The reputation of Internet Explorer nose dived in the last decade. Never really loved, IE was just a fact of online life, as Microsoft made sure it was installed on every computer. You had to go out of your way to remove the browser and to find an alternative, which meant that by 2002, about 96% of us browsed the web using IE.

 

Things changed though. Mozilla Firefox provided an arguably better and certainly more open-ended product. Sales of Apple computers, shipped with Safari as the browser, went through the roof. And in 2008 Google released Chrome, which has been the most used web browser across all products since 2012. All of this occurring while the very hardware we used to access the web moved from the desktop to our pocket, suiting the browsers that were able to hit the ground running on mobile operating systems.

 

Microsoft haven’t given up though. Windows 10 is imminent, and with the new O/S comes a new browser: Microsoft Edge.

 

Except, the logo looks remarkably similar to the Internet Explorer logo, that big lowercase ‘e’ with plenty of similarly placed negative space. It begs the question, why are Microsoft creating a new browser with a new experience, giving it a new name and then giving it a very similar identity to the old browser?

 

Microsoft (as are all large, successful organisations) somewhat resistant to change for the sake of change. A particularly pragmatic/conservative ideology seems to run through Microsoft, at least when it comes to branding, but that isn’t to say they haven’t been real leaders when it comes to design. And we think that, taking everything into consideration, they have another winner on their hands when it comes to the design and branding of the new Edge logo.

 

Here is why.

 

  • The old logo is still familiar enough to represent an investment worth hanging onto. They might want to ‘kill’ Internet Explorer the product, but Microsoft haven’t thrown the baby out with the bathwater. The new logo represents sensible evolution, even if the actual product is promising to be more revolutionary. We can only guess at the volume of market research that fed into the design – and while as a rule we don’t like design that relies on focus group work, in this instance we understand that by paying homage in this way, Microsoft are actually taking control of a narrative. The ‘e’ is part of internet history.
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  • It is actually a beautiful and smart evolution at that. Notice how all of the letters of the word ‘Edge’ are incorporated into the logo.
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  • The design is both edgy and ‘happy’ (or is it just me that can see that smile?). It has more personality than the more corporate and static IE logo.
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  • The design is flat, but despite the lack of depth, a great deal of dynamism and personality has been created by careful width adjustment of the ‘e’.