When Adobe went all periodic table on our asses with their icons, I wrote a little article about it, just like a lot of people did. At the end of that article I suggested that Adobe start thinking about actual icons — visual symbols — for their applications that could be recognized at a glance, rather than using letters or letter combinations in the place of icons.
I think the best approach Adobe could take — both from a conceptual and a practical standpoint — would be to actually create memorable, iconic symbols for each of their applications. Thus far they have not done so, and choosing instead to represent their apps with plain two-letter text identifiers just seems a little cheap, lazy and ineffectual. Why doesn't Photoshop have such a memorable symbol associated with its product line after all these years? Or Illustrator? By now they really should. Maybe it's time to start working on these.
It looks like that's what they've started doing, at least in the case of Photoshop (Warning! Annoying Flash content ahead), which now has its own icon. Unfortunately, the icon itself ain't all that great. It's kind of confusing, not all that attractive and seems totally disconnected to the idea of Photoshop. It looks like a combination of a metallic speech bubble and the 1970s PBS logo. And I'm not the only one who thinks so.
Still, it's a step in the right direction, and I'm glad to see it. And I have to say, I kind of like the typography. Not that I'm any sort of expert in any of this.