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We're in the process of updating a (gov't, educational) website that includes about 15 loosely related learning products. They're not really a "suite" - just a mishmash created over the past several years. They're currently grouped by educational purpose.

Several have custom logos, and there's no consistent UI or branding like you'd find with MS Office, Adobe Creative Suite, etc. That's what I need assistance with.

We want to:

  • get rid of all logos aside from that of the parent organization.
  • avoid cryptic acronyms & product titles that new users won't understand (current practice).

But once that's done, what alternatives exist for branding them in a consistent way?

Little colored blocks like Adobe Suite require the cryptic abbreviations/knowledge of the product. Screenshots are inconsistent because the UIs haven't been redesigned yet. Logos are primarily bad because they're very inconsistent & detract from sitewide branding.

What else can I try to consistently present a group of items a user may/may not be familiar with? Do I need to get busy fixing all the internal UI first (at least mockups)?

Thanks.

  • what is the problem with abbreviations? do they not match the initials of the product names? – Aprillion Dec 3 '14 at 22:38
  • Abbreviations we currently use: some are 2 letters, some 3, and some product names (which can't be changed) are already acronyms, so abbreviating them further is awkward. Some product names are 1 word, others as long as 4, so a consistent pattern doesn't really emerge. Ends up being alphabet soup likely to confuse users. Maybe best to spell them all out but differentiate by color, purpose, etc? – mc01 Dec 3 '14 at 22:48
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Here is an arbitrary assortment of logos for product groups:

logos from following pages

Each group have some company-wide characteristics:

  • fonts
  • shapes
  • colors
  • overlay or base parts of the icon

But everybody chooses their own way.

Copyring for the images is held by their respective owners - taken from:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/products/?CTT=97
https://www.jetbrains.com/products.html
https://www.openoffice.org/product/
http://stackexchange.com/sites#traffic

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