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Why The Ugly New Microsoft Edge Logo Is Genius

Creative Market March 31, 2021 · 2 min read

Microsoft wants to shed years of baggage and bad reputation by killing Internet Explorer and launching the new Microsoft Edge. So if they want to leave the past behind, why the heck does the new Edge logo look almost just like the old Internet Explorer logo?

Yep, It’s Ugly

For starters, I’ll say that, on its own, I think the logo is actually pretty ugly. It’s oddly proportioned and awkward. It’s obviously not going to win any logo design awards (at least I hope not).

Familiar Is Good For Users

Now, aesthetic appeal aside, the fact that the Edge logo looks an awful lot like the IE one is actually a great thing from the average user’s perspective. I’ll use my dad as an example. He knows nothing of IE’s bad reputation in the developer world, nor does he care. All he knows is that “e” is the icon that he clicks to get to the Internet. The next time he buys a computer, the first thing he’ll look for is that familiar “e” icon, welcoming him like an old friend. I’m betting that when he sees the new Edge icon, he won’t miss a beat.
It sounds like such a small benefit, but remember that typical users hate change. Every time Facebook moves a pixel, there are riots in the streets. Microsoft is making a bold move by introducing a new browser, and no matter how much it pleases the dev nerds like you and me, they need to make this transition as easy as possible for the rest of the world who just wants to know where the Internet went.
As designers, we too often want design to be about making things pretty. Quite often, what’s prettiest and what’s best for the user are at odds with each other. Our job is to reconcile that and always make sure the user experience takes center stage.

What Do You Think?

So there’s my opinion. The logo is ugly and far too similar, but it’s probably a good move anyway. Do you disagree? Should Microsoft drop lowercase “e” logos and move on? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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  • I don't like the name, but maybe you're right. It does probably have that instant connection to those users, but I feel like it would've been a better move to keep the name "Spartan". Mostly because it sounds nicer, a better juggernaut to compete with the likes of Chrome and Firefox. Truthfully, the name "Edge" isn't bad either, but branding could always be nicer. A nicer package 7 years ago
  • I know that "e" is the icon that when I click it doesn't get me to the Internet. And it's ugly. :) 7 years ago
  • It looks like a happy dinosaur. 7 years ago
  • yeah its also looks like a desk lamp over a desk in the negative space. 7 years ago
  • @Chris Buchanan I totally see a desk lamp too! Surely that's unintentional... maybe? 7 years ago
  • ya never know 7 years ago
  • @Josh Johnson I agree about the fact that typical users hate change but you didn't explain how come Edge logo was genius. 7 years ago
  • What new browser? It's the same Explorer with a small name change, and this logo proves it. :/ 7 years ago
  • Familiarity does not equal genius. In fact, I would argue the exact opposite. This was Microsoft's chance to make a brand new browser, a brand new brand, and they had to go and affiliate it with the worst browser of all time. Older people couldn't care less what the browser logo is, all it takes is for their kids to tell them one time which one is "the internet" and they will figure it out. What Microsoft should be doing is nurturing the relationship with younger people, because they're the ones that actually spread the word of new technology to adopt widespread usage. Actually, the best thing is to get web designers and developers on board it because we are the ones who become evangelists for our browsers and actually have the ability to influence the internet layman. That's a big reason why Chrome is so successful. 7 years ago
  • I get why the logo had to had a familiar feeling to it, but why make it ugly? 7 years ago
  • What really puzzles me is why a giant like Microsoft choses a logo this bad. Money shouldn't be a problem! 7 years ago
  • I don't think Edge is a good name and a good product anyway, too late for Microsoft to catch up on the the rising chrome browser. Now that your point with users familiarity is logical, I think that they should've invested more time designing a better "e" 7 years ago
  • This Edge will be the next nightmare for web developers? For me will be the next tool to download Chrome :). And about the logo looks very cheap and unfinished. 7 years ago
  • Desk lamp too, Chris Buchanan! I always look at negative space. As designers, I think that we look at the "un"obvious first. I think that's just how our brains are trained. Nope, I'm not a fan of the new design and agree with the author of this post 100%. Maybe it looks better smaller? I sure hope so :) Design on. 7 years ago
  • Edge is stepping in the right direction for web developers. Microsoft just needs to get with the program with getting Outlook up-to-date with html email development. 7 years ago
  • Microsoft: "You hate our browser. So, we're killing it." Almost everyone: "Yay!" *A peace has spread out among the people* M: "We're back with a new browser to plague your souls!" Almost everyone: "nooooooooo!" 7 years ago
  • It's ugly. But Microsoft browser probably deserves ugly logo ;) 7 years ago
  • Wow, so many of the designers here totally missed the point of the article, or didn't even read it. The author's point is: yes, it's ugly, but it looks a certain way for a reason. Their target audience is people who couldn't care less about how pretty a little two-dimensional rectangle looks, and actually have better things to do with their time than sit in front of a computer and fuss over browsers. It was Steve Jobs who said design isn't how it looks, but how it works. 7 years ago
  • It's ugly, cheap and looks like unfinished. It doesn´t surprise me because I agree with @Josh Johnson in the article, this is probably a good move (at least in early stages) because there are a lot of people thinking that The Internet is "inside" of this little blue Icon thing. Probably is going to suffer some changes when Microsoft releases W10. The promotional video doesn't even show it. Anyways, it is a very well-designed fancy Lamp, thought :) 7 years ago
  • I don't understand why everyone here are so proud for using Chrome. Internet Explorer has been my browser of choice for the last 3 months and I am WAY more satisfied than I was with Chrome, believe it or not. With IE my battery last longer and, besides video playback, it's a pretty competent browser. As always, 99% of everyone that mocks IE don't even have use it. 7 years ago
  • cant lie, that mouse over tab preview was hot... 7 years ago
  • Regarding its logo, i don't really like it either, but what I hate most is people who treat it like a piece of crap. Have you guys ever tried it? Probably not. Edge is totally a new browser, with new rendering engine, not the old IE. I know it's hard for MS to drag people away from the likes of Chrome and Firefox, but I also know for sure that judging before using is kinda stupid. Edge is still in beta and there's a lot of room for improvement. Hope, not off topic if so my apologies. 7 years ago
  • This logo is horrendous! I cringe when I look at it! I am curious how much the designer who came up with this made on it! O_O It's probably A LOT! I am already over the EDGE! :P 7 years ago
  • Microsoft Edge Logo Redesign by Jozoor 7 years ago
  • The logo looks incomplete 7 years ago
  • If they want people to make that strong of an immediate connection, then why bother with a different name to begin with? But then again, why assume smart thinking would come from Microsoft... 7 years ago
  • Awful. It looks like it has an under bite. 7 years ago
  • Anonymous
    It makes Microsoft out to be lazy. And the possible reason you've given doesn't cut it. Microsoft is large enough to pull more than 100 million views to a change in a single day, so? The (new?) logo just permits us to continue hating on IE. Too bad! 7 years ago
  • This is so true: "It sounds like such a small benefit, but remember that typical users hate change. " Very nice analysis and I think you are right. 7 years ago
  • Mike Stevenson is right about stasis not equaling genius. Beyond that, I am really tired of people pandering to stupid. It's actually stupid to hate change so much that your emotional distress over it compromises your ability to function. If you're that bad off maybe you need medication and therapy. In many things, it is in fact the product or the delivery that is the problem. But equally often it's the user who is the problem. Technology and design should not be obsequious to trogs who can only learn one thing once and won't budge. The fact is those people aren't even the majority of users. They are a very whiny minority, and like a political extremist group should mostly be ignored in favor of better overall. 7 years ago
  • While it is true that the average user hates change, it is also true that the average user has no idea how bad IE really is. If it was just about making a better browser, they could keep the whole branding and just change the core, no one would be the wiser among its average user basis. If, as @caspian said, "Their target audience is people who couldn't care less about how pretty a little two-dimensional rectangle looks, and actually have better things to do with their time than sit in front of a computer and fuss over browsers." Then, the only reason I see for Microsoft to be redeveloping/rebranding its browser, is to try to win back all designers and developers who dislike it to the point of hating it with a passion. In that sense, this relaunch/rebranding is for those who associate IE with all that is bad on the internet, not for those who couldn't care less about pretty logos and prettier coding. So, with the redeveloping/rebranding, they get to please the IE haters with what can only be an improvement - code-wise, while keeping things simple for the folks who are whiny or couldn't care less - by keeping the identity similar. Meaning, in typical Microsoft fashion, they are trying to please everyone. In that sense, while ugly as sin, I would have to say it is a successful logo... 7 years ago