A Logo/ Branding I Hate: Microsoft Edge/ Internet Explorer

In 1995 Microsoft introduces their new internet browsing software, Internet Explorer. At the time the logo was some simple sans serif lettering, set back on an angle, with a realistic image of the earth tacked onto the end. While this logo for the time was not terrible, it was largely ineffective due to the many elements attempting to be represented on such a tiny scale. Over the next few years Internet Explorer’s logo would change in layout but stay relatively similar to the original. It wasn’t until 1997 that the brand changed form a heavy, text centered logo, to just a symbol. From there, Microsofts Internet Explorer, now called Edge, has been through the wringer in terms of design changes.

I feel that this brand as a whole isn’t completely hopeless, mostly due to a reasonably well designed interface, however the logo and branding for this browser has never been particularly good. I think one could even say that over the years things have only continued to go down hill form a once simple letter “e”. My beef does not lie with the 1997 logo, honestly I feel this is one of the more successful renditions of the design, where I feel things started to go down hill is at about 2005. Microsoft kept the ’97 logo until ’01 when they decreased its size and added some gradient and shadows to create more depth within the logo. I personally don’t love the ’01 logo, but I understand its value at the time. Then in 2005, with the rise of new and innovative technology Microsoft decided to do another logo redesign, this time making the “e” 3D, giving it a shiny texture and a shadow to suggest added dimension. To me, this logo is just ugly, while I hold fond memories of it from my childhood, I don’t think it has ever been totally successful.

From there a solid progression of bad decisions were made until ultimately we land on whatever the heck is happening from 2015-present. In 2015 Microsoft changed the name of their Internet Explorer software to Edge, this came along with a huge change in logo design, ditching the once iconic halo for something that I can only compare to a mullet. Then, after only four years with the mullet, we come to the logo for Edge released in 2019. What could basically be described as a wave, somewhat mimicking an “e” shape, to me feels largely ineffective.

When I look at the Edge icon on my computer I don’t even associate it with Microsoft anymore, and because its design is so similar to Firefox I instead associate it with the subpar web browser and tend not to use it. There is such thing as stepping too far away form your brand. Up until 2015 I feel that, although not aesthetically successful, the Internet Explorer/ Edge logo was at least recognizable and able to be associated with the Microsoft program we have all been using since 1995. But now, I don’t even register the logo on my desktop, because to my brain its something completely different.

I think as a whole Internet explorer had some potential with their ’97 logo, but as time went on they did entirely too much to the poor little “e” and not were left with a sad, unrecognizable wave. The design is simply redundant and boring, I feel they could have done so much more with it throughout the course of its existence.