Dec 22, 2006

The New Creative Suite App Icons

Some people love them, some people hate them and most people couldn’t care less. But one of the more controversial and contentious threads at the Photoshop CS3 forum (see: I hope the icon is also “beta”…) has been the appearance of the new Creative Suite 3 application icons.

It’s gotten to the point that John Nack even posted a story on his blog. I think it’s a new record for comments on one of John’s posts.

John had posted a previous story What’s up with the new Photoshop icon & branding? with comments from Ryan Hicks, Sr. Experience Designer at Adobe saying “Taken in isolation, the individual icons are in no way spectacular – that was never their role. Their elegance comes from how the entire desktop brand system works as a whole. The more Adobe apps you have, the better the system works. Adobe’s icons stand out instantly in the visually-dense world of user desktops because of their simplicity; complexity ≠ information.”


John even posted the “Periodic Table” of the new Adobe application icons with the blessing of Michael Gough, Adobe’s VP of Product Experience.


The application folders icons have also changed to reflect the new designs. And the eagle-eyed among you may have noted the new LR icon, presumably for Lightroom.


Lost in all the controversy is the fact that the file format icons have also changed.


No longer the red iris, the new file icons are the same color and initials as the application it comes from.

In the grand scheme of things, the app and folder icons as well as the file format icons are neither earth-shattering nor ugly. They are what they are. Over time I suspect most people will grow accostomed to them and learn to appreciate that it will be easier to figure out what app you wish to launch. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve accidently launched the wrong app in the Creative Suite 2 lineup merely because I couldn’t really tell, from the small icon, which was which. In this regard, the change is good.

3 Responses to “The New Creative Suite App Icons”

  1. Ammar Midani Says:

    The icons are so classy , serious, professional, and the colors are been carefully picked.

    Its not that I’m on his site, but I have a nostalgia for Mr. Schewe Photoshop screens, I really never liked the feathers thingy.

  2. Gemini Design Says:

    I think it’s a revolutionary change :)
    How many times did we clicked on the wrong icon? It’s finally going to be clear, now.

    Not to mention, that aside of it’s simplicity they’re a small pieces of art… Or maybe because of the simplicity? :)

  3. wjones Says:

    not either new or revolutionary: seems to me a simple reuse of the old SGI menu look from the early 90s

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