When designer Andrew Kim started a three-day experiment on his blog to come up with a new brand strategy for Microsoft, I doubt he imagined just how far it would take him. The project, which went viral this summer, managed to catch the attention of Microsoft, culminating in Kim’s announcement this week that he’ll be joining the Xbox division later this year.
The project, which Kim calls The Next Microsoft, is a design exercise with the goal of examining Microsoft’s overall brand, attempting to update and reimagine it. Kim examines Microsoft’s logos over the years (I was surprised at how fresh the original blue and white Windows logo looks today), how the logos appear on products, referring to the current perspective window logo as looking “uncomfortable when applied on products.”
The project includes manipulated images of just about every Microsoft product you can imagine, with the newly thought-up logo integrated, as well as clothing, loading screens and a variety of other images. Kim looks at Apple’s skeumorphic design (digital products that use physical metaphors like leather covers, lined paper, etc.) and compares it to Microsoft’s push for an entirely digital interface that doesn’t depend on ever-more-outdated metaphors and offers ideas on how Microsoft might make the look more accessible.
In his announcement, Kim talks about the decision to join Microsoft:
This was a difficult choice to make. I was approached by countless companies with offers, ranging from electronics manufacturers to ad agencies. Some of the companies that approached were the makers of my favorite products ever. I am even a “fanboy” of some of them. But when it came time to make my final decision, I wanted to work at a place I can really get excited about. Working at a company is like getting married, it becomes a fundamental part of your life. I want to work with awesome people on awesome projects that I can get excited about. If you’ve been watching Microsoft over the past year, it’s been exciting, regardless of what your ecosystem preference is.
As bold as his ad campaign, Kim promises that he’ll make his “greatest work ever” while he’s at Microsoft. Kim sets a great example of using your web presence as your resume and letting your work speak for itself. With this imaginative experiment already out there, it’d going to be interesting to see what Kim does with Xbox.
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