Launched: August 23, 2012
Story in brief:
"Now is the perfect time for a change" wrote Jeff
Hansen, Brand Strategy manager, announcing Microsoft's first
logo change in 25 years, "as we prepare to release new versions
of nearly all our products."
My first guess was that CEO Steve Ballmer had grown envious of
that Apple symbol hanging in splendor over retail spaces, and
shining from product covers. "I want that," he may have said.
And indeed, in the launch event photo (in which CMO Chris Caposella
cuts a store ribbon) we see the new symbol used alone on the wall,
in apple-like glory.
Now, it's pretty clear the idea came from Brian Collins' 2009
brand concept design for Microsoft stores, which featured a
three-toned version of a square four-color symbol plus grey type, in
Microsoft's Segoe font. Uncredited Microsoft designers dropped
the three tones and, for the corporate-mark lockup, readjusted the
symbol/wordmark size relationship.
C.E.O. - Steve Ballmer
C.M.O. Chris Capossela, Chief Marketing
C.B.O. - Jeff Hansen, General Manager, Brand Strategy
Identity design - Credits withheld. See below.
Strategy: After 25 years it's time for
change; no further story needed. But in a small way this change
can increase interest in the new launches and in a bigger way,
if design execution carries through to merchandising and
packaging, it can support their seamless integration. The
stronger identification of the institutional brand with Windows,
its core heritage product, leverages both current equities. And
now, the corporate and retail brands are unified.
Design: It's as classic as they come --
hard-edged, flat-color symbol plus straight-type wordmark.
No highlights, no shadows; static. Boring to some perhaps,
but to me it's confident and more coherent. Good work, somebody.
Design credits are not forthcoming as yet.
Spokesperson: "I connected with my colleagues and they would
like to tell you that Microsoft worked with some of its external
design agencies on the new logo, but actually did much of the
design work internally. Please visit the
Official Microsoft Blog for more information as that is all
we are sharing at this point in time."
You probably know how I feel about this
policy. I'll say it again anyway. Denial of credit demeans the
design profession as well as the designers who did this work, staff
and counsel alike. I hope it will be re-thought.
This new identifier more or less covers their character:
massive, predictable, unoriginal and boring. Roger van
This was an opportunity for Microsoft to
reassert its relevance in a mobile world. Instead they decided to go
back to the future with an identity that would have looked at home
in your best programs of 2005. William Agush
I find it interesting the the Apple font
Myriad Pro and the Microsoft font Segoe are similar as well. As far
as I can tell Apple started using Myriad Pro in 2002 and in 2004
Microsoft tried to register Segoe. Steve Boris
The inspiration? Store logo, by Collins:
Launch event at Boston store
CEO Steve Ballmer