The toad’s finger and eggplant – the evolution of the SoftMaker Office program icons
Today’s blog post deals with the history of SoftMaker Office. But instead of a dry account of which feature was added in which version loaded with tiresome technical jargon, we thought we’d let pictures do the talking.
Every Windows application has a program icon which represents it in Windows Explorer. Here is a look at how the icons in SoftMaker Office evolved over the years.
We start with the first Windows application we released, TextMaker 6.0 for Windows. It was published for German customers only in 1994. Internally at SoftMaker, this icon was sometimes jokingly called the “toad’s finger,” and we think you will quickly see why.
TextMaker 97, released in 1997 and also available only in Germany, saw the introduction of a completely new design. Visually understated, the icon relied solely on letters, and with a color reminiscent of an eggplant. This color was kept in every version from 2000 to 2006. When PlanMaker arrived on the scene, a matching green icon was created. The green that symbolizes PlanMaker has been kept over the years, with only its hue changing between versions. Incidentally, TextMaker 2002 and PlanMaker 2004 were the first releases that were offered worldwide.
Here is an exclusive peek at something never before shown in public: the prototype icons designed for TextMaker 2006 and PlanMaker 2006 but never released. Instead, SoftMaker Office 2006 and 2008 shipped with the icon set of their predecessors.
SoftMaker Office 2010 saw a complete break with the old icons. New colorful icons in striking colors replaced the old sedate hues. The brown “TM” was replaced with a white “T” on a bright red background, and the icons of TextMaker’s sister applications followed suit: P on lush green for PlanMaker, S on glowing orange for SoftMaker Presentations, and B on traffic-light yellow for BasicMaker.
These icons are also included with the current version, SoftMaker Office 2012. But times change, and the icons right along with them. The application icons for the next release of SoftMaker Office have already been finished, and here they are on view for the first time ever.