Apparently I am not the only one that thinks that the Debian graphics are appalling:
Debian did have a design contest of sorts, well a brief mailing list thread that had the impossible task of voting the best out of just a handful of rubbish themes. Given the choices, personally I would have opted for the upstream themes, or just to stick with the Debian Lenny theme which was perfectly okay.
I do wonder how easy or difficult it is to submit themes – do you have to be a Debian developer? If so, then they should really think about lowering the bar. I’m sure that I could produce something better, although my last attempt does not appear to be getting widespread approval.
Anyhow, we don’t love Debian for how pretty is looks – we can soon change the theme if it bothers us.