Amazon Leaks Adobe CS4 Packaging, Features

2008.09.19 7:07

Adobe InDesign CS4

Adobe has been taunting us for some time now with a Sept. 23 announcement of Adobe CS4 (at least Photoshop), but now the secret’s out! Oops, Amazon leaked images and details of InDesign CS4 well before Adobe announced it. This isn’t the first time Amazon has slipped up and announced products early — they’ve done with Apple and with Microsoft leaving the fanboys gitty, and product managers with red faces.

If you’re interested in the actual product improvements in version CS4, here’s what the site had to say:

New Adobe InDesign CS4 software breaks down the barriers between online and offline publishing. Now you can create compelling print materials, immersive content for playback in the Adobe Flash Player runtime, and interactive PDF documents all with beautiful typography and stunning design. InDesign CS4 professional page layout software is the ideal tool to deliver sophisticated layouts for traditional and online media.

The news comes via Apple Insider, who do this sorta thing for a living. Good on them for spotting this breech, which by now is surely taken down from Amazon itself.

Improvements to the software are expected, but whoa, take a look at that packaging!

Adobe InDesign CS4
CS4 packaging (left) with previous CS3 design

First thing to notice is the start plainness of the design, especially compared to the intricate, spirally, liquidly, organic approach to the previous version. Adobe has apparently abandoned this route as swiftly as it was adapted, and gone with something more simple. In fact, it’s hard to get simpler than a big purple box with the application icon centered on the face.

When Adobe introduced the periodic table-style icon system for CS3, it was controversial in it’s non-creative nature. In the pat we had imagery associated with each application (eyes and feathers for Photoshop, Venus and flowers for Illustrator, Butterflies for InDesign), but that was dropped for a colour-only style of differentiation. Having lived with CS3 for a year and a half, I’m pretty much over it, but it’s interested to see that this spartan approach to organisation has now included the packaging.

The odd thing is that not every Adobe product gets a physical box. Yes, most designers buy a suite with multiple applications, but even still there are smaller, almost-hidden applications, like updater, reader, etc. These all have icons, but no packaging. So why lower the common denominator and cut away the style of packaging design? Don’t tell me budget cause, you know, it’s Adobe.

I’m waiting eagerly to see how the candy-coloured box array will be received by consumers. And what colour will the main Creative Suite be? Black? Cmon, that’s so predictable. Last time around it was a rainbow. Your thoughts?

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