“Flat design” – it’s what clichéd people on the TV would call ‘bang on trend’ right now.

From websites to icon sets, designers are ditching gloss and gradients in droves, favouring the less eyeball taxing simplicity of flatter, cleaner and more linear efforts.

The most visible example of this ‘trend’ is by (no groaning at the back) Apple. Their decision to overhaul the UI of iOS 7 with flatter-looking, less-glossy icons and widgets has fuelled adoption of the look amongst others.

Out of respect for the blood pressure of the easily-riled I shall point out that I’m not saying Apple invented the flat look, were the first to use it, or do it the best. 

And when something is popular you can bet your Auntie’s bloomers that it’ll turn up on Linux in no-time…

Flat Icons for Ubuntu

There are several “flat icon” themes for Linux – Nitrux being one we’ve covered previously – but the one we’re writing about today is called ‘Plateau’.

Plateau (named because, yes, it’s flat) is a fully scalable icon set boasting some 400 icons for a wide variety of applications, places, mime-types and more.

The developer, ~sbstnblnd, offers up little else about his motivation for the set, but his work is perhaps one of the better examples of this trend being co-opted for use on the Linux desktop.


Plateau is in active development so if you don’t see an icon for ‘gObscureApp’ you’ll just have to be patient.

Download & Install

Downloading and installing Plateau 2.0 is as straightforward as with any other Linux icon set.

First download the 2.3mb .zip archive from the artist’s deviantArt page:

Download Plateau Icon Set from DeviantArt 

Once the Zip file has fully downloaded you’ll want to extract it (right click > extract here) so that you’re left with a folder called ‘plateau’.

Next, open up your Home folder and press ctrl+h to reveal hidden files. Find the folder named ‘.icons’ (the period is important) and move the folder you extracted in the previous step into this folder.

Finally, open up a tool such as Unity Tweak Tool to set ‘Plateau‘ as your icon theme.

Don’t forget to give us a nudge via our contact form if you come across an icon theme you like (or happen to be working on).

Themes Eye Candy Icons plateau