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Microsoft's new Office icons are part of a larger design overview

Microsoft modernizes its Office icons as part of a broader focus on design for their various Office applications. This is…

Microsoft modernizes its Office icons as part of a broader focus on design for their various Office applications. This is the first time the Office icons have changed in five years, and they are designed to be simpler and modern to span multiple devices and platforms. Office is now on Windows, Mac, IOS, and Android, and Microsoft has built up a single code base to make quick monthly enhancements to apps. These icons are designed to reflect how Office has recently changed, with new AI features, more collaborative features, and platform independence for key applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

The new icons fake the letter for each Office app, but still managed to see familiar. “Our design solution was to disconnect the letter and the symbol from the icons, essentially creating two panels (one for the letter and one for the symbol) that we can pair or separate,” explains Jon Friedman, Microsoft Design Partner Manager. “This allows us to maintain trust while emphasizing simplicity when it’s inside the app.”


Microsoft has replaced the document’s contours in earlier icons for text lines for Word and individual cells for Excel. Surprisingly, the icons still look right again, which is important for the millions of users who start these apps every day. Otherwise, the OneDrive and Skype icons keep their unique looks in a more modern way. OneDrive is still a cloud, while Skype has lost most of its bubbles in what looks like a call button with a simple S logo.

Icons are just part of the design and Microsoft makes some subtle changes to Office elsewhere. The software giant simplifies the band interface and delivers its Fluent Design system from Windows 10 to Office applications. The subtle color changes to modernize the appearance of Office comes to Windows, Mac, Mobile and Web. One of Microsoft’s most popular mobile apps, Outlook Mobile, also receives a comprehensive design overview soon with shared mailbox support and new gestures for accounts and folders.


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