I was taken aback when I saw the minimalist, alphabetic icons in Adobe’s Creative Suite 3, which take the old Macromedia cop-out letter-bound application icons and add a heaping serving of boredom. Here’s a great post explaining the, um, design decisions behind them. Much of the blame goes to the Macromedia merger and the overwhelming number of applications now on Adobe’s palette and, perhaps more practically, the Mac OS X dock to which I assign most of the blame. Regardless, we shouldn’t have to give up beauty for functionality in our digital workspaces. This sets a bad precedent.
The funniest comment asks if Adobe is “trying to create its own version of the periodic table” while the one that best expresses the head-scratching bottom line is, “I can’t believe these icons are from a market leader in design applications.”