Ubuntu Manual Title Page

I worked with the Ubuntu Manual Team to refine the mission statement, define the audience, tone/message, to have a solid, documented and shared base for the design of not only the title page.

Much of that has its roots in a single IRC meeting. It’s documented in the wiki (link to the latest revision at the time of writing).


The mission is to create and deploy a document that is suitable as first point of reference regarding the use of Ubuntu by beginner-level users.

The main target audience are pragmatic novice computer users. They want to get things done, they don’t see using the computer as an end in itself. We expect a peak of potential users in the range between 30 and 60 years of age.

The tone should be friendly, respectful and serious. From everyday people for everyday people. There should be an aura of competence and being goal driven. The message regarding Ubuntu shall be that it is solid, secure, trustworthy, capable, easy to use, empowering, about community (altruistic and pragmatic aspects), about FLOSS and not a clone of another system.

This all started before the announcement of the new Ubuntu identity design. The old logo-type encouraged me to me go for a slight handmade/organic touch. The community side of the new identity seems less suitable to hit the desired tone than the commercial side in my eyes, but we should not signify involvement of Canonical where this is very much a community project (see Mark Shuttleworth’s post about this dualism). So there’s one variation using lots of Aubergine, but its use would be problematic.

The following thumbnails link to PDFs, so you can judge the variations in their full scalable glory:

SVG source

In any case, some last tweaks will be required, including adjusting the margins based on the internal layout and using the right orange, once there’s an official and final definition.

Many thanks to David Nel for his idea to use icons and a mouse pointer and to Vish for helping with the icons.

About thorwil
I'm a designer from Germany. My main interests are visual and interaction design, free/open-source software and (electronic) music.

7 Responses to Ubuntu Manual Title Page

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  3. zeve says:

    I think the one with the purpule would along better given the Ubuntu rebranding and theme color change.

    Also, I think it would look better to put the purple shape beneath the icons, just like the orange mock-up you’ve done.

  4. Pingback: Ubuntu Title Page 2 « Thorwil’s

  5. Graham says:

    I have been restraining myself from making comment on the cover design as I was hoping to find more information on the actual manual documentation. Is the documentation being written for online usage or print?

    • thorwil says:

      The main target is a PDF that can be viewed on screen or be printed. A HTML version might follow.