Friday, August 24, 2012

Why Microsoft Got Its Logo Right

Armin Vit:

Apple has always been the anti-Microsoft and Microsoft has always been the anti-Apple, pretty much in all respects. Speaking graphically: while Microsoft was unleashing Hideous on its Windows OS in the 1990s, Apple’s “Classic” OS was a thing of simplistic beauty, which then they fucked up with OS X but that’s another story. And while Microsoft shied away from its corporate logo, Apple steamrolled the entire country with its stores and its glowing apple logo as a beacon of simplicity and goodness. Lately Apple has also been fucking up its logo with extraneous texture effects, coupled with OS X and all the core Apple applications that have become ghastly, putting us Apple-devotees in a position where Apple being the anti-Microsoft is a negative thing. Microsoft’s commitment to graphic simplicity is what attracted us to Apple and its OS in the first place and now that that is disappearing it leaves these four, dumb squares as the next beacon of simplicity and goodness.

I like the new logo and Segoe.

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Everyone who talks about Steve's design taste needs to go look at OSX 10.0.

10.0 may look bad today but at the time, it was really seen as nice. But today's UI are mostly the same as in 1984 with antialiasing turned on.

"10.0 may look bad today but at the time, it was really seen as nice."

No and yes.

No, because 10.0 really did have a multitude of egregious hit-by-the-ugly-stick aspects, as were apparent at the time.

Yes, because System 8 & 9 had laid a whole lot of 'chrome' on the design simplicity of System 7, and thus 10.0 hearkened back to earlier simplicity.

Good link, thanks. It's fascinating watching Microsoft trying to find a new identity for a post-PC world. One senses an awful lot of conflict and turmoil occurring barely beneath the surface. I suspect that won't be properly resolved until MS completely rebrands its CEO and the rest of its dysfunctional management - though if/when that should finally happen I think the likes of Apple had better watch they're not caught napping.

@Clark: 10.0 was incredibly eye-catching, at a time Apple desperately needed to catch large numbers of eyes. It was the right design for the right time: bold, new, exciting and unique. It's just a pity that rather than youth gently giving way to maturity it's slid into early onset dementia instead.

It's amazing how a company that's done such a fantastic job of branding and identity in every other area - hardware, media, services, marketing, etc. - generates such a complete mess on the software presentation side (a.k.a. skeumorphism die! die! die!).

OTOH, it does now make possible a simple seat swap, wherein the many poor, sick Aero lovers can effortlessly emigrate to Mountain Lion's Home for the Terminally Tasteless while all the cool design kids head the opposite direction to the Brave New World of Win8. :)

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