A few weeks ago at Photoshop World, John Loiacono (Senior VP/Creative Business Products at Adobe) revealed the new â€œPhotoshop familyâ€ of products, complete with logo, which encompasses the various Adobe products branded with â€œPhotoshopâ€:
- Photoshop CS3 Extended
- Photoshop CS3
- Photoshop Lightroom
- Photoshop Elements
- Photoshop Album Starter Edition
I think itâ€™s been obvious for a couple years now that Photoshop has constituted a family of products: Elements has been around since mid-2002 (launched with Photoshop 7) and Lightroom has been rightfully positioned as a Photoshop sibling even in its beta stage, before it was renamed â€œPhotoshop Lightroom.â€ This yearâ€™s Creative Suite 3 release created a second version of Photoshop, CS3 Extended, with specialized features for various industries such as medical imaging and architecture. This made it even more logical to group the products as a true â€œfamily.â€
However, the question is: Is the â€œPhotoshop familyâ€ concept going to benefit the user community, or is this more of a corporate branding concept? Letâ€™s look at some key aspects of the â€œPhotoshop familyâ€ concept:
The logo. It looks like a cross between the letter â€œPâ€ and a word bubble, all deliciously covered in a candy coating. As logos go, itâ€™s well-designed and looks sharp. Scott Kelby has gone on the record to say that he didnâ€™t like it at first but now is â€œfairly comfortable with it.â€ I myself donâ€™t mind the brand itself but what strikes me is the overbranding of Photoshop. There are a lot of Photoshop brands already out thereâ€”Photoshop, Extended, Lightroom, Elements, Albumâ€”so will the â€œPhotoshop familyâ€ brand stand out in the marketplace? Will we see the logo on every Photoshop product? Letâ€™s say we pull Photoshop CS3 Extended from the shelf at CompUSAâ€”will the packaging tell buyers this product is a member of the Photoshop family? I havenâ€™t seen it yet, and Adobe has probably missed the boat already since CS3 has shipped out for awhile now. Perhaps they will put it on future shipments of Photoshop family products, but at this point the logo is only seen on the Photoshop family page on Adobe.com.
â€œSee Whatâ€™s Possible.â€ This is the tagline for the Photoshop family brand, and itâ€™s a good tagline: it fits the product well and positively reinforces the brand. However, as with the logo, currently itâ€™s shown only on its little piece of Adobe.com real estate. Until it gets some exposure out in the marketplace, it doesnâ€™t really serve the Photoshop family brand except online. Speaking of whichâ€¦
The header graphic on the Photoshop family page.
The Photoshop family webpage at Adobe.com. This is the focus of all Photoshop family marketing efforts. Thereâ€™s a very nice Flash movie that shows how â€œThereâ€™s a Photoshop for youâ€ (another slogan used in conjunction with the Photoshop family brand), a full list of the Photoshop products and some Photoshop resources. Thereâ€™s also a Photoshop product comparison page where you can click on your profession (designer, photographer, medical professional, etc.) and see which product or products are right for you. Unfortunately this page is somewhat hiddenâ€”look for the â€œThereâ€™s a Photoshop for youâ€ link in the first paragraph at the top.
Reaching the page can be a trick if you take any wrong turns. The best way to reach it is to select â€œPhotoshop Familyâ€ in the Products drop-down menu, which is accessible on any page. If you use any other method, such as typing in adobe.com/photoshop or going to one of the specific Photoshop products, look for a Photoshop family logo tacked on the bottom of the page or a mention of the â€œPhotoshop family.â€ The Photoshop members of CS3 (Photoshop CS3 and Photoshop CS3 Extended) have a list of Photoshop family products and a link to the Photoshop family page. However, the Photoshop family is not emphasized on these pages: the logo is at the bottom and, if thereâ€™s a list of Photoshop family products, itâ€™s rather small and shoehorned in below the price listings.
In conclusion, I think the â€œPhotoshop familyâ€ concept is a good one, and very timely now that thereâ€™s several different products carrying the Photoshop name. I also think Adobe should have done a few things to bring the Photoshop family concept out into the marketplace, because right now it isnâ€™t causing much change in the industry. Everyday users will still be buying â€œPhotoshopâ€ because thatâ€™s all they know about. There are clients I work with who donâ€™t know what Photoshop Lightroom is yet. Adobe will have a good chance to cement the Photoshop family brand in a year or two when CS4 launches, but I think they hurt themselves when they failed to hitch the Photoshop family brand to the CS3 launch. That would have really brought the family together.