Logopedia
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This page only shows primary logo variants.
For other related logos and images, see:
1972–1975 1975–1980, 2021 1980–1982, 2023 1982–1987 1987–2012 2010–2012 2012–present
1972–1975 1975–1980, 2021 1980–1982, 2023 1982–1987 1987–2012 2010–2012 2012–present

Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology company founded by Bill Gates and the late Paul Allen on April 4, 1975. It is known for the Microsoft Windows operating systems, the Microsoft Office suite, the Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge web browsers, Xbox video game consoles, and the Microsoft Surface line of tablet computers. Microsoft is the largest company by market capitalization, having a peak value of US$3.125 trillion in February 2024.

Traf-O-Data

1972–1975

Traf-O-Data
Designer:  Miles Gilbert
Typography:  Clarendon
Launched:  June 13, 1972

Microsoft started as Traf-O-Data in 1972 as a traffic computer manufacturer for traffic lights for the Washington state roads. The company was working for the government at the time (these operations would since be merged into Microsoft). The logo was designed by Miles Gilbert, brother of Paul Gilbert, one of the company's co-founders.[1]

Microsoft

1975–1980, 2021

Microsoft (1975)
Designer:  Andrea Davis
Typography:  Aki Lines
Launched:  April 4, 1975

This logo was reused on social media to celebrate its 46th anniversary.

1980–1982, 2023

Microsoft (1980)
Designer:  Simon Daniels
Typography:  New Zelek (modified)
Launched:  1980

This logo was reused on social media to celebrate its 48th birthday.

1982–1987

Microsoft (1982)
Designer:  David Strong[2]
David Strong Design Group[3][4]
Typography:  ITC Avant Garde (modified)
Launched:  June 25, 1982[2]

Despite having been replaced in early 1987, this would continue to be used by the Microsoft Press for another year.

1987–2012

Microsoft (1987)
Designer:  Scott Baker
Typography:  Helvetica Black Italic (modified)
Launched:  February 26, 1987[5]

Microsoft launched its most well-known logo on February 26, 1987,[5] and since then, has been cherished by many. Up until 2012, multiple variations of this logo was on Microsoft's website and was used on the website even after the 2010 variant below was introduced. It was designed by Scott Baker.

It's still used on older products and some portals (most notably the Windows/Microsoft Update website and boot screen in Windows XP, the Microsoft Update site in Windows Vista, the documentation page for Windows XP Professional, the Xbox 360, the vast majority of pre-2011 Microsoft Game Studios games, and some others, to name a few).

“The new logo, in Helvetica italic typeface, has a slash between the o and s to emphasize the "soft" part of the name and convey motion and speed.”
Scott Baker, designer of the 1987 Microsoft logo.

2010–2012

Microsoft (2011)
Designer:  Unknown
Typography:  Helvetica Black Italic (modified)
Launched:  November 7, 2010

On July 22, 2010, a new tagline, "Be What's Next." was revealed at that year's Microsoft Global Exchange (MGX) event.[6][a] It was officially launched later on November 7 of the same year, when the Microsoft logo was altered slightly, reducing the slant.[7] This logo was the shortest-lived of the company, only being used for 21 months until August 22, 2012. This logo was never used on Microsoft's website, having the previous logo until it was replaced with the current one.

2012–present

Microsoft (2012)
Designer:  Jason Wells
Typography:  Segoe UI Semibold
Launched:  August 23, 2012

Microsoft launched its new logo on August 23, 2012, which includes the colorful 2×2 square grid historically been used for Windows with each color representing a specific product (Office, Xbox, Windows and Bing, respectively). This happened around the time Windows 8 was previewed, whose respective logo is fully blue, so the old Windows colors would be brought to the Microsoft logo. However, it isn't entirely new as the square grid was recycled from the one featured in Windows 95 commercials from the mid-90s that would also be used as the original logo of the now-defunct physical Microsoft Store in 2009, when the store would start operating.

References

  1. Stephen Manes, Paul Andrews (1994). Gates. Touchstone. ISBN 9780671880743.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Microsoft Logo Posters". Nando Costa. 2000.
  3. "Retained". Industrial Design. F&W Publications. March 1983. p. 59.
  4. Mendelhall, John (1985). High Tech Trademark. Art Direction Book Company. p. 259. ISBN 0881080241.
  5. 5.0 5.1 The History of Microsoft - 1987. Channel 9 (29 April 2019). Archived from the original on September 27, 2010. Retrieved on December 2, 2021.
  6. Topolsky, Joshua (22 July 2010). New Microsoft brand logos, company tagline revealed at MGX event?. Engadget. Retrieved on December 9, 2021.
  7. Zheng, Long (7 November 2010). Microsoft officializes new “Be what’s next” tagline. istartedsomething. Retrieved on August 14, 2019.

Notes

a. When the tagline was first revealed, the 1987 style of the logo was used.

External links

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