What’s Wrong with Microsoft’s New Logo and How to Avoid the Same...

What’s Wrong with Microsoft’s New Logo and How to Avoid the Same Mistakes

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The new design was unveiled and has received a range of criticism online. Some describe the new logo as clean and simple, while others are calling it an outright failure.

Replacing the previous logo’s italic bold type, Microsoft says the font used in the new logo is called “Segoe,” the same one it uses for all its products and marketing. The symbol of the four coloured squares is similar to the logo used on its Windows operating system.

Among those who think Microsoft’s new logo leaves a lot to be desired is longtime graphic designer John Williams, founder of do-it-yourself logo-creation website LogoGarden.com. Here, Williams explains how he thinks

Microsoft dropped the ball with its new design and offers advice on how the rest of us can create better company logos.

Pick a font that fits your design.

If your idea for a killer company logo involves a bold font, Williams suggests keeping the letters close together. Graphic designers call this “tight kerning.” If you’re after a more elegant-looking font, he suggests going with one that’s thin, tall and has serifs (letters that end in strokes or tails), and space the letters further apart.

Microsoft got its font design wrong in two ways, Williams says. First, there’s too much space between the thick letters. Second, the spacing is inconsistent. “Suddenly they jam the last two letters, the ‘f’ and the ‘t’, together so they are literally touching – the opposite of what they did in the rest of the name,” he says.

Pick a symbol that looks great even when printed in black and white.

When picking the colours for your company’s logo, keep in mind how it might appear when printed in all types of formats. “You want your brand to show up clear and sharp even when someone prints your colour PDF on a monochrome printer,” Williams says.

The shades of red, blue, yellow and green in Microsoft’s new logo might look like “grey splotches” when copied in black and white, according to Williams. Additionally, the logo is symmetrical and some might find it boring to look at. “Make your symbol slightly off-centre,” he says. “Even if your logo is a simple, classic shape, do something to add a dash of pizazz.”

Make sure your font and symbol are a good match.

Both logo elements should be consistent. Microsoft’s are mismatched, Williams says.

“Microsoft’s new square symbol is cold and emotionless. The font, however, is nice because its roundness gives it a warm, inviting feel,” he says. “You want a symbol and a font that have similar ‘personalities,’ so they go together well.”

Jason Fell
Jason Fell is the technology editor of Entrepreneur.com in New York City. Previously, he served as online news editor of Foliomag.com, the online arm of Folio: magazine. He also worked as a staff writer for Soundings magazine and a reporter with the Journal Register Company of newspapers. Email him at jfell@entrepreneur.com. You can follow him on Twitter @jwfell.
  • allchornr

    I don’t think Mr Williams should be dishing out advice on logo design. Especially not to Microsoft. It’s a bit like a lemonade stand owner giving advice to Coca Cola on branding.

  • I would have liked to have seen the new logo included in this blog – I had to go and look for it elsewhere.