Microsofts Internet Explorer (IE) has been cursing web designers and programmers across the globe since 1994. It’s baggage and incompatibility has stacked up endlessly with each iteration. Younger, faster, fresher browsers have taken user share from IE with increasing ease, with Firefox and Chrome updating and innovating at speed.
Microsoft is ready to shake some of the baggage of IE by supplying Windows 10, the next version of their dominant operating system, with a new, lightweight Edge browser. Formerly code-named Project Spartan, the new name was revealed at it’s Build 2015 keynote, along with it’s new logo.
The new design keeps a more historical link to IE than Microsoft claim for the browser itself, which since v3 has featured a lowercase blue e circled by a planetary ring style arc. Versions 3, 6, 7, 8 and 9 had yellow rings, 3 and 5 stuck to one colour with a cutout.
It’s this one colour version that the new design most reflects, but it does away with any shapes external to the letter itself and relies on it’s cutout negative space to hint at the sweep.
As with pretty much every piece of Microsoft branding since 2012, the logo is rendered with the Segoe font family. It’s a family with plenty of variations, including a specific UI variation used within lots of Microsoft software. Microsoft use it in their own logo, software logos and in the Surface logo as well as across print and web applications.
It looks like the Edge logo is based on Segoe bold, with the sweep cut out. To my eye the new Edge e looks a little unbalanced, like it’s going to rock backwards at any moment, and others have pointed out that the negative space makes some unusual shapes, especially in the counter. Though this can be argued for any logo that’s scrutinised as much as this.
I’m no fan of the fairly abrupt and short lower curve of Segoes’ e, which stops to soon and too straight for my liking. The other issue is that the new Edge logo is perhaps a little too close to the old IE logo if Microsoft are truly trying to shake the shackles of their browser history.
However this is a consumer based update, business and commerce will continue to rely on the baggage of Internet Explorer for some time to come, and therefore keeping a blue “e” as the place to access the internet seems sensible.
I know in my parents case, separating the computer itself or at least windows, with the browser is tricky, so keeping continuity may well be a great choice.
The Microsoft Edge logo, what do you think, too much baggage or fresh and exciting?