Microsoft Logo Changes in 2011?

By Mash Bonigala

Microsoft Logo Changes in 2011?: A recent rumor has placed Microsoft at the center of a software logo design controversy. A video secretly captured and leaked from a conference for the well-known brand suggests that Microsoft will change their tagline as well as almost all of their logos in just a few months.

The Microsoft logo design will remain virtually unchanged, although the tagline “Be What’s Next” will be added. If the rumors are correct—and the videos certainly seem like adequate proof—then this tagline will be used on a variety of Microsoft products. However, this is not the only change rumored to be in the future for this media superbrand.

The new logos for Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox, Bing, and Office were displayed on the video. The interesting thing about this logo design change is that, if the leaked information is correct, this change will bring very diverse brands under one umbrella, with logo designs that are distinctly part of an overreaching brand.

In the video, the logos, which are made of brightly colored lines in keeping with the current logo design trend, are seen morphing from one shape to another as the lineup of Microsoft brands is shown. This creates a sense of unity between the brands as well as the diversity of the global software giant.

Windows will have a familiar shape, in the same elementary color palette as before, but be formed by a single line that is rendered three dimensional shown with a shadow below. Windows Phone follows the same concept, but in dark green. The Xbox logo design features the same wire with a more intricate criss-crossed design, in the distinctive green we associate with the video game giant of course. Bing has a dark orange B bent out of the wire, while Office has a dark yellow color. While the distinctiveness of each individual brand remains, this logo design change will make them obviously part of the same parent company.

Microsoft denies that this video signals a change in brand and logo design. The company claims that the video was made to show the flexibility of the brands, but that the logos will remain unchanged. However, many on the internet doubt this. There is a good chance that Microsoft is trying to keep a hush on the rebranding move while it is still being planned, and that these very logos will be unveiled with great fanfare at some point in the next year.

An interesting feature of these logos, if they are indeed planned logos for these brands, is that they are clearly made to be dynamic and viewed in motion. This signals a quiet change in the logo design world. While logos were once made to be viewed on paper or on a billboard, many are now seen in television and web advertisements. As technology improves, we predict that many more logos will be created to represent their brand both in dynamic advertisements and in still ones. As for Microsoft, the logo design world will have to wait patiently for 2011 to see if the rumors of a branding shift are true.

How does Microsoft confuse consumers?

I came across this video on YouTube that shows how hypothetically Microsoft might deal with their naming and branding exercise. This makes sense when you look at Microsoft products that line the shelves at your local software store. They are so confusing and consumers really find it difficult to chose the right product. It is hilarious and does really demonstrate the difference between how Apple and Microsoft view branding.

PS: We too faced a similar situation in terms of how our brand and our services were expressed on our website. Our current website design (version 7) and service structure is a result of trimming out excess fat and needless graphics and design elements from the previous design. Here are a few tips to improve your website design. Prior to version 7, our website, brand representation, and packaging was chaotic and directionless. Hopefully, our new site design steps in the right direction.

Please do share your experiences with simplifying design and/or packaging.