24 December 2006

[design] Big Doings in Adobeville

696 By now, if you're so inclined to keep track of such things, you'll have heard that Adobe has made the beta of the next generation of Photoshop, Photoshop CS3 (version 10), a public thing.

That means that anyone can download it and anyone can run it, and almost anyone can run it beyond a two-day's grace period. You are elevated to the select if you own Adobe software already, according to this verbiage at the PSCS3 Adobe Labs download site:

The Photoshop CS3 beta is available in English only but to Photoshop CS2 users worldwide. It is available to licensed users of either the Photoshop CS2 (full, upgrade, and education), Adobe Creative Suite 2 Standard or Premium (full, upgrade, and education), Adobe Production Studio Standard and Premium (full, upgrade, and education), Adobe Video Bundle (full, upgrade, and education) or Adobe Web Bundle (full, upgrade, and education).
Instructions are available at the site on how to get a license beyond the two day's grace. It's Universtal Binary, which means it will run on PowerMac, MacIntels, and WinXP and WinVista.

Go to the site if you're interested

Meanwhile, in the Adobeville suburb of IconDesignerTown, big changes are afoot for the look of the various Adobe (and now Macromedia) brands. The first changes were wildly noticed by the early downloaders with the splash screen of the PSCS3 beta, which can be seen by following this link to James Duncan Davidson's blog. Go there, look, and come back.

So, what'd'ja think? Didn't see that one coming, didja? Neither did we.

The next exhibit can be seen in miniature left and in large scale (and annotated) at Veerle's Flickr here. This is the new range and the new look of Adobe's application icons. No more are the shell, the butterfly, the feather, and the flower to grace your Dock (or your Quick Launch bar for you Wintellers). Now it's just gradated color and two letters. As a matter of fact, some commenters I've read are calling them "Medeleevan" after the style which seems to suggest blocks on the Periodic Table.

Also read Veerle's blog here, where she explores the new icon look, snags an interview with an Adobean, and fields some insipired commentary.

My first reaction on looking at the new icons was that of disappointment, and I still am. I had grown to be rather affectonate toward the icons with the natural look, even if there was no real way to connect the image to the app; it was a one-to-one mapping which set up rather quickly, actually; if you want to use InDesign, click on the butterfly.

I was particularly fond of the butterfly, and thought the InDesign 2 version was best of all. But things change.

I suppose the new icons will grow on me, even if they seem underdesigned in the extreme. And I'm sure they'll field thier share of insults as well as plaudits–some commenters feel the underdesign is a good thing.

But I'll miss those friendly little icons.

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