microsoft redesigns its app icons

edited December 2018 in creations

Microsoft has redesigned its app icons for its suite of programs, from Word to Excel, in a bid to “get out of users’ way” and allow them to concentrate on tasks rather than branding.

The new icons have been redesigned by Microsoft’s in-house design team, which has given app icons a more three-dimensional (3D) and colourful look and separated out the letter and the symbol within each icon.

The new icons aim to be “bolder, lighter and friendlier”, than the previous ones, says Jon Friedman, general manager of experiences and devices design at Microsoft.

The new icons see the letter, such as “W” for Word, encased within a square, which is set against another symbol that represents the program. Changing gradients of colour give a 3D feel to the whole icon.


The corners of icons are now rounded rather than straight, and the icons are now straight-facing rather than sat at an angle. “Bolder, brighter hues” of colour have now been used, and the icons are now “adaptive”, as the letter attached to each one can be added or removed depending on the context and space available.

This aims to be better suited for “cross-device” use, says Friedman, as it looks to retain recognisability of the program without necessarily using the letter. This is intended for when users transition from desktop to tablet to mobile, for instance, where there may not be enough space for the full icon.

The icons now look to focus on the contents of programs, rather than their names; for example, the symbol used in the Powerpoint icon is a pie-chart, while for Word, it is a lined document.

More at designweek >>>


  • Those icons are just delightful! I will for sure be way more delightfully productive, now!
  • edited December 2018
    hah! yes. if only they'd be a little more truthful in the reasons for this stuff... it's like 'after the fact' explanations of art (particularly modern art).

    Microsoft has redesigned its app icons for its suite of programs, from Word to Excel, as everyone was bored of the previous ones, and this way they could push an update that didn't add anything of value, without too much flak.
  • No icon updates on the Mac...
  • edited January 7
    i'm not convinced they've updated them on windows yet, either.

    almost like it was merely something to get some column inches :D
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