Look! Microsoft has a new logo!
Would you like to see it?
All right then.
Isn’t it brilliant? You see the way the four little boxes are just like a … wait for it … anyone, anyone?
Yes that’s right. A window. Isn’t that simply genius at work? And look how the word Microsoft is in a really plain sans-serif font called Segoe, but the f and the t are joined by a natural ligature. That’s amazing. It suggests simplicity and purpose. It sends out a strong corporate message: We’re gonna give you, eh, Windows. And it’s gonna be real, eh, simple. Yeah, simple. That’s right.
Now, I’m not a graphic designer, but maybe that’s why the new Microsoft logo looks exactly like something I’d knock together before the real graphic designer sees it and falls down laughing.
Apparently, Microsoft are introducing this logo for the launch of Windows 8, of which more another time, and normally I wouldn’t give a rat’s arse what sort of branding they use. It’s just that this one seemed to push the boundary a little too far for my personal taste, and it reminded me of the standard excuse talentless people use to defend their stripped-down, cutting-edge creations: It’s a nice clean design.
That translates as We couldn’t think of anything better and since you have no imagination, you’ll definitely swallow this guff. Now pay us!
It matters not a whit to me how much Microsoft paid for this ultra-clean design, but I bet there were many boardroom presentations, gallons of Pantone, acres of power-dressing and some eyeball-to-eyeball hard-nosed haggling before they finally came up with this. Piece. Of. Shit.
Why do I care? I don’t, or at least, not about Microsoft. They’ll get by somehow without my help. What I’m more triggered by is the mentality that can persuade intelligent people they’re looking at something wonderful when in reality they’re looking at rubbish. I have to admire that sort of sheer brass chutzpah, but that doesn’t mean I have to understand it, much less condone or even praise it.
Hello, Microsoft, we’re Mad Men.
It’s a microcosm for all of our insecurities, isn’t it? Didn’t the whole world fall for the fast-talking bunco-artists of Wall Street and the City of London? Didn’t we here in this little country swallow the smooth assurances of spivs in Anglo and Nationwide?
Who remembers the ludicrous rebranding of AIB, with a new logo that looked like a budgie shitting on a cow?
That little picture cost a fortune.
Then they changed the name to Allied Irish Bank Bank, and nobody laughed, because the whole thing was recommended by management consultants and designers, the priestly class whose word will never be challenged by business people because behind it all, they know they’re ignorant, uncultured buffoons who just happen to have some money.
The same thing happens with governments, for the most part composed of ignorant uncultured buffoons who just happen to have other people’s money. And by other people’s, read yours and mine.
I suppose, come to think of it, there’s a certain comfort in knowing that Microsoft can be just as empty-headed as banks and governments. Or maybe that’s even more depressing.
I’ll have to go and think about this.