Skype’s new logo is AWFUL! If there is one thing I have come to expect of Microsoft, it is that they can take a brilliant thing, and ruin it. Take the brand design of skype. I’m not a huge fan of the Arial Font, it just seems to do a job without giving any sort of style. I’m even less of a fan, of the rounded MT Bold variant which makes it look childish and a bit clumsy. However, it is what it is, and it does work with the rounded icons used within skype due to the flat-design cloud motif. It’s balanced and looks good but because of the development of more icon based formats in the app stores,  they have moved away from the full word in favour of a simple “S”, which still looks good. HOWEVER, the new “S” logo is just plain awful, and here is why:

Skype’s new logo is AWFUL!

The logo on the left is balanced; the letter is the correct weight for the size of the blue cloud. The cloud itself has a very subtle shadow at the bottom indicating depth, and the blue is on a gradient enough that you don’t really notice it, but it adds a bit of interest and weight to the bottom again indicating depth. However, the logo on the right removes all the subtlety and balance of the original and replaces it with lashings of rubbish. The subtle shadow is gone, and the gradient is replaced by one Everest would be proud of. The flat design is replaced instead with bubbles. We went through this phase in the early 2000s with everything from cars to buildings being designed in the bubble style and it’s proved just terrible. It does not date well, and as for the “S”, the fact the blue cloud is more bubbled than before only highlights the fact that the typography is wrong. It’s too light (width of the letter); it needs more weight to command the space it occupies. The only logical reason for any of this is here:

They have a rival in Messenger, which like skype, offers video calling. The similarities between the two designs cannot be ignored. For whatever reason they have decided to copy the ‘look’ of the Messenger logo, and use it to ruin their own.

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