PxPixel
Perception is Reality - AvNetwork.com

Perception is Reality

Author:
Publish date:


If seeing is believing, what does Microsoft's corporate branding—its logo, visual identity, and industrial design—tell us?

Just one look at the newest Windows icon tells me that it's tired. Too tired. I cannot help but connect Microsoft with slower machines and slower progress in complicated yet lifeless environments. Apple is certainly not the panacea (and don't get me started on their shady labor practices) but there is a reason that Apple's iPhone business alone is now larger than all of Microsoft.

Andrew Kim, a 21-year-old designer, agrees that Microsoft needs a makeover. He thinks that the technology behemoth's branding is outdated—simply too conservative for digital natives. That is why the Pasadena, CA-based Art Center College of Design student recently re-imagined the company’s brand identity during a three-day design charrette. The result, "The Next Microsoft," is a compelling company makeover for the tablet generation.

What this insightful experiment reveals is how the user perspective can be an x factor in technology adoption. The fact that a 21-year old student has re-imagined the Microsoft brand so much more effectively than Microsoft itself previews how the next generation will negotiate design challenges like skeuomorphics.

Instantly, you can see that Kim's brand unification strategy is clean, fresh, and updated. It's a simplification that breathes new life into a tired branding scenario. It is using the past to inform its choices, but it is not stuck in the past.

I challenge AV manufacturers, new and seasoned, to explore "The New Microsoft." How are you evolving to communicate all that you are—your roots, mission statement, and corporate aspirations?

Experience Kim's brilliant corporate redesign here

Read more here about the world's reaction to "The Next Microsoft." 


Margot Douaihy is the editor of AV Technology Magazine, a college instructor, and an advocate for user-friendly design.

Related

InfoComm '13 Review: Technology, the Verb

InfoComm '13... we were sad to see you end. The booth visits. The maelstrom of hashtags. Innumerable cups of coffee. M&Ms in lieu of lunch. It was a terrific show for AV Technology magazine. We honored two outstanding technology managers—one from Harvard, one from North Carolina State University—with $500 awards for industry training. We caught up with old friends and made new ones. We traded ideas with technology managers in AV and IT departments. We played skeeball (thanks, Vaddio!).

Help Wanted

I marvel at the emphasis placed on IT and AV acumen. Rice University—like many organizations in the higher ed, retail, enterprise, hospitality, and government sectors—expect their tech managers to be proficient in AV and IT even though these sensibilities can be quite distinct. Notice that I say "can be quite distinct." To paraphrase the feedback from one AV Technology reader, a college tech manager, so much has changed in this industry and yet it magically stays the same.

Image placeholder title

6 Mega Trends Tech Managers Can't Ignore in 2014

I love portentous articles as much as the next reader, but I'm going to leave the predictive dart throwing to the experts. My 2014 trend forecast is actually quite simple: tech managers should expect more emphasis on soft skills, software, and creativity.