For 25 years, Microsoft’s brand has been associated with a bold, black, sans-serif font. Most people probably don’t even remember any other version of the software company’s logo. But now, Microsoft is modernizing, with a colorful, softer-looking logo, which features a symbol for the first time in the company’s history.
That symbol, a square made up of four smaller squares of different colors, is reminiscent of Microsoft’s Windows logo, but, instead of looking like a flag waving, it looks still and straight. According to the company, it’s meant to symbolize Microsoft’s “diverse portfolio of products.”
The logotype uses the Segoe font, which is also used on products as well as in marketing communications. It looks softer and lighter than the previous font, and is more grey than black. The final two letters – f and t — are still linked by their cross bars, as they were in the previous version of the logo.
The change comes as Microsoft opens its latest retail store in Boston, and gets ready to launch a host of new releases, including Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Xbox services and the next version of Office. The new logo will be displayed on each of these products and across platforms — PCs, phones, tablets and TVs.
The new logo is already being used on Microsoft.com and in three Microsoft retail stores — the new one in Boston, and two others in Microsoft’s backyard (Seattle’s University Village and in Bellvue, Wash.) Eventually, it will appear at all stores, on all TV ads globally, and on product marketing collateral, but the company says it will take time to roll it out fully.
According to comScore, Microsoft was #3 in U.S. display ad impressions delivered over the first 6 months of 2012.
Here’s Microsoft’s video showing off the new logo and its relationship to the company’s other products: