Adobe Addresses Creatives’ Frustrations About Its ‘Inconsistent’ Software Logos

By Mikelle Leow, 13 Nov 2017

Composite image by DesignTAXI. Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator CC logos via Wikimedia Commons, Adobe XD CC logo via Adobe

Following the release of new Creative Cloud programs like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC and Adobe XD CC, users have expressed annoyances with blatant differences between the software logos.

forever frustrated with adobes lack of icon consistency -_- from graphic_design

Why the rounded corners on the new Adobe XD updated icon.. from graphic_design

Adobe has heard the complaints, and has explained the rationale behind these “inconsistencies” in an article on Prototypr.

Despite what many might assume, careful thought has been given into creating the styles of these logos. Below are some takeaways from Adobe’s branding design lead, Sonja Hernandez. Head here to read the full post.

Logo design during pre-Creative Cloud days

Composite image by DesignTAXI. Images via Wikimedia Commons

“Before the launch of Creative Cloud in 2012, Adobe’s product logos changed for each release. The software was burned onto discs and shipped every 18 months to two years, and it was common for users to have multiple versions of a product on their machines. We needed to change the product logos for each release so that the users could easily tell the difference between CS3 and CS5.”

The debut of Creative Cloud



The introduction of Creative Cloud meant that users would always have the most updated programs on their computers. “[T]here was no longer a need to change the product logos,” Hernandez says. “From a brand designer’s perspective, this was fantastic.”

After creating logo after logo to accommodate new releases, it was a sigh of relief to finally be able to use the same styles without them being out of date.

“[W]e could define the Adobe style and stick with it. We wanted the new Adobe style to be beautiful, ownable, and scalable. While ‘beautiful’ is subjective, and ‘ownability’ can come through consistency, ‘scalability’ was the most important quality to focus on, since we have such a large product offering.”

Hernandez says that the logos of Adobe’s desktop, mobile, and web programs were “all on a tile and have a border of some kind.” Desktop product logos were square in shape, whereas those of mobile products had rounded corners.

Today’s product logos

Image by Sonja Hernandez via GIPHY

Today’s offerings allow you to sync up edits across desktop, mobile, and web, in real time. As such, Adobe decided to “inherit the language from our current mobile style, since these products needed to communicate that they were the same across every platform.”

Adobe rounded the corners of the logos and lightened the two-letter mnemonics that center the symbols. “We felt that if all desktop and mobile products used the same icon, it would signify they are the same product.”

If you’re wondering why the logo for Lightroom CC still shows up as a square on your desktop, it’s because it’s an older software that was rebranded as ‘Lightroom Classic CC’ this year. Click here to find out the differences between the old and new programs.

Read more about Adobe’s new brand system over at Prototypr.

[via /r/graphic_design and Prototypr, images via various sources]
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