Disclaimer: Microsoft Office products are great in their field and we use them with pleasure. However, iconwise, they are far from perfect.
Microsoft Office icons are problematic because:
- No icon style guidelines, which means…
- Total anarchy in design
- No freebies!
Who you gonna call?
Ghostbusters! Icons8 with our new Office icons. Here’s why.
1. Compare the Tab Bars
First of all, let’s place our icons in Office’s tab bars so we can compare them with original Microsoft designs.
Experimental conditions: Our team of professional designers and developers couldn’t find anyone further from UX than Uliana, our content strategist and a former fashion model.
Tools: a free graphic editor called PicPick and a free gif-recording tool called Gyazo.
Uliana proudly presents:
Look at that — better than Microsoft! (that’s up to you, actually)
2. Icons8 Icons Are Responsive
This gif shows that our designers have drawn each icon in 4 variations to fit any screen (16x16px and 30x30px are adapted for standard displays, 40x40px and 80x80px are for retina).
3. Consistency in Style
Microsoft has not issued any style guidelines for their icons. As a result their icon set looks like nobody was allowed to draw more than one icon:
The problems here are:
- Different borders
- Inconsistent icon corners
- Grids, anyone?
Let us humbly promote these…
We have created our own style guide for Office icons:
- 16, 30, 40, and 80px grid
- Pastel colors
- 1px border
4. Well-Balanced Visual Weight
Visual weight is how big, dense, and heavy an icon is perceived. We explain it in-depth here. In short, icons should look nearly identical in size, and Microsoft’s images certainly do not fit this parameter:
These are our icons for comparison. Squint test passed!
5. Available for Free Download
Office icons are free in PNG. Yes, that’s right, and we are sane, by the way. We hope to see them in your shiny interfaces.
A huge bonus: the first 100 icons are also free as vectors! Save them to your account and they’ll be yours forever.