Since the beginning of Bing, we’ve set out to do search differently. We felt that indexing information was important but we know magic doesn’t come from just giving a list of a zillion links. Magic comes from people being able to do things with the information they find and from empowering people to do what they need. Providing clarity and context for what matters. From searching for that perfect answer or mapping the quickest route to finding the latest release to watch on Xbox, Bing provides what you need in the way you need it. We’ve believed that since day one and we’ve been dedicated to making that magic every day.
We wondered why we had to be so focused on typing into a search box as the only way to find answers. You don’t livein a box so why should you search in one? What if we brought information to you as you needed it? What if we integrated into the products that you use every day and even brought you results before you even thought about searching? What if we walked away from this old view of ‘searching’ and created the birth of ‘finding and doing’?
We’ve embraced this mission of empowering people with knowledge. We’re creating products and experiences that celebrate insightover just lists of facts. We’re integrating with products that you use every day to make those experiences better. Voice search works in Xbox because of Bing. Office documents can embed images and detailed maps because of Bing. You can hover your Windows Phone over a sign in a foreign language and get an instant translation because of Bing. You can personalize news, stocks, sports, weather, food and health apps on your tablet because of Bing. Even Yahoo users get great search results thanks to a long-standing partnership with Bing.
With this reinvention of the idea of search, we knew we needed to signal a change to the world. We’re building on our heritage of great search results and we’re forging a new path ahead.
The evolution of our identity
A new visual identity doesn’t just happen overnight. We spent months looking at ways to update the look of Bing to represent what the product offers today, while achieving visual parity with Microsoft’s over-arching new look for the company. We worked with product, graphic and user experience designers to create a look that matches and grows with the product.
We knew our products were evolving beyond just the traditional search page. We were building apps for Windows 8, we were integrating search into Windows Phone and Xbox. This was much more than just a new logo or a single brainstorm. We re-architected our brand vision in alignment with our product roadmap. We interviewed our teams. We talked with people who loved us, as well as people who had barely heard of us. We learned more about what sets Bing apart in their minds and how we can continue to make better products that really matter. That was the formula to create a new visual identity that best reflected Bing as part of the Microsoft family.
With principles and frameworks in hand, we looked at the art. We revisited the current logo and diagnosed what wasn’t working. We looked at the new Microsoft identity and we did hundreds of studies to look at motion, font, color, size and form. We built out mock ads, localized product examples for China and fictitious billboards to see what was working. From simple evolutions to ridiculous explorations, we learned something in each one.
In the end, our new logo was created to be simple, real and direct.
The wordmark is a customized version of our corporate font Segoe. We retained the lowercase ‘b’ in tribute to our Bing logo heritage and to provide a slightly less obtrusive stance. The descender on the ‘g’ has been slightly modified to curve upward in a friendlier manner and the cut on the top of the ‘b’ mirrors the angle on the cut of the ‘t’ in our Microsoft logo. The kerning pairs of the ‘i’ and the ‘n’ are exactly the same as the ‘i’ and the ‘n’ in the Windows wordmark. The symbol, a stylized ‘b’, evokes a sense of movement, direction and energy. The color loosely pays tribute to the orange dot from the previous Bing logo while also fully embracing the Microsoft color palette and taking inspiration from one quadrant of the corporate flag logo.
The Microsoft design principles rely, in part, on grid layouts. Often called Swiss or International style, this grid layout system has roots in mapping coordinates and provides a balanced and consistent approach to design. When we place the new Bing logo on a simple grid, it instantly aligns to the layout, offers consistent angles, sightlines and balance and the new mark instantly feels at home alongside all Microsoft products.
A new search page
The heart of Bing is our search page and we’re updating the look and optimizing for speed and multi-screen use. Our look will be updating over the coming weeks to a more modern user interface optimized for touch devices, better results and of course our new identity.
A logo alone doesn’t make a brand and Bing has been a colorful antidote to boring search pages for years. Bing has provided a new homepage image every single day since it was launched. Our tradition of showcasing inspiring and interesting photography will continue and full-color, full-bleed imagery will remain a mainstay of our visual personality. You’ll continue to see Bing images on the web, on phones and in Xbox and you can download the daily images to your desktop.
For typography, we’re standardizing on Segoe for its connection to the Microsoft identity but also for its readability and clarity. Modern but timeless, Segoe will be used across products that we build as well as in marketing and communications.
Life happens in color – not on a solid white backdrop. With the new Bing brand identity, we fully embraced the Microsoft core color palette that centers around 10 bold hues. Built for impact and to work well across digital and print executions, the Microsoft palette allows for vibrant and exciting color usage.
For Bing, we are focusing primarily on the orange, yellow and warmest colors of the palette. Our hero color is Orange 124 and our primary palette was chosen to embody the characteristics that those colors usually evoke – clarity, confidence and warmth. Having a strong sense of color and living within a vibrant corporate palette allows us to clarify our identity without losing the freedom to explore and express ourselves in new ways.
In addition to color, photography and typography, we’ve developed an extensive set of graphic and motion graphic elements that will be used in our communications. We’ve taken inspiration from the new Bing symbol by taking all angles to infinity and adding in levels of color and transparency to add depth and energy. We call this the Searchlight graphic as it uses the Bing symbol as a prism of light and inspiration. We created it as a visual device to show energy and motion between experiences and the visual connective thread that ties our products together.
A system for the future
The new Bing identity is more than a new logo and color palette – it’s a system of brand architecture that allows us to strategically and visually evolve Bing in line with our mission and our products. We didn’t set out to just provide data via blue links on the web. We set out to provide clarity, decisions and insights. Bing is no longer just a search engine on a web page. It’s a brand that combines search technology across products you use every day to help empower you with insights. It’s time we all stepped out of the confines of the search box to stop searching and start finding.
– Scott Erickson, Senior Director, Brand and Creative