Steve Ballmer’s declaration that, “Accessible design is good design,” holds true for not only technology products, but also for technology brands. For as complex as the R&D, science and algorithms underpinning a tech solution are, technology is – above all else – supposed to make life easier. And so their brand identities should follow, in my opinion.
Take logo design. Our technology clients’ consumers are swimming, if not drowning, in a sea of possibilities presented by the exponential growth of information and media channels. A brand that has a recognizable, differentiated logo is like throwing those consumers a life jacket — something for them to hang on to, to believe in. But it’s a technology marketer’s greatest challenge: making sure the customer sees there’s a brand worth grasping.
It makes the fact that some of the world’s most influential technology brands have recently rolled out updated logos in recent months that much more interesting. Microsoft and eBay both debuted refreshes of their respective logos, each which inherently held tremendous global brand equity.
When it’s already extremely challenging for a brand to capture attention, let alone stay relevant and front of mind for consumers, is it the right time to interfere with the public’s familiarity with your brand? Perhaps it is, if it means the new logo brings more clarity to a brand identity, and not simply more noise in the minds of consumers.
Particularly in tech, the information is what matters. In fact, the greatest compliment you can pay a developer or designer of their innovation is that it’s essentially invisible. The user experience is so enjoyable, seamless, dynamic or useful that the technology’s hard work goes unnoticed. And I like that Microsoft’s and eBay’s new logos are moving both brands closer to a message of integration and ease.
- The new Microsoft logo, using straightforward, lighter type and a multicolored Windows symbol is meant to “signal the heritage but also signal the future — a newness and freshness,” according to Microsoft. In a fiscal year when the company is poised to launch new or significantly updated versions of nearly every one of its products, many which will feature cleaner lines, with fewer borders and less clutter, and more colorful tile-based designs, the logo change is a move toward brand transparency.