New Product Icons, Including ColdFusion

John Nack has posted a link to a color wheel showing the next generation of Adobe product icons, and yes, the next ColdFusion icon is there too.
Now I miss the lightning bolt even more!

23 responses to “New Product Icons, Including ColdFusion”

  1. greg h Avatar
    greg h

    Personally, if find the whole "elements table" design appalling bad.
    Seeing them on a color wheel really does not make it work for me. And in isolation, each individual one is a disaster.
    If CS3 succeeds, it will only be in spite of this marketing mistake.
    Gee, I wonder how Microsoft is branding their Adobe killer products?
    Kind of makes me wish Apple would buy Adobe.

  2. Jim Priest Avatar
    Jim Priest

    That has to be the most confusing thing I’ve ever seen – it took me awhile to find the CF icon.
    I think we need to start a "BRING BACK THE BOLT" campaign!!!!!!!
    And what does the wheel signify anyway? And why does the CF icon have a icky baby blue color but Flash and PDF has the cool red? But what do I know – I’m a programmer. πŸ™‚
    I’m sure someone in the art department has a drawing board. I’d suggest the go back to it…

  3. Kevin Benore Avatar
    Kevin Benore


  4. TJ Downes Avatar
    TJ Downes

    Seems to me that both the creative and technical sides of the Adobe crowd feel the new icons/logos lack any appeal. I cannot say I disagree with them at all. I wonder if Adobe expected this sort of reaction?

  5. Calvin Ward Avatar
    Calvin Ward

    Direct link:
    This is really weak and rather not distinctive. The new ‘logo’s are simply two letters, second smaller, surrounded by a box and some effects applied.
    They lack creativity and impact.
    I much preferred the runes.

  6. Giampaolo Avatar

    I agree, the new icons are so ugly! A marketing failure?
    I want the bolt back too, it’s always in our heart πŸ™‚

  7. Rodney Stanford Avatar
    Rodney Stanford

    I’m no graphic artist, not by any stretch of the imagination. However, this looks like something I’d have thought was nice if I’d have done it myself in 1995. Is it supposed to be a retro look?

  8. Sam Farmer Avatar
    Sam Farmer

    That wheel is terrible. I’ve been looking at it for 5 minutes and I’ve still no idea what most of these two letter abreviations are. Or why there are two letter abbreviations. Or a color wheel. Or some icons.

  9. Michael White Avatar
    Michael White

    that is a pretty bold departure from the generally accepted style of product icons. I guess that’s the problem when you have so many products written by so many development teams/divisions/subsidiaries etc. Consistency is good, having them all look good together is a good idea but adobe is throwing away the branding they have developed over the decades… it’s like Adobe got bought by The Color Wheel Company, LLC. of Emerald City. I for one, will be replacing them with the old icons. Now that the new icons have been universally blasted by their customers I wonder what they will do.

  10. Ben Forta Avatar
    Ben Forta

    Well, on the plus side, it’s clear what they mean. The older Macromedia ones had a CF or DW or other letter combination in the runes, but the Adobe ones are a little more esoteric, shapes and patterns. So at least now we’ll all know what they mean.
    But having said that, I agree with you, these look like Scrabble tiles, and I don’t care for them at all. That look just blah. πŸ™
    — Ben

  11. D K Avatar
    D K

    yeah definitely blah. MM always had nice distinct, slick icons that looked professional. I hope these are merely a mockup and we see a more polished look later on, hopefully this was more a color presentation than anything :O

  12. Phil Avatar

    I actually feel like I’m looking at a warped periodic table chart. These icons are terrible, I liked he older Macromedia ones with the CF, DW, FX, etc. Other than Acrobat, I don’t use many other of Adobe’s products, so I really can’t speak to their icons, but overall these just don’t look "forward thinking" for a company that is supposed to be.

  13. Joe Kelly Avatar
    Joe Kelly

    What is this? A Periodic Table of Elements gone wrong? Br – Bromine, Au – Gold, As – Arsenic, Cf – Californium. What else did I miss?

  14. Ben Forta Avatar
    Ben Forta

    Just keep in mind that customers don’t buy (or not buy) products because of their logos and icons, icons are for clicking on, and the important thing is that you know what you’re clicking. And while I don’t really care for these, it is at least clear what they are.
    — Ben

  15. Stephen Cassady Avatar
    Stephen Cassady

    I’m just trying to figure out what the other icons around CF are, and what the ones around DW are, so I can understand how the groupings are done. Alas, I’m totally at a loss for some. Must be morning, feeling so slow and dumb.

  16. Sam Avatar

    I realize it’s a color wheel and certain colors are suppose to be in certain places but without thinking that one would think that Flex was the central product in Adobe’s product line.
    Also, yes, the new icons are awful. I thought the idea behind an icon was that an idea can be expressed quickly and easily without words.

  17. Derek Versteegen Avatar
    Derek Versteegen

    People do relate purchasing to icons – icons are a form of branding and many studies have shown that branding is what people buy. If the BMW logo suddenly turned into a blue oval, I’d be second guessing things – I’d begin to worry that Ford has over stretched is market share once again.
    In any respect, Adobe is big and strong enough to get over the overwhelming negative reaction this change is creating. Just like Ford was able to survive the Explorer branding challenge it faced, Adobe will pull out of this. Our spines might cringe each time we click those icons, but we will still love the product that it links to.

  18. Sam Farmer Avatar
    Sam Farmer

    Considering CF and Flex are Adobe’s programing languages (though maybe Spry as well?) why are they on opposite sides of the color wheel? Shouldn’t they be together?

  19. Rob Avatar

    I think someone has been hanging out in the "Lab(s)" too long.

  20. Michael Dinowitz Avatar
    Michael Dinowitz

    I’m old enough in the language to remember the original art deco hand and lightning bolt design. I have yet to see a logo change for ColdFusion better than that.

  21. Michael White Avatar
    Michael White

    After thinking about it for a while, I think Adobe should make an official Mousepad with the colorwheel icon thing on it… and on the back they could list out what all the icons mean.

  22. greg h Avatar
    greg h

    Dear Ben,
    You have now twice posted back in the comments "it’s clear what they mean". Ahem, only if someone explains it πŸ™‚ Ps Fl … without someone letting you "in on it" I suspect there is little or no chance that anyone (even acquainted with the products) would intuitively figure these out.
    And far more importantly, I second what Derek draws out attention to regarding branding.
    Icons? This stuff doesn’t just go on icons. It goes in advertising, on packaging, splash screens, on the installers (and you know during a CS3 install you are going to be looking at this dreck for 30 minutes or more).
    What I expect from Adobe is artistry. I expect design executed on the highest of levels. I want branding that, when we see it, will make our hearts soar!
    Not stuff that even gets key members of the product teams publicly expressing "That look just blah. :-("
    It’s a beta. It’s broken. Fix it.
    Adobe has done better. Adobe can do better. And please Adobe, please wow us all in the best possible way with the branding on CS3 (and across all the product lines).
    That’s what I want for Christmas this year πŸ™‚

  23. Clint Avatar

    It just don’t make since. Even the color wheel is off. I hope your not serious that this is going to be the next generation of Adobe product icons. These are the guys that made Photoshop and Illustrator, teamed with the guys that made Fireworks. The three most powerful imaging products in the world. With the addition of the Macromedia line, Adobe is now the standard in Internet design and development tools. And this is what they came up with?! These aren’t icons for products. They are a periodical rendition of the Adobe line of products. Now, go make some icons!! Give me logos or give me death! Adobe’s coolness factor just lost 2 points. Good product, bad marketing.
    BTW Ben. I hate the image text thing you have to type for posting comments. It’s unclear, caps and small letters.. Can’t tell the difference. But I guess it’s a necessary evil now days.

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