Microsoft Designs New Icons: The computer giant has evolved its Office icons to reflect the simple, powerful and intelligent experiences of Office 365
The last time the company updated the Microsoft Office icons was in 2013 when selfies were new enough to become a word in Oxford dictionaries and emojis were so new that they considered it only as a buzzword, a word of fashion.
Clearly, much has changed since then, including how people do things.
More than one billion people from different industries, geographies and generations use Office. They work on different platforms and devices and in environments that are faster and more interconnected than ever before.
To support this changing world of work, Office is transformed into a collaborative suite (set of programs) that allows you to work together in real time from almost any device. The company included AI (Artificial Intelligence) in its tools: anyone can obtain knowledge of the data with less effort, write an article with their voice, or make their resume with LinkedIn Insights. Also, he added totally new applications to the Suite such as meetings and chat service with IA technology in Microsoft Teams. In the end, it is a great design that makes these experiences more fluid.
Here are the new Office 365 icons and the story behind their creation:
From the beginning, the company took into account the rich history of Office and used it to inform design decisions. Strong colors have always been at the center of the brand and the new icons are an opportunity to evolve our palette. Color differentiates applications and creates the personality, and for new icons, we choose nuances that are bolder, lighter and friendlier – a gesture of how the Office has evolved.
Today’s workforce includes five generations that use Office across multiple platforms and devices and in environments that span work, home, and walk. Microsoft was looking for a visual language that resonates emotionally through generations, will work through platforms and devices, and echoes the kinetic nature of current productivity.
We all know that modern life is faster and more connected: we are living in it. The office supports it by making it quick and easy to express ideas, collaborate with others, and stay focused. That’s why Office applications are composed together, allowing users to open PowerPoint or Excel next to conversations in Teams or Outlook.
To reflect this in the icons, Microsoft removed a visual limit: the traditional tool format. While previous Office icons had a document schema for Microsoft Word and a spreadsheet schema for Excel, we now show lines of text for Word and individual cells for Excel. By focusing on the content instead of any specific format, these icons embody the collaborative nature of the applications they represent.
In the same way, the company has changed the letter-to-symbol relationship. Traditionally, the letter occupied two-thirds of the icon, and the symbol took a third. This relationship was changed to now emphasize the symbol because while the letter represents the tool itself, the symbol speaks more to the creations of the people.
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