drdougfresh

Windows 8 Rebrand

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I just wanted to point out that the current actual Apple logo is this:

apple-logo.jpg

For all of the the criticism that Microsoft sometime gets as being too slow to change, Apple is the one still holding on to gradients and a Web 2.0 look.

Microsoft has undergone a major shift in the design and function of all its major products over the last five years. It's all coalescing now with the upcoming Windows 8 launch. They're re-thinking UI design and the outward face of all of their products. As others mentioned, the individual MS products all have a stronger brand identity now than they have in the past. I think the new "Squares" corporate logo is another strong effort. It's certainly a more appropriate design than the one it replaced.

Also a good point. Microsoft design is becoming what Apple design was ten years ago.

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But this is 4 squares making up a bigger square. It's not unique or original. I understand the attachment to the original Windows logo, but this is essentially that with all of the character removed.

THANK YOU.

Target, Chase, Apple, and McDonald's have had those brands for years and have been unique and original. This new Microsoft logo isn't. It's just 4 squares.

I'm not saying it has to be "overly complex", but it has to have something that draws your eye.

The Windows logo has been around for decades, and this mark carries that equity with it. I don't understand how 'it's just four squares' is an argument against it when you're citing logos that are, respectively, just a few circles, just an octagon and a square, just an apple and just a couple of arches. Those marks are unique and original, despite their simplicity, and I think this one is as well. They could have introduced this mark on a billboard in Times Square with absolutely no text to support it, and I bet you most people would have guessed Microsoft. You don't think it's unique or original, but I don't think of anything else when I see four squares in those colors.

.... so just the 4 squares and people would have instantly guessed Microsoft? Sorry, but I doubt that.

Just for some example, let's say I never saw any one of the logos previously mentioned or even knew what they were for.

- If I saw the Target logo for the first time, my first thought would be "that looks like a target or bullseye".

- If I saw the Apple logo for the first time, my first thought would be "that's an apple".

- If I saw the Chase logo for the first time, my first thought: "Those look like arrows going around in a circle, as if they were chasing each other".

- If I saw the McNasty's logo for the first time, my first thought would be, "those aches make an 'M'. It must stand for something that begins with the letter M. (I probably wouldn't think arches at all. Just the 'M'.)

I'm just saying, I don't get that with this logo. I don't get that with just 4 squares. If I saw those for the first time, my initial thoughts wouldn't be for a computer company. They wouldn't be for anything hi-tech at all. I could maybe think "Windows", but if I never knew what Microsoft was or if it was a new company and the ONLY thing they ever showed off were 4 squares and not the name of the company, I wouldn't get it. I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one, either.

That's what I'm saying. You think it's clean, I think it's lazy. Just gonna have to agree to disagree there.

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While your point is still valid on some levels, this is actually the current Apple logo.

apple-logo.jpg

But they frequently use a single-color, no-effects logo too. I'm not sure what is considered their primary. Honestly, I loved the logo they used for the last iPad unveiling and would like to see them adopt that.

new_apple_logo.jpg

There was also this one for the 2012 WDC, but it's too complex for my tastes. I believe it was strictly an event logo. It is a very smart design, though, utilizing the shape of the iOS app icons to form the apple.

apple-wwdc-2012-logo.jpg

I don't believe Apple ever confirmed adopting the iPad unveiling one as a new logo, but here's a graphic as if they did.

apple-logo-comparison-gizmodo-uk.jpg

In any case, while we throw out words like "gradients" and "web 2.0" as buzz words of awful, the truth is they dont' ahve to be. Apple utilizes a semi-3D w/gradient approach in it's operating systems, but they're still excellently designed. There's nothing wrong with using gradients if done right. Apple always has. I've not been a huge fan of the effects on their logo, but they're neither bad nor out of touch with the company's product.

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But this is 4 squares making up a bigger square. It's not unique or original. I understand the attachment to the original Windows logo, but this is essentially that with all of the character removed.

THANK YOU.

Target, Chase, Apple, and McDonald's have had those brands for years and have been unique and original. This new Microsoft logo isn't. It's just 4 squares.

I'm not saying it has to be "overly complex", but it has to have something that draws your eye.

The Windows logo has been around for decades, and this mark carries that equity with it. I don't understand how 'it's just four squares' is an argument against it when you're citing logos that are, respectively, just a few circles, just an octagon and a square, just an apple and just a couple of arches. Those marks are unique and original, despite their simplicity, and I think this one is as well. They could have introduced this mark on a billboard in Times Square with absolutely no text to support it, and I bet you most people would have guessed Microsoft. You don't think it's unique or original, but I don't think of anything else when I see four squares in those colors.

I actually think this has more character than the 'flag' versions of the Windows logo. This looks more like a window to the future. I think it could be a bit more refined, but as a mark, it's balanced well between recognizable and memorable. Clearly identifiable, but not disruptive.

Honestly, if those 4 squares didn't say Microsoft next to them, I'd have assumed it was a Google logo. Google has taken ownership of the simple red, blue, green, yellow color in the technology industry in my mind. Maybe Microsoft can take it back, but right now they are not the first one that comes to mind. And that's why I don't think 4 squares with 4 colors is a unique and easily recognizable brand.

The worst logos can become iconic with the right success in branding and marketing and regular corporate success. And that might happen here. But I don't think at this moment in time that this is a successful design.

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But this is 4 squares making up a bigger square. It's not unique or original. I understand the attachment to the original Windows logo, but this is essentially that with all of the character removed.

THANK YOU.

Target, Chase, Apple, and McDonald's have had those brands for years and have been unique and original. This new Microsoft logo isn't. It's just 4 squares.

I'm not saying it has to be "overly complex", but it has to have something that draws your eye.

The Windows logo has been around for decades, and this mark carries that equity with it. I don't understand how 'it's just four squares' is an argument against it when you're citing logos that are, respectively, just a few circles, just an octagon and a square, just an apple and just a couple of arches. Those marks are unique and original, despite their simplicity, and I think this one is as well. They could have introduced this mark on a billboard in Times Square with absolutely no text to support it, and I bet you most people would have guessed Microsoft. You don't think it's unique or original, but I don't think of anything else when I see four squares in those colors.

I actually think this has more character than the 'flag' versions of the Windows logo. This looks more like a window to the future. I think it could be a bit more refined, but as a mark, it's balanced well between recognizable and memorable. Clearly identifiable, but not disruptive.

Honestly, if those 4 squares didn't say Microsoft next to them, I'd have assumed it was a Google logo. Google has taken ownership of the simple red, blue, green, yellow color in the technology industry in my mind. Maybe Microsoft can take it back, but right now they are not the first one that comes to mind. And that's why I don't think 4 squares with 4 colors is a unique and easily recognizable brand.

Honestly, I see Microsoft before Google. Both companies have a claim to the four colour thing, but I associate those colours, in that pattern, with Microsoft, not Google.

The design is really growing on me. I still have a fondness for the Windows 95/98 era logo, but I definitely prefer the new "it's only four boxes" logo over the Windows XP/Vista/7 era logo. I'm still not a fan of the font, but the four boxes works for me. It definitely does say "Windows."

Apple? They need to commit to the single colour apple. It's much stronger than either of the gradient heavy faux-3D web 2.0 logos. I'm not a fan of the newer rainbow Apple. I'm not opposed to a newer take on the 80s logo, but I'm not a fan of the route they went in.

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But this is 4 squares making up a bigger square. It's not unique or original. I understand the attachment to the original Windows logo, but this is essentially that with all of the character removed.

THANK YOU.

Target, Chase, Apple, and McDonald's have had those brands for years and have been unique and original. This new Microsoft logo isn't. It's just 4 squares.

I'm not saying it has to be "overly complex", but it has to have something that draws your eye.

The Windows logo has been around for decades, and this mark carries that equity with it. I don't understand how 'it's just four squares' is an argument against it when you're citing logos that are, respectively, just a few circles, just an octagon and a square, just an apple and just a couple of arches. Those marks are unique and original, despite their simplicity, and I think this one is as well. They could have introduced this mark on a billboard in Times Square with absolutely no text to support it, and I bet you most people would have guessed Microsoft. You don't think it's unique or original, but I don't think of anything else when I see four squares in those colors.

.... so just the 4 squares and people would have instantly guessed Microsoft? Sorry, but I doubt that.

Just for some example, let's say I never saw any one of the logos previously mentioned or even knew what they were for.

- If I saw the Target logo for the first time, my first thought would be "that looks like a target or bullseye".

- If I saw the Apple logo for the first time, my first thought would be "that's an apple".

- If I saw the Chase logo for the first time, my first thought: "Those look like arrows going around in a circle, as if they were chasing each other".

- If I saw the McNasty's logo for the first time, my first thought would be, "those aches make an 'M'. It must stand for something that begins with the letter M. (I probably wouldn't think arches at all. Just the 'M'.)

I'm just saying, I don't get that with this logo. I don't get that with just 4 squares. If I saw those for the first time, my initial thoughts wouldn't be for a computer company. They wouldn't be for anything hi-tech at all. I could maybe think "Windows", but if I never knew what Microsoft was or if it was a new company and the ONLY thing they ever showed off were 4 squares and not the name of the company, I wouldn't get it. I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one, either.

That's what I'm saying. You think it's clean, I think it's lazy. Just gonna have to agree to disagree there.

You're heavily contradicting yourself all over the place. Your assessment is totally predicated on the equity that each of those marks already has, and you don't even realize it, but the transparency of your argument shows when you say that these marks work because of this, but this mark doesn't work because of the same thing.

What a logo is (a target, an apple, whatever) has little to do with branding. It's all about association of one thing with another thing. I'll direct you first to the bold part. So, you see the four squares for the first time and your initial thought is not computer company. That's completely true. So far, so good, but here's where it falls apart: If you see a red and white target logo for the first time, your initial thought is department store? Not true. If you see an apple logo for the first time, your initial thought is computer company? Not true. If you see an abstract octagon logo for the first time, your initial thought is banking? Not true (The assertion that your first thought when looking at that logo is arrows chasing each other is highly difficult to believe. The Chase logo is, in fact, a completely abstract and arbitrary symbol, according to the designer). If you see a golden M logo for the first time, your initial thought is food? Not true. Consequently, there's no room to say,

"If I saw those for the first time, my initial thoughts wouldn't be for a computer company. They wouldn't be for anything hi-tech at all. I could maybe think "Windows", but if I never knew what Microsoft was or if it was a new company and the ONLY thing they ever showed off were 4 squares and not the name of the company, I wouldn't get it."

You could say the exact same thing about all those logos you listed as exemplary. You can put ifs in front of all the sentences you want in an attempt to prove why something so simple and generic isn't a great choice to be the mark of a billion dollar company. You can say the same thing about the simple, generic logos of hundreds of the world's most successful companies, and just as easily, you can refute those ifs because there's context for all those companies' brands and equity each of those companies has built that consumers use to associate the marks properly. Those ifs are just that, and they don't exist in the real world. You do know what Microsoft is, Microsoft is not a new company and they have used the company name in association with the four colored squares for over 20 years, which is precisely why people would recognize it without the company name on a billboard in Times Square.

Brains work. They don't need everything to be spelled out.

If you don't think the four colored squares are instantly associated with Microsoft, you're biased against believing that this is one of the most ubiquitous visuals of the information age, when it clearly is. The first 15 years of its use, nearly everybody who used a computer in this country used Windows and saw that logo every single day. Apple has a genuine market share nowadays, but anyone over age 20 most likely began their digital life on the Windows platform and knows the four colored squares. Even the new generation, who is probably much more familiar with Apple products than the past generations, still deals with the corporate world's preference for the Windows platform on a regular basis.

Lastly, let's not also forget that something can be lazy and clean at the same time. You can't argue that this is not clean. That's a fact. It's as simple as it can possibly be, visually and conceptually. Likewise, it was probably a very easy decision to evolve Microsoft's most valuable trademark rather than reinvent something new, which makes this mark inherently lazy, if that's how you want to put it. I don't think the disagreement is in regard to the visual properties of the logo; It's whether or not the mark is recognizable as a Microsoft trademark.

At the very least, I can see where STL is coming from with the point about Google. If this were a new brand and there was no equity with the four colored squares, I think he (and your) would be exactly right. That 20+ year association of Microsoft with four colored squares mitigates the situation for me, however.

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If so many believe the connection already exists, maybe it does. It doesn't for me, but that's fine. Nothing triggers 100% of the time.

But I'll continue to maintain that the I find the logo visually unappealing. Not visually offensive, of course. It's a perfectly clean composition. But it doesn't appeal to me. It doesn't project a message.

I do understand it's link to the Metro OS, but I think that's a dangerous way to go, anyways.

Branding is branding, and any icon can become a successful brand with the right methods. But that doesn't mean the icon in and of itself is well designed or maximized its potential.

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And as one more aside, I was thinking about the XBOX logo the other day, and while it's very sharp and now recognizable, the idea that the XBOX logo is an X-Sphere has started to drive me crazy...

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But this is 4 squares making up a bigger square. It's not unique or original. I understand the attachment to the original Windows logo, but this is essentially that with all of the character removed.

THANK YOU.

Target, Chase, Apple, and McDonald's have had those brands for years and have been unique and original. This new Microsoft logo isn't. It's just 4 squares.

I'm not saying it has to be "overly complex", but it has to have something that draws your eye.

The Windows logo has been around for decades, and this mark carries that equity with it. I don't understand how 'it's just four squares' is an argument against it when you're citing logos that are, respectively, just a few circles, just an octagon and a square, just an apple and just a couple of arches. Those marks are unique and original, despite their simplicity, and I think this one is as well. They could have introduced this mark on a billboard in Times Square with absolutely no text to support it, and I bet you most people would have guessed Microsoft. You don't think it's unique or original, but I don't think of anything else when I see four squares in those colors.

.... so just the 4 squares and people would have instantly guessed Microsoft? Sorry, but I doubt that.

Just for some example, let's say I never saw any one of the logos previously mentioned or even knew what they were for.

- If I saw the Target logo for the first time, my first thought would be "that looks like a target or bullseye".

- If I saw the Apple logo for the first time, my first thought would be "that's an apple".

- If I saw the Chase logo for the first time, my first thought: "Those look like arrows going around in a circle, as if they were chasing each other".

- If I saw the McNasty's logo for the first time, my first thought would be, "those aches make an 'M'. It must stand for something that begins with the letter M. (I probably wouldn't think arches at all. Just the 'M'.)

I'm just saying, I don't get that with this logo. I don't get that with just 4 squares. If I saw those for the first time, my initial thoughts wouldn't be for a computer company. They wouldn't be for anything hi-tech at all. I could maybe think "Windows", but if I never knew what Microsoft was or if it was a new company and the ONLY thing they ever showed off were 4 squares and not the name of the company, I wouldn't get it. I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one, either.

That's what I'm saying. You think it's clean, I think it's lazy. Just gonna have to agree to disagree there.

You're heavily contradicting yourself all over the place. Your assessment is totally predicated on the equity that each of those marks already has, and you don't even realize it, but the transparency of your argument shows when you say that these marks work because of this, but this mark doesn't work because of the same thing.

What a logo is (a target, an apple, whatever) has little to do with branding. It's all about association of one thing with another thing. I'll direct you first to the bold part. So, you see the four squares for the first time and your initial thought is not computer company. That's completely true. So far, so good, but here's where it falls apart: If you see a red and white target logo for the first time, your initial thought is department store? Not true. If you see an apple logo for the first time, your initial thought is computer company? Not true. If you see an abstract octagon logo for the first time, your initial thought is banking? Not true (The assertion that your first thought when looking at that logo is arrows chasing each other is highly difficult to believe. The Chase logo is, in fact, a completely abstract and arbitrary symbol, according to the designer). If you see a golden M logo for the first time, your initial thought is food? Not true. Consequently, there's no room to say,

"If I saw those for the first time, my initial thoughts wouldn't be for a computer company. They wouldn't be for anything hi-tech at all. I could maybe think "Windows", but if I never knew what Microsoft was or if it was a new company and the ONLY thing they ever showed off were 4 squares and not the name of the company, I wouldn't get it."

You could say the exact same thing about all those logos you listed as exemplary. You can put ifs in front of all the sentences you want in an attempt to prove why something so simple and generic isn't a great choice to be the mark of a billion dollar company. You can say the same thing about the simple, generic logos of hundreds of the world's most successful companies, and just as easily, you can refute those ifs because there's context for all those companies' brands and equity each of those companies has built that consumers use to associate the marks properly. Those ifs are just that, and they don't exist in the real world. You do know what Microsoft is, Microsoft is not a new company and they have used the company name in association with the four colored squares for over 20 years, which is precisely why people would recognize it without the company name on a billboard in Times Square.

Brains work. They don't need everything to be spelled out.

If you don't think the four colored squares are instantly associated with Microsoft, you're biased against believing that this is one of the most ubiquitous visuals of the information age, when it clearly is. The first 15 years of its use, nearly everybody who used a computer in this country used Windows and saw that logo every single day. Apple has a genuine market share nowadays, but anyone over age 20 most likely began their digital life on the Windows platform and knows the four colored squares. Even the new generation, who is probably much more familiar with Apple products than the past generations, still deals with the corporate world's preference for the Windows platform on a regular basis.

Lastly, let's not also forget that something can be lazy and clean at the same time. You can't argue that this is not clean. That's a fact. It's as simple as it can possibly be, visually and conceptually. Likewise, it was probably a very easy decision to evolve Microsoft's most valuable trademark rather than reinvent something new, which makes this mark inherently lazy, if that's how you want to put it. I don't think the disagreement is in regard to the visual properties of the logo; It's whether or not the mark is recognizable as a Microsoft trademark.

At the very least, I can see where STL is coming from with the point about Google. If this were a new brand and there was no equity with the four colored squares, I think he (and your) would be exactly right. That 20+ year association of Microsoft with four colored squares mitigates the situation for me, however.

Well this is a very well thought out post. And I can see where I slipped up in my response.....

However, I still just don't see anything with this logo. Like STL, I just find it lazy. And I didn't say it wasn't clean..... just lazy. For Microsoft, anyway.

Sorry, but not a fan of this one.

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If "lazy" means not adding a drop shadow, some lens flare and random gradients, then I'd say I love lazy design. The argument here, however, is where do you drawn the line between simple/minimalist and cheap: Andrew wrapped it up beautifully. (see my avatar for my response)

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Personally, I think it's too simple for a corporate logo.

However, it would have been PERFECT for the Windows 8 logo. Keeps with the traditional "Windows" look, and mimics the look of the actual OS at the same time.

Windows- yes

Microsoft- no

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If "lazy" means not adding a drop shadow, some lens flare and random gradients, then I'd say I love lazy design. The argument here, however, is where do you drawn the line between simple/minimalist and cheap: Andrew wrapped it up beautifully. (see my avatar for my response)

I, personally, have been clear to say that it appears lazy. I have no doubt a designer spent a lot of time considering options and working to refine this before settling on this. I don't believe for the second it's the result of a designer being lazy. I'm more than experienced enough to understand that. But the end product still appears lazy to me.

And that's because the logo lacks any messages or dynamism. It is what it is. It's an icon that has some ties to the companies past logos and it's something they can build their brand around. In that sense it can be a success. But it's not a wildly appealing, meaningful, or successful icon by itself.

And I don't need the lecture on simple brands that are awesome like McDonald's etc. I know it, and I understand it. The Yankees NY is another good example. But ya know what? The Yankees NY is not a well designed logo. It's a tremendously successful and identifiable brand attached to it. But that doesn't mean the logo is entirely well designed.

And that's my point with this Microsoft mark (though my specific critiques of the marks are significantly different). It can be a part of a great brand for Microsoft, but it's not a great icon.

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For me, the "lazy" is in the text. It just feels so... generic. Yay, it's another logo that's gray sans text with an icon next to it; how freaking innovative. Honestly, I liked their previous wordmark much, much more than this. I think something similar to that could have worked well with the window icon.

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Personally, I think it's too simple for a corporate logo.

However, it would have been PERFECT for the Windows 8 logo. Keeps with the traditional "Windows" look, and mimics the look of the actual OS at the same time.

Windows- yes

Microsoft- no

I would tend to agree, though I believe that the icon represents Microsoft's position and plan to invest entirely in making Windows a technologically relevant, innovative product once again, in which case, I think it makes perfect sense. Your core product sort of becomes your brand by default over time, right?

If "lazy" means not adding a drop shadow, some lens flare and random gradients, then I'd say I love lazy design. The argument here, however, is where do you drawn the line between simple/minimalist and cheap: Andrew wrapped it up beautifully. (see my avatar for my response)

I, personally, have been clear to say that it appears lazy. I have no doubt a designer spent a lot of time considering options and working to refine this before settling on this. I don't believe for the second it's the result of a designer being lazy. I'm more than experienced enough to understand that. But the end product still appears lazy to me.

And that's because the logo lacks any messages or dynamism. It is what it is. It's an icon that has some ties to the companies past logos and it's something they can build their brand around. In that sense it can be a success. But it's not a wildly appealing, meaningful, or successful icon by itself.

And I don't need the lecture on simple brands that are awesome like McDonald's etc. I know it, and I understand it. The Yankees NY is another good example. But ya know what? The Yankees NY is not a well designed logo. It's a tremendously successful and identifiable brand attached to it. But that doesn't mean the logo is entirely well designed.

And that's my point with this Microsoft mark (though my specific critiques of the marks are significantly different). It can be a part of a great brand for Microsoft, but it's not a great icon.

I think you're right. Being released now, in the age of branding, I think it feels generic to some people, and there's nothing wrong with that. Someday, I think the squares will come to be seen as one of history's great icons, but that also depends on a lot of other factors, so it remains to be seen. I'll say if Microsoft stays relevant, it will become a great icon in the world of branding.

To the other side of what you're saying, I think the fact that it is a parent/corporate logo is one reason it can be a little more conservative, lacking that clear message and dynamic quality you speak of. We see this often, where the corporate parent or holding company has a very plain, generic mark compared to the individual product marks, which have character and better tell the story of the company as a whole. That could be the approach they're taking as well.

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And as one more aside, I was thinking about the XBOX logo the other day, and while it's very sharp and now recognizable, the idea that the XBOX logo is an X-Sphere has started to drive me crazy...

Filed under the things you can never unsee folder. Thanks.

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And as one more aside, I was thinking about the XBOX logo the other day, and while it's very sharp and now recognizable, the idea that the XBOX logo is an X-Sphere has started to drive me crazy...

Filed under the things you can never unsee folder. Thanks.

But on the other hand, they did adopt that logo when XBOX 360 came out.

Still doesn't quite make sense, but....

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