Logo Critique


Love it or hate it, for most people in creative fields the name Adobe is synonymous with digital creative tools.

(Except for my Swedish friend Cris, who works in Autodesk Smoke. Which I’ve always thought of as some sort of powerful, mysterious thing. Like alien technology. In any case it’s something I know less than nothing about.)

The Adobe logo isn’t a roaring success or triumph of human creativity. But it is ubiquitous. And so it’s become extremely well known in creative circles. Which makes it easy to play around with while still maintaining its original associations and meaning.

And I do consider that a roaring success.

Original Logo

The original Adobe Systems Incorporated logo was designed by Marva Warnock in 1982. She was a graphic designer and the wife of John Warnock, Adobe’s co-founder and one of only two employees at the time.


Contemporary Logo

Adobe’s current logo is a stylized version of the Marva’a original ‘A.’ They, like any behemoth corporation, have a very strict style guide (which you can download for your perusal and pleasure here). They have several variations of their logo that are prescribed depending on the situation.  The most common version is the two color tag, which is “reserved for Adobe use only.”

From their brand guidelines:

“The red tag logo should be used as an introduction of the Adobe brand on a communication, not as a signature to close a communication.”

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 5.00.01 PM


You don’t get to be the chief provider of creative software the world over without making a few friends. Not surprisingly Adobe has partnered with creatives to create unique versions of their logo.

by Alex Trochut www.alextrochut.com
by Alex Trochut // www.alextrochut.com

These logos were created by Sagmeister & Walsh on a game show that they created for the campaign.

Here’s their full case study.