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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Microsoft’s New Logo Failed

Microsoft recently took a decision to change its logo. However, this move was greeted by a large yawn from everyone. Actually, the new logo is the old one but ironed out so that it looks more like Windows 8 interface. Given that this interface is expected to kill off Windows on the desktop, this might be not the best idea for the software giant.
Of course, corporate image is very important for marketing, and changing a logo leads to many different parts of a company arguing about something subjective. Nevertheless, one of the more amusing things about this move is the symbolic rubbish that the advertising people come up with to justify their advice.

Unfortunately, the company cut a lot of this out of its announcement, saying that the logo has 2 components: the logotype and the symbol. They are using the Segoe font (the same they used in their products and marketing communications). The symbol’s squares of color are supposed to express Microsoft’s diverse portfolio of products.

As you can see, the colors remains the same, but instead of them being displayed as a flag, they are shown flat. Symbolism expert Dr Dirk Thrusting of the University of Paekakariki was asked to interpret the logo. Since he didn’t get out much, he didn’t know what company logo he was interpreting. The symbols suggested to him that the central theme of the logo was the 4 square tablets of color united by a white cross, which was a reference to the 4 elements, or the 4 directions united under a single commonwealth. Each of them indicated that the corporation was pulling itself into 4 different empires under the control of a single force. This might have been a typical symbol of a huge corporation broken down into 4 competing divisions, ruled by one CEO.

When asked whether the logo suggested mobile to him, Thrusting gave a negative answer and pointed out that the square is a symbol of stability, as therefore the company isn’t supposed to go anywhere. An interesting part of his explanation involved the fact that the square was repeated 4 times and two of the squares were on top of each other, which meant that they couldn’t move at all. In short words, the symbol suggests a large flat, inert company squabbling between its several divisions with a weak and ineffective leadership…

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