Rebranding the creative heart of Microsoft
A versatile design system unifies Microsoft’s global creative space, The Garage.
Global Brand Guidelines
A brand for internal audiences must speak to a company’s existing culture just as much as it promotes desired qualities to that culture. That is the key to authenticity in messaging and design.
The Garage is Microsoft’s center of creativity, a space for any employee from any department to pursue and collaborate on passion projects. But it needed a brand that better positioned the space as Microsoft’s engine of innovation.
Traina rebranded The Garage to unite the collective passion of the Microsoft community around a distinct and dynamic brand identity.
The Garage is named for where Microsoft first began back in the 1970’s. Where the prior identity conveyed this literally in a garage door, we abstracted the concept into a rectangular housing that could evoke a maker space, a physical structure or a shape that hearkens to the boxed windows of Microsoft’s ubiquitous OS.
The logo’s modular design adapts into a secondary image mark which can be applied to events like their annual Hackathon, where a scaled down image shows association without overpowering the event’s magnitude.
A palette of select colors likewise relates to the Microsoft brand, using complementary hues made bright and vibrant to match the spirit of the space.
Messaging and identity
We conceived and customized a suite of messaging that is as bold and welcoming as the thick typeface used to express it. Paired with a series of technically-inspired, playful animations, the two elements complement each other to produce a rich, dynamic presence for the brand.
Hand-drawn details further evoke a loose, experimental feel, representing the kind of craft and creativity that can be pursued in The Garage.
Wall of fame
The Garage’s Wall of Fame celebrates compelling projects and people who have made the most of the space. We explored how this concept could live in a digital form.
The Garage has locations at Microsoft offices worldwide, so we made sure the brand would resonate across communities and stay consistent within a robust visual system.
Whether expressed digitally or in a physical context, the brand is built to excite Microsoft employees with a spirit of maximizing potential, a sentiment that can be brandished proudly throughout the organization.
Rounding out the project, we explored applications from large wall graphics down to swag for employees to embrace the spirit of The Garage as the catalyst of an innovative and creative culture at Microsoft.