The Ubuntu default wallpapers have been a source of criticism from the community, with most users saying that they’re just too bland. The new one that's being developed right now is a departure from the norm, although it still “says” Ubuntu at a glance.
The main job of the default Ubuntu wallpaper is not to look good on the desktop, although that is to be expected from an image that will greet all users when they first access the operating system. The responsibility of the of the wallpaper is to make the system immediately recognizable.
Canonical doesn't leave the design of the wallpaper to chance, and usually there is a professional designer doing the work for each edition of Ubuntu. His job is to preserve the legacy of the old look and somehow make a tie-in with the new direction.
“For the last couple of weeks we’ve been working on the new Ubuntu Wallpaper. It is never easy trust me. The most difficult part was to work out the connection between the old wallpapers and the new look and feel – Suru. The wallpaper has become an integral part of the ubuntu brand, the strong colours and gradated flow are powerful important elements. We realised this when looking from a distance at someone laptop it really does shout UBUNTU,” said Ubuntu designer Michal Izydorczyk on the official blog.
Former Ubuntu wallpapers have been criticized for being too bland and for not taking much bigger leaps between versions. Canonical went with consistency and it was a good decision, for the most part.
During the previous vUDS session (Ubuntu developer conference), another designer showed some of his work regarding the new icon theme. Canonical is taking a big chance in that area, so it’s safe to assume that the Ubuntu wallpaper falls in the same category.
The design of the new background image mixes the gradated flow of the colors with a folded sheet of paper, which makes for a very attractive combination. The developer didn't say that this was the final version of his work and he did show some other iterations that helped him reach the current stage but, even if it stays the same, the new wallpaper is simply beautiful.
The image even got a name, Suru, and it represents the connection between the old wallpapers and the new look and feel. It's all about simplicity and minimalism, but at the same time it gives the impression of richness.
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) is scheduled to be released on April 17.