Microsoft Office Icons Get New Look 5 Years After Last Refresh

Microsoft is rolling out a redesign of its app icons for Office 365.                  Microsoft

These redesigned icons are supposed to reflect how Office has changed in the recent years with emphasis on new AI features and support for collaborative interface. As you can see from the press materials, the new icons no longer put all the focus on the letter for each Office app. Microsoft also ditched the document outlines in the lines of text for Word and cells for Excel. I'm forever losing Outlook among a sea of blue icons-Word, Edge, OneDrive, Teams, Yammer, and Skype-and yearn for a return to the golden glory days.

In a Medium post by lead Office designer Jon Friedman, Microsoft notes that the world has changed a lot since 2013, the last time it redesigned its logos.

"We've infused our tools with powerful artificial intelligence: you can get insights from data with less effort, write a paper using your voice or make your resume using LinkedIn insights". Microsoft will be updating and modernizing the look and feel on each of the platforms Office resides on.

Our design solution was to decouple the letter and the symbol in the icons, essentially creating two panels (one for the letter and one for the symbol) that we can pair or separate.

One of the striking changes is the decoupling of the letter and symbol. The symbols have also been tweaked with brighter and deeper colors.

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There's no denying that the Office suite of apps is Microsoft's most important product, even more critical for the success of the company than Windows.

The changes hint at some of the coming changes to the Microsoft Office productivity suite.

Icons for apps such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint will sport a more simplified look, Microsoft said in a Thursday blog post.

According to The Verge, Outlook for mobile will be getting an update soon, so maybe it will feature elements of this new design.

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