Has Microsoft’s new branding gone all ‘apple’?

It’s hard not to compare Microsoft’s new logo design with apple’s. Both companies now use brands that are simplistic in style and measure but just how similar are their brands?

microsoft logo design

Microsoft have a new brand design.

It features four identical squares spaced evenly apart in the traditional Microsoft Windows colours and the the word microsoft in bold letters. The letters may be bold but the impact of them is downplayed slightly.

They are coloured in grey and this is presented in a nice interplay between the bold colours of the Windows logo symbol and the lettering of the word ‘Microsoft’.  Its interesting to note that the logo symbol comes directly from the well known Microsoft Windows brand.

microsoft windows symbol

The Microsoft Windows symbol

Microsoft Logo Design

Microsoft’s previous logo design

This approach is certainly a departure from the previous logo which only used bold letters and no symbol. Microsoft have rather cleverly taken a logo from their most popular product and seamlessly integrated it into it’s own identity.

In many respects it works well. They are acknowledging what they are good at and therefore building upon the existing brand.


The apple approach?

Taking the windows symbol and integrating it into the Microsoft brand has certainly been a bold approach.  Changing and developing any well known familiar brand such as Microsoft’s will always be seen as risky. 

Its true that like its rival Apple, Microsoft have created a simplistic logo design. 

The new design looks clean, bold and works well. 

It’s already familiar to many people and this will either be because of an awareness of the popular windows symbol or the close familiarity the simplistic branding of apple will draw from any user today.

It certainly helps refresh the Microsoft brand and will probably help it refocus and devleop its business aims and ventures over the coming years. 

I can’t help but wonder what Microsoft would have come up with if they had been a little more innovative and thought outside the box. 

However,  the integrated use of the windows symbology works well and the retained use of colour in the four symetrically placed boxes within the logo design adds a much needed splash of colour and helps differenciate this brand from the greys and whites constantly supplied to us from apple.  Long may this use of colour continue otherwise we run the risk of living in a world of colourless simplistic visuals. 

microsoft and apple store design

The Microsoft and Apple branded stores look similar.

In many ways Microsoft have followed the design approaches of Apple but they have still injected some of their own personality to help make this new logo design unique.



August 27 2012 10:35 pm | Logo Design and Branding

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