The Challenge: To redesign the Visual Studio icon. The goal of the project was to explore alternate designs for the Visual Studio icon based on the possibility that a different design could be used for the icon for future releases. The project was done in a collaborative team environment, together with designer Bethel Blakesley, coordinator Cherry Wang, and design manager Lena Yeoh. 

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Stage One: Mood board. The design team created a mood board in OneNote to gather images and inspiration based on keywords that describe Visual Studio.

Stage Two: Sketches. I explored hundreds of design possibilities by sketching ideas on paper. 

Stage Three:  Illustrator mock-ups. I expanded on ideas from my rough sketches, and came up with more variations in Illustrator. Our team then combined all of the best ideas we had come up with and presented them to the stakeholders. At this stage, some of the designs were ruled out while others were selected for further exploration.

Stage Four: Infinity symbols. It was decided at this stage that since the current logo design is an infinity symbol and is well recognized by users, the redesigned icon should retain the infinity symbol metaphor. I continued by exploring several hundred additional infinity symbol designs, both in rough sketch format and in Illustrator.

Stage Five: Variations on top 5 designs. We then took the designs that the stakeholders showed the most interest in and created more variations. We presented these along with some new infinity design ideas to the stakeholders. 

Stage Six: Evolution. It was decided that several of the designs would be selected to be used for future releases. I then explored how the current Visual Studio logo could evolve over the next few releases.

Stage Seven: Finalists. After several more rounds of iterations, these three new designs were selected.

Stage Eight: Icon container shapes and colours. I then explored options for how the new infinity symbols could be displayed within a background shape and in different colour palettes.

Final Word: Ultimately it was decided that the current Visual Studio icon would continue to be used for future releases instead of changing it, due to the established brand recognition.

All designs and material displayed on this page are Copyright ©Microsoft.

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