Microsoft updates Office 365 app icons to match pace with modern work life

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Microsoft has unveiled brand new icons for its Office 365 apps with bolder, yet lighter hues coupled with simplistic visuals for instantly recognizable symbols.

The apps were introduced on Medium via a Microsoft Design post. Each letter and symbol has been decoupled in a way to maintain familiarity and simplicity at the same time.

Last time, Microsoft updated the icons in 2013. Since then, over 1 billion people from different geographies, cultures, work has been using Office 365 apps extensively. People work on different platforms and devices, which are much faster and connected than ever before.

The new Office icons have carefully crafted designs that welcome the future, Jon Friedman – Head of Microsoft Office design, wrote in his medium blog.

Each icon has symbols that are unique and denotes a connection with the collective suite. Using gestalt principle, icons have been designed with improved simplicity and harmony.

The flexible visual systems can work across multiple platforms, generations and devices. The new icons meet the need of visual language that can connect with all the five generations of office users. It displays the kinetic nature of productivity today.

In the new design, the letter and the symbol has been decoupled – creating two panels. Also, the letter-symbol ratio has been changed. Earlier, letters occupied two-third of the icon, leaving one-third for the symbol. But now, it has been redesigned to emphasize the symbol, because it connects more to people’s creation, while the letter can represent the tool itself.

The new icons represents a human centered design that emphasizes content and reflects the speed of the modern life.

The new Office 365 icons will be rolled out in the coming months, starting with web and mobile.

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