In today’s tutorial, I will show you how to create the Adobe CS4 icons in Photoshop from scratch.  Since all of the icons are very similar, I will teach you how to create the Photoshop icon first, and then tell you the steps to create the rest of them.

Final Result

Here is the final Photoshop icon that we will be creating:

Photoshop CS4 Icon Result

Step 1

To start off, create a new document of the dimensions 100px by 100px.  Set your background color to #2f64a8, and then press Ctrl + Backspace to fill the “Background” layer with it.

Background Color

Step 2

Now we will add that nice gradient lighting effect that this icon uses.  However, since we want to be able to reuse this effect for all of the other CS4 icons, we need a way to add this lighting effect “non-destructively”.  To do this, first create a new layer above the background layer, fill it with #808080, and set its blending mode to Overlay.  As you can see, this didn’t change the background color at all, and that’s because the color is a perfect medium-gray.

To add the lighting effects, make sure that your new gray layer is selected, and go to Filter > Render > Lighting Effects.  Enter these settings:

Lighting Effects Dialog

And that will give you this:

Lighting Effects Result

Step 3

That’s it for the background!  Now on to the text.  Take the Text Tool (T), click anywhere in the document, and type in a capital P and a lowercase s.  Set the font to Myriad Pro, the size to 72pt, and the color to #28201d.  To center the text to the background, press Ctrl + A to select everything, get the Move Tool (V), and press the “Align Vertical Centers” and “n Centers” width=”647″ heighAlign Horizontal Centers” in the menu:


That should give you this:

Text Layer

Step 4

For the final step, we will ad some subtle layer effects to the text.  To do this, right-click on the text layer and click on Blending Options.  Use these settings:

Inner Shadow

Inner Shadow

Bevel and Emboss

Bevel and Emboss

That’s it!  A really simple effect, yet a surprisingly beautiful icon.  Here’s the final Photoshop CS4 icon again:

Photoshop CS4 Icon Result

How to Create the Other Icons

Creating the rest of the CS4 icons is rather straight-forward.  There are really only two steps the you need to take, and I have listed them below:

Step 1

Select your background layer, and set your foreground color to the color of the new icon.  I am creating the Adobe Illustrator icon, so I will choose #ec8e24.  Press Alt + Backspace to fill the background layer with that color.  Here’s what I have:

Illustrator Background

Step 2

Now we just need to change the text to fit the new program’s name.  In my case, this is Ai.  Just take the Text Tool (T), click on your text, delete the original text, and type in the new text.  And your new icon is done!  Here is the Illustrator icon:

Illstrator CS4 Icon Result

Now that you know how to recreate the icons, you can create any of them that you want, including custom ones.  Below are the icons that I have created, each followed by the background color I used for that icon.

Flash CS4 Icon


Dreamweaver CS4 Icon


After Effects CS4 Icon


Premiere CS4 Icon


InDesign CS4 Icon


Lightroom CS4 Icon


Why not make your own icons?  Since we preserved the text and background layers, you can customize the icons to suit your needs.  Enjoy!