Microsoft hires man who made his own Microsoft product logos

In the summer of 2012, freelance designer Andrew Kim got a lot of Internet attention when he posted some of his own logo ideas for Microsoft products. His creations were based on Microsoft's own Windows 8 logo, which the company unveiled earlier that year.

Now, Kim's work has netted him a job at Microsoft. In a post on his Minimally Minimal blog this weekend, Kim confirmed that he will be officially working with Microsoft starting sometime later this summer, specifically for a project in the company's Xbox division. Oddly, the logos he made on his own did not include any Xbox-related designs.

Kim said that had been approached by a number of major companies over the past several months to work for them since he released his alt-Microsoft labels. He added:

But when it came time to make my final decision, I wanted to work at a place I can really get excited about. Working at a company is like getting married, it becomes a fundamental part of your life. I want to work with awesome people on awesome projects that I can get excited about. If you’ve been watching Microsoft over the past year, it’s been exciting, regardless of what your ecosystem preference is.

Naturally, Kim could not give details on what he will be working on, but did promise "I’ll make the my greatest work ever while I'm there." He also confirmed that a previously announced collaboration with Microsoft is going to remain secret since Microsoft has acquired the project's IP.

Source:  Minimally Minimal via The Verge | Image via Andrew Kim

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I like his EcoCoke thing, and some other design stuff he's shown, but not the Microsoft ones. I looked at his blog and disagree with the image he's going for.

I think the latest Windows logo (minus the symmetry issues) is a good way of connecting their past logos to that of the Metro-style tiles look they've been going for. Windows is still a popular brand name and the new look emphasizes Microsoft moving forwards. Plus the new Microsoft logo and fonts are also another example of this with the 'f' and 't' in Microsoft still connected like in the old logo, but the overall look is still modern.

I think a parallelagram for a logo is too simple and not something that I would always associate with Microsoft unless it was more distinctive looking. Not a fan of the font, and I wonder why "microsoft" and "surface" logos seem more grayscale and the office has more complex configuration and color?

I hope logo/brand design won't be a thing he'll be working on at Xbox, at least not based on these.

This is a joke.

You dont have to reinvent the wheel or make a car ugly and call it revolutionary, ugly cars are ugly and square wheels don't work. This guy might be a designer, but this work is terrible, it has no meaning, it filled with too much fluff and LSD thinking. Logos convey the message of a company so even simple minded individuals get it. You cant get anything from these logos, they are sharp as in pointed, bland, and have no meaning.

If this guy got hired by Microsoft, take the money and run the manager that hired him just gave up their position.

Yes I did, it was wishy washy. I can sit at my desk all day and conceptualize all I want, reality is people dont care.

If you have to read an entire post to "Get It"

Its already lost.

u still do not understand. the point is that people want to see a new Microsoft. they hate the old flag and boringness of the old. they want this. they need this.

i can't even begin to imagine the talent it took to come up with such impressive lines. the best i could come up with is, // or, = or even, =\ then there's, ~ or, ({i}), ((o)), (_)_)
i'm putting that on my resume: made lines with no outside stimuli...

Funny because most big companies externalize the service of marketing and corporate image.

For example, the campaign Think Different from Apple wasn't created by Jobs but a marketing agency.

Brony said,
Funny because most big companies externalize the service of marketing and corporate image.

For example, the campaign Think Different from Apple wasn't created by Jobs but a marketing agency.

Sometimes it is just a part of a marketing stunt, for example
a) to hire to some mister nobody but with talent that nobody but "x" company was able to appreciate.
b) to hire someone that won "x" competition, specially if the competition never was realized (or if was announced and realized in a simple week).

This is not the 1st case before. See:
Windows Sysinternals is property of Microsoft Corporation.
Windows Sysinternals Suite download and Licensing FAQ website <http://www.sysinternals.com>;.

The Sysinternals web site was created in 1996 by Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell to host their advanced system utilities and technical information. Whether you're an IT Pro or a developer, you'll find Sysinternals utilities to help you manage, troubleshoot and diagnose your Windows systems and applications.

"Oddly, the logos he made on his own did not include any Xbox-related designs."

Why is that odd? They are next todo of course, but well paid.

Sorry, not to hate but what's so special about these logos? I checked out the guy's blog and some of his work is fairly interesting but these logos in particular look very weak to me...

The ignorance of people saying these are "just shapes" is astounding.

First of all, these "shapes" convey a far greater meaning than the existing Microsoft logos. The logo for Surface is a flat slate, immediately implying that this is Microsoft's tablet line. The Windows logo is shaped like an actual window. Finally, the Office icon is in the (partial) shape of a cubicle, indicating its purpose as a workplace productivity tool.

Moreover, each of these logos uses clean lines and is minimalistic, reflecting the Metro UI design philosophy which is behind each of these products in their current iteration.

Just shapes? Really? All logos are shapes. These are rather well-conceived. He totally deserves the job.

You're describing Microsoft's actual logos for Windows and Office. The stuff in this article is just a bunch of shapes though.

I dare say he was hired for his talent beyond these logos, im assuming these probably aren't his best work.

That being said wasn't there an alternative win8 content I recall seeing some great logos in there that would have been worth MS hiring from.

All I see in this thread is one post of encouragement and a bunch of sour grapes.

To all those saying "they're just a bunch of shapes", then the world famous FedEx logo is just a bunch of letters, the Adobe logo is just a letter and the name, WWF is just some panda shape, Nike is just a 'swoosh' shape etc.

Whilst I think these logos this guy has done need a bit more refinement, I can see why Microsoft liked what he did. They're more than "just a bunch of shapes".

/cynical designer

Edited by Skittlebrau, Jan 20 2013, 6:57am :

I guess you shouldn't speak about design if you never noticed the "Arrow" in FedEx logo. All the logos you mention have a subtle meaning behind them, and that's what people remember. Not how complex, or how many hours it took to make.

And as Osiris said below, consideration of his complete portfolio would have got him the job; the MS logos were just what got him noticed.

Yeah, his portfolio is rather decent. Those Microsoft logos were rather lame though, in my opinion. Can't believe THAT was what got him noticed, if anything...

Agreed his portfolio has some impressive designs. I really like the Eco Coke one. Also people are missing that it isn't just shapes but he came up with a cohesive brand message that MS should represent.

ThatDev707 said,
Agreed his portfolio has some impressive designs. I really like the Eco Coke one. Also people are missing that it isn't just shapes but he came up with a cohesive brand message that MS should represent.

Whilst I didn't like his logotypes for the Microsoft products and divisions, that "cohesive brand image" was very well done. Including his Windows Phone colour choices, very nice.

Since he is a fan of minimalistic design, the state of Microsoft right now is a perfect opportunity for him to do great work. And maybe, just maybe, he could become very influential design-wise within the company.

Also, he did write about a month or two ago on his blog about doing some secret work on a Microsoft project / collaboration already and that he would have more info on that sometime later. I guess this is what he is working on already.

Skittlebrau said,
All I see in this thread is one post of encouragement and a bunch of sour grapes.

To all those saying "they're just a bunch of shapes", then the world famous FedEx logo is just a bunch of letters, the Adobe logo is just a letter and the name, WWF is just some panda shape, Nike is just a 'swoosh' shape etc.

Whilst I think these logos this guy has done need a bit more refinement, I can see why Microsoft liked what he did. They're more than "just a bunch of shapes".

/cynical designer

Well, that's because Neowin if filled with A+ designers all of who have had their work recognized by major companies so they all know better.

omgben said,
Well, that's because Neowin if filled with A+ designers all of who have had their work recognized by major companies so they all know better.

I realize you guys are joking around, but the thought of creating something that only a very select few would be able to appreciate is pretty ridiculous when you're supposed to be marketing to the consumers. If a brand is confusing or just not memorable to us, how are we supposed to identify said products? Remember, we live in an age where we guess what logos belong to whom as a game on the app store(s). Recognition by the consumer is quite important.

volodoscope said,
I guess you shouldn't speak about design if you never noticed the "Arrow" in FedEx logo. All the logos you mention have a subtle meaning behind them, and that's what people remember. Not how complex, or how many hours it took to make.

I agree.

Also, the hidden arrow that occupies the negative space in between the FedEx logo is what makes it a subtle work of genius

I hadn't realised it was so easy to be hired by Microsoft. Better get paint out and start making shapes

I just put my portfolio of a circle, square, and triangle together. I was going to put in a rounded rectangle but I am saving that masterpiece for when I apply for a job at Apple.

Enron said,
I just put my portfolio of a circle, square, and triangle together. I was going to put in a rounded rectangle but I am saving that masterpiece for when I apply for a job at Apple.

Sorry man, EA, aka Electronic Arts beat you to it over a decade ago, that's their old logo.

Enron said,
They hired a guy for making those... shapes?

Hey now, he used the text tool too! And one of the logos has multiple colours!

No not just those shapes, he has a pretty good design eye, check out his website. As for those 'shapes', I still think their are better than the official W8 logo though.

brianshapiro said,
As for those 'shapes', I still think their are better than the official W8 logo though.

They're nowhere near as good as the official MS logos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzkZWvAJUr0

Where as his work looks like something a teenager would make and think "ooo that looks cool! But it needs something else... oh i know... a background of space!!!".

Look at his Windows logo here for example... What does that have to do with Windows?! Font is also poor, colours are very bland, and it dont catch your eye. All his product logo's look alike too, when you need your products to have instantly recognizable logo features that represent the actual product - not all pretty much look the same with totally unrelated completely random shapes. Some of his work on his site is good, but these are poor and EXTREMELY unimaginative. But what do i know i'm just a graphic designer.

Edited by 1Pixel, Jan 20 2013, 10:50am :


Where as his work looks like something a teenager would make and think "ooo that looks cool!

Well that is who Microsoft is aiming at these days.

Athernar said,

Hey now, he used the text tool too! And one of the logos has multiple colours!

Those logos have a meaning and definition to the creation. It's not just a shape. Read his blog.

1Pixel said,
But what do i know i'm just a graphic designer.

I do graphic design too, and I never said that it was perfect, just better than the official W8 logo which is meant to look 'dynamic' and all, but awkward looking when represented statically.

His Windows logo has just as much to do with Windows as does the official logo. If you look at his blog, he connects it to windows on the sides of office buildings, which he says gives a modern 'metro' version of Windows compared to the classic 'french window' approach of the four squares. Likewise his surface logo is a 'surface', and his office logo is a meeting of walls. I don't think it works that well has a cross-product marketing scheme, but the Windows logo alone works okay.

david said,

Those logos have a meaning and definition to the creation. It's not just a shape. Read his blog.

Nah, pretty sure they're just shapes.

Enron said,
They hired a guy for making those... shapes?

Yep... and we all could have created those logos, but we didn't.
Branding is a very subjective matter and the fact he used a very simple approach demonstrates a certain degree of cleverness which Microsoft appears to have appreciated.

For me, one of the most successful and more recognizable logos of all time is a simple dark-yellow square: http://goo.gl/88F5I