Microsoft Bing has introduced a new version of their logo, to coincide with the Bing No. 2 search engine; the logo will switch to green from yellow, and will change the letter “b” to an uppercase letter. The changes have been made partly because the green is judged easier to see that yellow, and partly because the new look displays well across all Windows devices.
Microsoft first introduced Bing in 2009, and last updated the logo in 2013. The new logo has come just as Microsoft Bing reaches a new stage of development: they are still a very distant competition to Google, but they became profitable in 2014.
Rik van der Kooi, Microsoft’s corporate VP of Advertiser and Publisher Solutions, said:
“We expect Bing to continue to grow and are thrilled with our trajectory. We are the only search engine that is experiencing steady, consistent growth and have increased our share for 26 consecutive quarters. And we’re not slowing down.”
Bing! Voted the Worst Logo of 2009
Of course, when Bing was first introduced, in 2009, the Bing logo was voted the worst logo in a survey conducted by Brand New, an influential blog on the subject of branding design.
The name itself wasn’t a problem with the people asked during the survey: in fact, the name “Bing!” connotes a solution to a difficult problem or a moment of realization. However, the logo design itself was cited as a problem, and the design led to Brand New to writing:
This is like setting the resolution of your screen to 6,000 pixels wide by 1,000 high. I can’t even imagine how someone arrives at a design solution like this. The shapes resulting from the strenuous horizontal scaling are simply too unflattering and unattractive. There is bad taste and then there is this. What was going through the designer’s mind? “I’ll scale it a little bit. Hmmm, maybe just a little more. More. More. I have so much power. I’m drunk in scaling power. More. More. Scale it more. Don’t stop. Do it. Okay, that’s enough.
They then continued:
"When I first posted the new logo for Microsoft’s search engine I blasted it for using scaled typography then “Bob”, who designed the logo at Razorfish, informed us that “All the letter forms were made from scratch.” I think I preferred to think this nastiness was done unknowingly than fully premeditated. Congratulations, Bing!”
Then, the designer Erik Spiekermann, who is an expert in typography design and also a professor at the University of the Arts
Couldn’t you hire someone who can actually design type? It wouldn’t take more than an hour to do. It would still be a boring logo, but at least it wouldn’t look like a free font frawn by a 15-year-old in Corel Draw, in 1987. It was made from scratch and it still looks like scratch.
There were a variety of amusing comments surrounding the Microsoft Bing logo, including:
“In their defence, maybe they didn’t distort it. Maybe they just chose a terrible, distorted variant of that typeface to begin with. Wait, that doesn’t make it better, does it?”
“And it was such a pretty logo without all that horizontal scaling. Actually, I though they squished it vertically (like a big fat hamburger that you have to mash down to get it to fit in your mouth), but either treatment is cruel and unusual.”
“I bet there was a huge committee involved and the poor designer just wanted to keep his job.”
Now, with a new and updated logo, Bing are planning to expand through many different vehicles and have moved on from the logo and branding design which caused the previous indignation. Bing is looking to expand using the Microsoft Windows 10 operating system, pushing its users toward Microsft Edge, and Bing Search by default. More than 200 million people have downloaded Windows 10 since it was introduced in July, and Microsoft is reportedly aiming to have 1 billion users by 2019.
These expansions and the makeover of the Bing logo suggest that Microsoft Bing is moving forward, and the new branding should hopefully please customers a lot more than the previous incarnations of the logo.