former Droid Sans).

Hi, your comments are a bit scattered:


- Hardware acceleration doesn't have much to do with graphic design except that it affects its display. If you have concerns about RHEL's hardware acceleration, I would like to suggest that you consider creating a new thread for that.


- I'm not sure what you're talking about when you say more investment needs to be put into the UI. This is a thread about graphic design. So, do you mean to say the visual style of the UI needs more work? Visual design is different than UI / UX design: visual design is more involved with surface-level aesthetics while UI / UX design has less to do with aesthetics and more to do with human factors, contextual analysis, workflow, and the functionality of the interface.


- Fonts are a different topic, please bring them up in a different thread.


When I proposed leaving Fedora critique out of this thread, I meant that this thread is for discussing RHEL, not Fedora. Concerns about Fedora should be taken to the Fedora community. I did not mean to suggest that Fedora should be de-coupled from RHEL. I am sorry if my language was unclear and confusing.

Oh sorry, my bad. 


My post is mostly referring to the visual surface-level aesthetics.


The visual design of RHEL currently looks a little dated when compared to Windows and OS X.  However, I disagree with fonts being a different topic.  Fonts absolutely affect the surface-level aesthetics.  Personally, I have no objections about the default fonts used in the UI in RHEL 6.  The reason why I mentioned fonts was because I am fearful that some of the lousy fonts that are being used in Linux themes elsewhere will creep their way into a future RHEL release.

Hi Michael, fonts are a lot deeper than aesthetics. E.g., the default in Fedora right now (and it has been for a long time) is DejaVu Sans. Part of the reason for that I believe is because of the extremely wide international coverage the font affords. I don't know the specifics of why Nimbus Sans was pulled but I am guessing it probably has something to do with its international glyph coverage.

I agree very much with the other posters in this thread. Respectfully, I disagree with Máirín on many levels. As a designer myself, I believe that graphic design cannot be as separated from UX design as you seem to imply it should be. In fact, I believe that your insistence on separating design elements into a variety of threads is reflective of one of the reasons why RHEL often feels dated: it is inconsistent. Its overall look and feel gives an impression of inconsistency, as if the entire system was built by separate design communities. The graphic design, icon design, font design, and UX design teams should really just be the design team. That is how RH can achieve a uniforly designed and polished system.

I never said graphic / visual design and UX design are separated. The two disciplines are very close and in practice they depend on one another for a product to be successful.  However, when I get comments that 'the UI on such-and-such-thing sucks,' it can be helpful to figure out what the problem is by trying to categorize the issue as being a visual design / aesthetic issue or being a more fundamental UX / functionality level issue.


Creating a cohesive design for an operating system borne from the free software community is quite an interesting conundrum, isn't it?