So, now feels okay.
Almost four years ago
They had never built a retail store like this - or on such a scale. And they were committed to doing something good.
As part of our very early creative exploration we proposed adapting the Windows logo as the symbol for the store, but in a much more simplified manner. It was the only memorable symbol associated with Microsoft. So we developed a highly graphic, flat color system inspired by Josef Albers and pop art graphics of the mid 1970’s - the era in which Microsoft was born. (That I had a beloved ski jacket in junior high school that looks just like this had nothing to do it with it.)
Additionally, as Apple’s brand had become so associated with their products - a palette of silver, gray and white - we believed an explosion of intense, vivid color would not only be delightful for customers but also differentiating for Microsoft.
We also developed an associated color navigation program that became core to the guest experience through the massive LED screens that wrap around the store.
We worked closely with Microsoft’s design director who was among the best clients we’ve ever had.
Sure, I’m sad to see our symbol being replaced by a new one.
But I’m more than pleased to see the triumph of a design philosophy we all worked so hard to set in place - that clarity and simplicity were more far meaningful to people than easy PhotoShop techniques and endless - and I do mean endless - visual cacophony.
We were honored when the AIGA jury selected it to be included in the best work of the year.
That was nice.
It’s also the place to see the great people from our team who worked on it.
For the record.