Tango Desktop Project

From Tango Desktop Project

What is the Tango Desktop Project?

The Tango Desktop Project exists to help create a consistent graphical user interface experience for free and Open Source software.


While the look and feel of an application is determined by many individual components, some organization is necessary in order to unify the appearance and structure of individual icon sets used within those components.

The Tango Desktop Project defines an icon style guideline to which artists and designers can adhere. A sample implementation of the style is available as an icon theme based upon a standardized icon naming specification. In addition, the project provides transitional utilities to assist in creating icon themes for existing desktop environments, such as GNOME and KDE.


Eventually, the Tango Desktop Project will provide the following initiatives:

  • A suggested default native look.
  • A subsystem to help standardize toolkits on a common icon naming structure.
  • A complete set of application, mimetype, and stock icons designed using a defined style guide.
  • A general, cross-desktop human interface guideline.

Who is involved?

We are engineers, artists, user interface designers, and volunteers. We'd like you to be involved.

Join us in our effort to produce a native, open look and structure by contributing to the guidelines, improving applications (by encouraging them follow the proposed specifications), contributing artwork, and by spreading the ideas expressed here.

Interested contributors from Gnome, KDE, and other free and open source projects are welcome. We invite anyone to follow the specifications defined here, as well as those defined on freedesktop.org.

You can file bugs against the Tango icon library, icon style guideline, and the Icon Naming Specification in freedesktop.org's bugzilla.

The Tango icon library, icon style guideline matters, and artistic workflows can be discussed on the tango-artists mailing list. The Icon Naming Specification can be discussed on the XDG mailing list.


Terms Of Use

The Tango base icon theme is released to the Public Domain. The palette is in public domain. Developers, feel free to ship it along with your application. The icon naming utilities are licensed under the GPL.

Though the tango-icon-theme package is released to the Public Domain, we ask that you still please attribute the Tango Desktop Project, for all the hard work we've done. Thanks.

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