By Alexandra Burlacu | Aug 25, 2012 12:45 PM EDT
For the first time since 1987, Microsoft has changed its ubiquitous logo, heralding major changes in the company's strategy. The new Microsoft logo first popped up on a blog post by Jeff Hansen, Microsoft's general manager of brand strategy.
"It's been 25 years since we've updated the Microsoft logo and now is the perfect time for a change," reads the blog post. "This is an incredibly exciting year for Microsoft as we prepare to release new versions of nearly all of our products. From Windows 8 to Windows Phone 8 to Xbox services to the next version of Office, you will see a common look and feel across these products providing a familiar and seamless experience on PCs, phones, tablets and TVs."
"This wave of new releases is not only a re-imagining of our most popular products, but also represents a new era for Microsoft, so our logo should evolve to visually accentuate the new beginning."
If nobody paid much attention to the Microsoft logo before, suddenly every critic is assessing every detail from every perspective imaginable. For many, the new logo seems banal, but it is designed for storefronts. Instead of the old logo branded on boxes of software, the new logo comes as signage, as something distinct to put on a giant sign at a Microsoft store. The new logo will target Microsoft stores first and then outside branding, and Hansen even suggested that the old logo may continue to appear on products for a while.
Hansen explained the reasoning behind the change:
"The logo has two components: the logotype and the symbol. For the logotype, we are using the Segoe font which is the same font we use in our products as well as our marketing communications. The symbol is important in a world of digital motion. The symbol's squares of color are intended to express the company's diverse portfolio of products."
For the common person, the four colors would logically represent four products: blue for Microsoft Word, red for PowerPoint, orange for Outlook, and green for Excel. The rest of that diverse portfolio is probably too subtly expressed for the untrained eye to notice.
However, Microsoft has even changed the symbolism of those colors, as explained in a short video. Blue now stands for Windows, red stands for Office, while green stands for the Xbox. Nobody knows yet what orange means.
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