Icons, logos, Tango, consistency, the user experience, and our project looks like a 2D champaign flute

Joel Holdsworth joel at airwebreathe.org.uk
Thu Apr 16 19:04:14 CDT 2009

I mentioned this issue before - and I agree. Personally I'm interested
in good integration across the whole of Wine - this includes for example
the icons which appear in the file dialogs. ReactOS have adopted Tango
to great effect.

The downside is that there's really no way of making Wine's icons theme
responsive because they have to be compiled in to the various dlls as
resources. Nonetheless, I would still be interested in participating in
an effort to standardise Wine on Tango, because as a standard, Tango is
meant to satisfy useful usability criterea. The outlines are designed so
that contrast is retained on both light and dark backgrounds, and the
style guidelines are an attempt to make the icons look good on Gnome,
KDE, Xfce, MacOS (and Windows - though that doesn't apply to this
project) all at the same time.

Personally I'm not bothered by the shape of the Tango glass, but we
could make it more slender easily enough. I'm sure people on the Tango
project would be very excited to contribute patches if they thought
they'd be well received - and I think they'd make a very good job of it.


On Thu, 2009-04-16 at 13:55 -0700, Scott Ritchie wrote:
> A user submitted a bug report to launchpad complaining that the Wine 
> icon is not Tango compliant: 
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/wine/+bug/358645
> So, what is Tango Compliance?  Well, the Tango icons all use a set of 
> design standards, and you can find them here: 
> http://tango.freedesktop.org/Tango_Icon_Theme_Guidelines
> In short, it means the Wine icon looks very out of place when it is 
> placed alongside all the other Tango-compliant icons on the system.  If 
> you click the Applications button on an Ubuntu system, for instance, 
> you'll see 7 three dimensional, front perspective, on the table, lit 
> from above, well-bordered and highlighted icons.  At the bottom you see 
> a two dimensional, heavily tilted underneath perspective, hovering in 
> midair, lit from the lower right, thick-bordered Wine icon.
> In short, it's ugly, but our real goal here is usability.  Making Wine 
> blend in is part of that, however it's also important we deliver a 
> consistent experience: as ugly as it is, I thought, that icon is our 
> project's logo, so we should use the same image throughout.
> But then, I realized, we don't use the same logo consistently!  If you 
> go to winehq.org you'll see another logo, which fits in with the website 
> theme very well but is nevertheless quite different from the Tango 
> icons.  From a user's perspective, changing the Wine icon on the system 
> can present a very slight familiarity issue: you're jarred for a second 
> while you realize that the old Wine icon is gone and the new icon 
> (helpfully next to the familiar words Wine) is actually the same program.
> This is the main place where the user sees the Wine icon, as we don't 
> yet display it on other areas where they may be interacting with Wine 
> (eg, by placing a small Wine icon next to the program icon as in 
> http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/ideatorrent/idea/2141).  Accordingly, a 
> change here will be narrow, and if we make it now (before the icon needs 
> to be used elsewhere) there is a minimal amount of familiarity loss.
> A new icon makes a program feel new, so the user will expect some 
> change.  Accordingly, I'd like to propose updating our icons when we 
> move forward with the 1.2 release.  This will coincide with the 
> inclusion of several of the Wine integration projects I'll be including 
> in the coming months, such that the user will see it all (with a new, 
> consistant icon) in one big package in the October wave of distro 
> releases like Ubuntu 9.10.
> So, what should that new icon be?  Well, tango compliance is one major 
> goal, as is recognizability as a Wine glass.  Fortunately, someone has 
> already made a Tango-compliant Wine logo here: 
> http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/tango-artists/attachments/20060331/63117187/wine.svg
> Now, if you're like me, the second you saw that you went "Whoa, that 
> doesn't look like the Wine icon!  It looks completely different!"  The 
> glass on the website, for instance, is much more narrow: 
> http://winehq.org/images/winehq_logo_glass_sm.png
> Now, I'm not a drinker, but I do know that real wine people can be very, 
> very picky about these kind of things.  After giving the wikipedia 
> article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wine_glass) and a few other 
> websites a full read, I can categorically state one thing: we're using 
> the wrong glass for red wine.
> Now, whether the icon we use should be the right kind of glass or not is 
> an aesthetic choice.  Personally I'd use a red wine glass but one with a 
> slightly narrower bowl than in the tango icon above (a "Bordeaux" glass 
> rather than a "Burgundy" glass)
> http://www.the-gift-of-wine.com/Images/glass_bordeaux.jpg
> http://www.the-gift-of-wine.com/Images/glass_burgundy.jpg
> Anyway, I suspect most of you really really won't care, as long as it 
> looks something like a wine glass and has the words Wine next to it. 
> But I did want to start a discussion, especially because this represents 
> our projects logo and is, to a real extent, more than just an icon.
> Meanwhile, I'll try drumming up some artists to see if I can get a few 
> different Tango-compliant icons for us to chose from.
> Thanks,
> Scott Ritchie
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