The Ubuntu Web Browser Icon

The design team as Canonical has responded to concerns raised in the community about the design of the Ubuntu Web Browser icon.

But if you were hoping for a resolution, you’ll be left wanting.

In response to a bug report filed by Ubuntu member Alan Bell about the suitability of the web-browser app’s icon Canonical’s Matthieu James says:

“Modifying [the web browser icon] design is not a high priority for us at the moment. But you can be confident that we are always improving and expanding the Suru icon set (and especially core application icons).”

Alan Bell, whose initial bug report also question the suitability of the current icon on the Unity 7 desktop, quells the storm a little in his reply, writing:

“I really don’t mind what I click on to launch the browser, I just don’t want the project exposed to treble damages from wilful infringement of a trademark that isn’t even a very good icon for a browser. *anything* will do.” 

Sam Hewitt, an Ubuntu member and designer behind a number of popular Linux icon packs, also chips in, but is less convinced by the overall case against the icon. Hewitt argues:

“Like it or not, Safari and others have defined the generic browser icon metaphor as the world/map + compass and Ubuntu doesn’t have the clout in the browser market (like apple, google or mozilla) to drop a branded icon for its browser.”

Fair point.


What Next?

Few consider this a hot potato issue (we here at OMG! Ubuntu! certainly don’t).

We published a short article spotlighting the bug report yesterday. It was intended as a think-piece rather than a call to arms, a bit of fluff to digest along with your morning cornflakes.

While we certainly weren’t arguing for immediate action — heck, any action! — it’s nice to see the Canonical Design team respond, if only to help quell an irked iconographic insurgency.

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