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Periodic Table of (Adobe) Elements

Originally written on: December 1, 2006 at 7:31 pm

Last Updated: December 1, 2006 at 7:31 pm


Adobe has a new branding scheme. When I first saw it in the new Photoshop CS3 Beta, I thought it was merely a placeholder. It seems I was wrong.

Admittedly, the last icon set was so whacked out, I couldn’t remember if the feather on the right side of the square was Photoshop CS1, or if the feather on the left was CS2. Did two feathers mean Photoshop, while one feather meant Imgeready, or vice versa? The new icon set now resembles the periodic table of the elements. On some level, I can see how this may be slightly more usable. On many other levels, it sucks.

The whole gradient background thing? How very “web 2.0”. I “get” that they wanted to use letters to make it clear which application was which. However, if you have a lot of things in your dock, you’re not going to be reading. So now you have to memorise a colour. OK, Photoshop is blue. Fantastic. But what about After Effects and Premiere? They’re both a similar lavender. How about Flex Builder, Lightroom, and Encore DVD? They’re basically the same colour as well, although their functions are totally different. Instead of giving me a unique shape, I now have to take time to look at the icon, and make sure I am clicking on the right one. Good times. Where are you, Andrei Herasimchuk? You’re our only hope. Perhaps the people at The Icon Factory will give us some nice alternatives.

Of course, this will blow over soon enough. Ever since Adobe ditched the individual product branding, they’ve radically changed icons every couple of years. Next revision? I think they’ll go for a farm animal theme.

Oh, and don’t get me started on how ridiculous it is to try and make several disparate gigantic applications ready to be bundled every 1.5 years.




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