What’s wrong with Microsoft’s new logos?

What does Microsoft have to do to avoid criticism? The company produced the Windows 8 operating system as a way to appeal to fans of both traditional keyboard-and-mouse-based computing and those who preferred touch-screen technology. So what happened? So far, the experiment has blown up in Microsoft’s face, with a lot of critics pointing to the disappointment of Windows 8 as one rationale why PC sales are so sluggish. Now critics are even going after Microsoft for its artistic failings, proclaiming that its new logos are aesthetically unpleasing.

Too Simple?

A user on the Quora knowledge-sharing site just recently gave a negative review to the new logos that Microsoft released with its Windows 8 and Office 2013 launches. The logos identify the programs that users can choose from, everything from Internet Explorer to Microsoft Word to Microsoft Excel. The Quora user alleged that Microsoft’s graphic designers took the easy way out with these unquestionably simplified logos. Creating these images, the user argued, must have taken Microsoft all of 5 minutes.

The argument

Quora is a website that encourages debate. And debate quickly followed the original user’s criticisms. A small army of Quora users contended that Microsoft’s new logos – including ones for Internet Explorer, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Office – are in fact rather stunning in their simpleness. Others argued that just because a logo is simple doesn’t mean that it didn’t require as much thought and planning as more intricate designs. In fact, the prevailing theme of the counterargument is that from time to time simplicity is best. When it comes to computer graphics, sleek, simple logos are often the best.

The Trend

It’s tough to argue with this last argument. Microsoft’s new logos do look sleek. And you can immediately tell which logo matches which Microsoft program and that, of course, is the job of a logo. You may criticize Microsoft for a number of things – especially for Windows 8 – but when it comes to logos, the company remains on the leading edge.

Photo credit: mega blocks by lollie-Pop (CC BY 2.0)

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