Microsoft Office 365: Big Changes Are Coming

Microsoft icons

The Microsoft Office team has redesigned all the icons within the Office suite of products to better line up with the company's new design language.

This week, head of Microsoft Office design Jon Friedman unveiled the overhauled Office icons on Medium where he also outlined the thought-process behind the redesign.

While Microsoft may not be actively promoting the Windows 10 versions of its Office Mobile anymore, the Office team continues to deliver subtle features to user who previously bought into the company's old vision. "While each icon has a unique and identifiable symbol, there are connections within each app's symbol and the collective suite".

"From the get-go, we embraced Office's rich history and used it to inform design decisions". The new icons for Office 365 have been created to embrace the history of Office while giving them a "bolder, lighter and friendlier" look.

Microsoft office new icons
Microsoft DesignIt’s out with the old and in with the new for Microsoft Office

We can also see changes to the News, Calculator and Calendar icons, which in many ways herald a partial return to skeuomorphism. Simplicity and harmony are key visual elements that reflect the seamless connectivity and intuitiveness of Office apps. The symbols have also been tweaked with brighter and deeper colors.

The logos haven't been updated in five years, and Office has changed a lot since then. The redesign will first apply to programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, Outlook and Skype, among a few others. "We've changed this ratio to now emphasise the symbol because, while the letter represents the tool itself, the symbol speaks more to people's creations".

What do our readers think of this new look? This is the longest Microsoft has gone without updating its Office icons since 2003.

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