Adobe’s New Icons

    December 21, 2006

Hey, I’m getting bashed in comments for being too anti-Microsoft. Which is funny seeing that if you search Google for Google+Search” class=”bluelink”>Demo of the Year a post I made about a Microsoft product comes up.

I still haven’t seen a better demo this year.

Anyway, I’m not just into bashing Microsoft when it deserves it, but other companies too. Adobe got on Fred’s radar screen with the new Photoshop icons.

Using ASCII characters in an icon? Come on Adobe. You’re the king of using graphics and photos. Put a freaking photo onto the icon. It’s “Photoshop” remember?

But, icons are branding opportunities and tell me one thing. Will this “brand” do well in, say, China? How about Japan?


Adobe should invest in imagery and iconography that’ll transcend cultural, language, and other barriers.

The problem is you should have a single icon that works everywhere for training purposes.

I remember when I was in China at a computer show and I needed to demonstrate NetMeeting. I could do it cause I knew what the icons looked like.

But, even better, look at how Firefox uses its icon to market itself. It’s on Tshirts. Stickers. Posters (one was hanging in a company I interviewed at yesterday).

I look at the XML icon and that’s a bit different. First of all, RSS and XML were aimed at geeks for the first few years of their life. So, they needed to communicate a bit about what was underneath (note that the newer Feed Icon is becoming much more popular – partly cause it doesn’t look so darn American-centric on, say, Chinese Web sites).



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Robert Scoble is the founder of the Scobleizer blog. He works as’s Vice President of Media Development.

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