Confusing Photoshop CS3 Icon

by Erica Sadun


So, is the PS CS3 icon a placeholder or not? My guess was that it was a placeholder. I was wrong. Scott McNulty of TUAW found out otherwise via John Nack's blog. Veerle Pieters' weblog has a full description of the two-letter mnemonic development along with interview questions about the choice with Adobe designer Ryan Hicks.

The debate that has risen up around iconography and the merits of what we've done taken in a broader context is impressive. The new direction is a bigger change than I think anyone in the public would have expected from us, change on that scale is going to be hard and of course there are those who will rise up and scream heresy. Honestly, we have been living with the icon system internally on our own machines for so long now that it's a bit hard to remember what the big deal is. We're as varied and hardcore a user group as will be found anywhere, we've found the stuff just works. Done.


Love 'em? Hate 'em? Me? I hate 'em.


Saint Fnordius
2006-12-22 00:51:34
I think Adobe has lost its way with its icons. The original eye in the square was one of the best-known icons, and said pretty much everything. You knew at a glance that you were dealing with a bitmap program. The CS icons lost that association, and tossed years of identity overboard. Now they're making the icons even less informative.

Somebody needs to take the Adobe icon/packaging team and give them a refresher course in semiotics. Grr.

2006-12-27 19:32:18
It's just boring.
2006-12-31 08:30:20
As long as I can easily tell the difference between, say, InDesign and InCopy, from the Dock icons, I'll take the boring new icons. Even though I use QuickSilver for launching, it's difficult to teach newcomers when you have trouble finding the right program in the Dock! This annoyed me with CS2 (icons were even more similar than in CS), but of course this new scheme might be worse.

However, I agree that this doesn't look much better; it's not going to be easy to quickly ID these without actually reading letters, especially if you use several apps in the same "group." Adobe needs to get away from this misguided "branding", if that's what it is, and back to something quickly distinguishable visually.

2007-02-27 00:21:06
Wow ... that's pathetic. I'm thinking this "designer" does exactly what I do with midterms ... waits until the LAST second to actually get any work done. In this case, it was thrown together in 30 seconds in MSPaint ... then he collected a fat check for it. What a douche.

Bottom line: don't support this crap, pirate it.

2007-05-13 22:02:34
They are just icons...
Get over it.
2007-06-03 02:02:16
When you have all the programs sitting on your dock, in my opinion it looks damn cool to have all these different colored mnemonic icons sitting there. There's a level of consistency and they look stylish. You can easily tell the difference, also.
2007-06-07 03:12:53
The cost to create the icon represents only 85% of what you pay for your cs3 so stop wincing. Count your blessing that only your Scanner is not incorporated and your Action don't work any more. The next version, the icon will be a small white square with a white border only works with a 5 prong power plug but has voice control.
2007-06-08 03:48:30
It's boring... and useful. Especially if you are useing small icons in folder view.
2007-07-09 20:57:41
The last PS icon is just great. I didn't like previous much. Adobe did a good job with this classy appearance for the nice programs. I don't see a reason why somebody dislike them THAT much...
Lester Spence
2007-08-13 15:24:36
Has anyone designed a different set?
Johanna Bartley
2007-11-21 10:00:20
I can't believe it! I design logos for a living and never stole or inspired my ideas. Although, it happened to me that someone took my Engineers Beneficial Association logo that I worked for a month and used it on their site by changing only the written text.
2008-03-04 06:15:36
what are adobe doing with these icons when you think about all the hard work that was put in creating CS2 icons well these new ones are plain uninviting and plan boaring... me I'm sticking to CS2