Behind the Adobe Creative Suite 6 Desktop Brand SystemVootie (1482 pencils) | Wed, 2012-05-23 12:54
While the focus of each release of Creative Suite is justifiably on the functionality of its constituent applications, behind the scenes is a significant design initiative. In fact, it takes more than a year to generate such related branding assets as product splash screens and icons for each release. With the growth of the suites over the years, it should come as no surprise that there are an increasingly large number of related assets to create. But it's still something of a shock to learn that the number of these now amounts to more than 5,000. A recent post on the Adobe Brand Experience blog, maintained by the firms's experience design organization, provided some background on what went into such a large design project to meet the requirements of the CS6 release.
From an experience standpoint, there were several goals. First, to return to the more expressive nature of pre-CS Adobe products, while not losing the desirable aspects of recent iterations, such as the work done for CS by Ryan Hicks. It was also a priority to exploit the parameters and limitations of interactions with the operating system. While the curious folded-plane icons of CS5 were apparently a reaction to the splash screens, it was deemed time for CS6 to return to the simplicity of the square. The two-letters-on-a-square icon treatment begun with CS3 was also deemed to be due for a refresh. Finally, the somewhat intangible goal of creating a "more cohesive connection to marketing imagery/packaging" was identified.
Were all these initiatives successful? The jury is still out and, as with previous CS releases, users are feeling free to provide their take on what they like and don't like about the new design direction of CS6. The main question is: does it work for you? Below are a few examples.
A small amount of transparency has been added to the tiles, most notable in the dock and in the app switcher.
An effort has been made to arrange the CS6 icons around a color wheel, in which equal distribution and a shared level of brightness and contrast is evident.
The splash screen for Illustrator CS6 is decidedly "vectorish," with a touch of transparency.
The Illustrator 10 splash screen: the all-time winner or are we just being nostalgic?
The file icons received a "flattening out" treatment.
It's well worth reading the entire post on the Adobe Blogs site.
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