A really really interesting project by Andrew Kim where he re-thought and re-designed Microsoft’s entire brand and branding system. And right now, the company really needs a shot in the arm.
Kim’s core hypothesis is that when you compare Microsoft to Google and Apple (the “big three”), Microsoft is perceived as outdated, slow, corporate, conservative, while its only positive brand assets are its gaming (XBox) and Kinect. Compare this to Apple’s brand that is centered on design and engineering, and Google’s that is focused on the search engine and “don’t be evil”.
From a visual design perspective, he addressed this gap by taking the “traditional” old school, antiquated view of a (four paned) window and looked at it through a different lens. He thought about it through a more hip, urban perspective and visualized how people look at windows on an angle while looking at a skyscraper from the ground and used that as the core element of the “new” brand concept.
Hit this concept up against the generally bland, Finland flag like new Windows logo and it is definitely a fresh perspective on where Microsoft/Windows could go.
The other day while at a local mall, I was surprised to see the Microsoft Store had opened up. And the thing that completely dominated the experience was the gaming consoles – XBox, Kinect, etc. The PC’s, phones and peripherals that Microsoft “owns” were taking up space in the store and were complete afterthoughts to the customers. To me, that spoke volumes.