If Microsoft designed Google’s icons

Mon, Dec 3, '18 •

If Microsoft designed Google’s icons

On Thursday, Microsoft demanded that the world says “hello” to the fifth version of their Office icons in 15 years. These icons give a subtle nod to their predecessors through displaying the iconic letters, while keeping a connection between the symbol and its usage within the rest of the suite. 

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For us it’s amazing that some of the world’s most aged computer icons have survived various design trends, yet still remain recognizable. Google’s icons haven’t suffered the same fate of redesign after redesign, which got us thinking…

What would happen if Microsoft’s designers got their hands on Google’s icons?
Fortunately, one of our designers overheard and decided to put us out of our misery.

“It's exciting to see that Microsoft followed Google's Material Design’s example – getting closer to the physical world and its textures, trying to reimagine the mediums of paper and ink. It was only natural to loop this philosophy back to a more tangible (Material) Google Icons experience.”
Stefka Ivanova, Creative Lead at Happeo

Maintaining recognizability was a big factor for us, so we haven’t reinvented the wheel here. We opted for subtle changes over radical redesigns, while optimizing for the different mediums where the icons would pop up. Stefka Ivanova continues:

“We started with the fundamental principle – make each icon as simple and as natural as it could be. To do this, we focused on the form it would take, not only on the variety of devices people use on a daily basis, but also on the way it would interact with the world of digital work.”

Since there isn’t a real G Suite alternative to Sharepoint, we – rather brazenly – added our own product to the fray. It’s also the reason our boss didn’t get mad when we put in the time to do this for you :)

For any designers wanting to see how these were made, here are the raw files. The files include the redesigned Google icons as well as the recreated Microsoft ones. Happy tinkering! We would love to see what you create with them.


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