Microsoft is square

Microsoft has developed a new logo to visually brand its soon-to-open retail stores. Once again, a reminder of the perpetual competition between Microsoft and Apple.

I am not sure this new logo is consistent with Microsoft’s overall visual brand and logo. It is consistent with their brand colors, but other than that, people may have difficulty making the visual leap between the two. Maybe this is what Microsoft wants?

The new Microsoft retail store logo, shown at left below beside the Windows logo, seems reminiscent of the work of Josef Albers.


Josef Albers was chairman of the Department of Art at Yale University. The MS logo is reminiscent of his paintings and prints titled Homage to the Square. From these color studies came his visual exercises published in Interaction of Color which has been used in many graphic design teaching curriculums, including the Color Theory course I had as part of the Graphic Design program at University of Bridgeport. Anyone working with color today should familiarize themselves with Albers teachings.


Shown above, Josef Albers, Homage to the Square, 1970

Color is constantly changing. A color is subjective to its surrounding colors. It is almost impossible to see a color by itself without it interacting with its surroundings.


This image above appears as two very different greens even though both of the squares are the same color. The green is interacting with its surroundings.

Has Microsoft ever done anything totally ”different“? Apple prides itself on “being different”. Microsoft prides itself, it seems, on following Apples or anyone elses lead. When have they ever been original? So why begin now!