Microsoft revealed today a new revision of the company’s corporate logo. This new iteration is the first since 1987, and simplifies the previous “3D flag in motion” device and the boldly slanted Microsoft logotype lettering.
The Illuminant team across our Beijing and NYC offices immediately fell into conversation on its merits and deficiencies.
We decided to ask our art director Tova Raykin, our head of research and language Kane Gao and our creative director Simon Cousins to share their thoughts on the new branding effort.
“I have one word for this logo, and it’s ‘pedestrian’. Everything that used to make Microsoft distinguishable has been taken out, and what’s left doesn’t seem to have very much visual impact at all. Segoe UI, which is a Monotype typeface licensed to Microsoft, is a smart humanist typeface – great for applications and general usage. But when used as a logotype, coupled with the new ultra-simplified “Windows” logomark, I can’t help thinking that it looks like something that was hapharzadly designed in Microsoft Word. Which would ultimately make a lot of sense.”
“After a series of UI and logo changes across Xbox 360, Windows 8, and a series of Microsoft websites, it’s not so surprising to see what’s now officially called ‘Modern’ style being applied to the company logo too. The Windows flag being made flat makes sense. However the grey font contradicts the bold-and-black style consistent in all previous Microsoft logos. As if the company is trying to phase the brand out.”
“I love the new logo. I’ve been an admirer of the Metro design language for some time, and we called Metro as an emerging global design megatrend, just as we did the Tron Legacy style, the Matrix style and the original ‘fruit flavoured’ style of the first refresh of the original iMac. All of these styles entered the collective consciousness of the world and influenced incredibly diverse design executions, from product packaging through to department store windows. Metro style will resonate as strongly in the world’s design zeitgeist at least through 2014, and Microsoft’s brave simplification to flat, orderly geometric shapes is fully on board. I’m not opposed to the choice of Segoe UI for the new logotype: with over a billion customers in every country of the world, Microsoft is right to choose a humanist, universal style, and I do not believe that Segoe UI will look embarrassingly faddish in a couple of year’s time (Proxima Nova Soft, I’m looking at you). Grey? Well, its a rare colour that I believe doesn’t appear on any national flag, and it certainly promotes a feeling of ‘concrete’ industriousness.”
How about you?
Let us know what you think of the new logo, and the Metro design style in the comments below. And for posterity, we’ll close with a fare thee well to the old logo.