Simon McArdle

Microsoft’s Logo Evolution

The Microsoft logo is known worldwide as one of the most iconic, especially within the world of technology, mainly due to the fact it is printed on millions of software boxes, PCs and websites.

But there’s now a new logo in town for people to get used to seeing instead. This new logo was revealed on 23 August on their blog and was quickly rolled out to replace the existing one.

With this logo design change being the first in 25 years we decided to take a look back over the past 37 years of the company’s history to see how the design of the logo has evolved, and turn this into an infographic.

Microsoft’s Logo Evolution

Here’s a rundown also of the Microsoft logo design evolution, along with some key highlights and product launches from the company…

 

1975-1979

Microsoft’s Logo Evolution

The company was originally founded on April 4 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Being the 70’s it’s appropriate that their first logo was a ‘groovy’ one.

1980 – 1981

Microsoft’s Logo Evolution

This was the “Heavy Metal Band Name Logo Phase”, with a radically changed logo that could have quite happily been at home on the back of a Megadeath t-shirt.

In 1980 Microsoft launched Xenix, their version of the UNIX operating system

1982 – 1986

Microsoft’s Logo Evolution

Named the “blibbet”, this logo featured an emphasis on the “O” as the middle letter and a green background.

It was during this period (1984) that Microsoft launched Microsoft Windows – a joint project with IBM. When the company went public in 1986 some 4 billionaires and 12,000 millionaires were created overnight.

1987 – 2012

Microsoft’s Logo Evolution

This was nicknamed the “Pacman” logo. It was designed by Scott Baker and emphasised the “soft” with a slash between the “o” and “s”. Also the “f” and “t” are joined together.

The main part of the logo remained unchanged for the next 25 years, but just had tweaks to the accompanying assets.

The Microsoft Office suite was introduced in 1990.

1994 – 2002

Microsoft’s Logo Evolution

From 1994 the slogan “Where do you want to go today?” was also added.

Windows 95 launched on 24 August 1995 and the Xbox360 games console launched in 2001.

2006 – 2011

Microsoft’s Logo Evolution

In 2006 a new slogan “Your potential. Our passion” was introduced.

The infamous (and short-lived) Windows Vista was launched in January 2007. Windows Phone OS launched in 2010, replacing Windows Mobile.

2011 – 2012

Microsoft’s Logo Evolution

After five more years it was time for another new slogan. This time “Be What’s Next.” was used with the same logo.

The Metro design language taken up by the company led to a rebranding of all logos, products, services and websites.

August 23 2012

Microsoft’s Logo Evolution

The new logo was launched. According to Microsoft it “takes its inspiration from our product design principles while drawing upon the heritage of our brand values, fonts and colors.”

There are two elements to this logo, the logotype and the symbol. The logotype uses the Segoe font in gray and although very different still keeps the joined up “f” and “t”.

The symbol of four coloured squares (red, green, yellow and blue) is said to be “intended to express the company’s diverse portfolio of products.”

Microsoft launches in 2012 include Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, new Xbox Services, new version of Office.

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