Photoshop Lead Justifies Adobe’s ‘Inconsistent’ Icons But Users Aren’t Convinced
By Mikelle Leow, 08 Nov 2019
Image via FOXARTBOX / Shutterstock.com
Adobe’s seemingly random icon shapes have been bugging creatives for years, and many wonder why the company hasn’t gotten around to unifying the logos despite having updated its software several times.
The company explained the differences between its apps designed as squares and those identified with rounded edges in detail back in 2017, but now that it has rolled out Photoshop 2020, it is facing these frustrations again.
The inconsistent icons of Adobe's apps. And yes, they're all the latest 2020 update... from
Taking to Twitter, Photoshop’s Product Management Director Stephen Nielson summarized why some icons are curved while others are square. “Adobe apps get rounded corners when they become multi-device and cloud-aware,” he explained.
“It is not a mistake that Photoshop 2020 suddenly has rounded corners, but [Illustrator] and [InDesign] do not.”
He also addressed that Illustrator is still distinguished by a square shape because while its iPad app had just been announced, it isn’t available yet.
Creative professionals aren’t totally buying this logic, with Neil A. Evans, Creative Director of Neil Evans Agency, responding, “An icon that has to be explained is rubbish. I don’t care if it’s multi platform [or] if I install it on my other platforms… Make the icons consistent.”
Graphic designer Gareth also pointed out that creatives wouldn’t normally care about differentiating cloud-aware software, so the icons might as well share the same shape.
Davey Heuser, Product Designer at customer messaging platform Intercom, chimed in, “Is it really not a mistake if people who pay for their Adobe suite complain about their dock icons being inconsistent?”
They might be right. If users aren’t familiar or haven’t been on board with the rationale for years, why continue confusing them?
The last thing designers and artists want is to clutter their work displays with non-uniform graphics they’re forced to see every day.
Lots of question about this, so let me clarify: Adobe apps get rounded corners when they become multi-device and cloud-aware. It is not a mistake that Photoshop 2020 suddenly has rounded corners, but Ai and Id do not. pic.twitter.com/676m0lzVkU— Stephen Nielson (@strawbo) November 4, 2019
Not yet. We only showed a beta this week.— Stephen Nielson (@strawbo) November 7, 2019
An icon that has to be explained is rubbish. I don’t care if it’s multi platform, if I install it on my other platforms I’ll already know. Make the icons consistent.— Neil A.Evans (@NeilEvansRocks) November 6, 2019
Another hot take: I really don’t care whether or not my Adobe apps are cloud-aware (whatever that even means), and I doubt I’ll ever get the urge to be reminded by looking at an app icon’s corners. https://t.co/eFZ8kGRPK7— Gareth (@gawuffy) November 6, 2019
When internal politics end up as a shipping product decision https://t.co/ZJVWqFdXl9— Owen Williams ⚡ (@ow) November 6, 2019
This is not wise. It’s not something gleaned by a user until someone has explained it and even then is easily lost. https://t.co/FAwYvRH6DB— Nick Sloggett (@NickSloggett) November 7, 2019
Is it really not a mistake if people who pay for their Adobe suite complain about their dock icons being inconsistent? https://t.co/dpl8gWkYYM— Davey Heuser (@daveyheuser) November 6, 2019
What about when they become self-aware? https://t.co/rqg4C7y7y2— ← (@miksullivan) November 7, 2019
[via Stephen Nielson, images via various sources]
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