The Outlook is not a young project, although a web application with that name appeared relatively recently, in mid-2012. It had one predecessor – the Hotmail email service. It was launched in 1996 by two businessmen, and a year later, it was bought out by Microsoft. Later, the service became part of the Windows Live structure and was listed in it until 2011. Then the management disbanded the set of special services and, in the wake of the rebranding, renamed Hotmail to Outlook.com.
Meaning and History
Distinguish Outlook with the “.com” domain from a similar Microsoft Office application. They are two different things, although their logos have been identical since 2019, and the software icons have been the same since 2013. Despite the visual similarity, they have different stories that converged on one point only after the disappearance of Hotmail.
1996 – 1997
In 1996, the era of the HoTMaiL postal service began. Its name on the logo was written just like that – with “H,” “T,” “M,” and “L” in upper case. The fact is that the developers used HTML when creating web pages, so they decided to pay tribute to the popular programming language. The lettering was double: in the foreground, there were crisp red letters with three-dimensional shading and highlights, and in the background, there were their translucent blue shadows with a slight blur effect.
1997 – 1998
A year after the service was created, the owners decided to renew its visual identity. To do this, they chose the emblem in the form of a rhombic red postage stamp depicting parallels and meridians. In the animated version, the planet was spinning. At the bottom was the name of the service, written in black letters. The font is sans-serif lowercase italics.
1998 – 2000
In late 1997, HoTMaiL was taken over by Microsoft. The global company incorporated it into MSN and redesigned it to match the new MSN Hotmail name. This is how the corresponding inscription appeared on the logo, divided into two parts. The abbreviation took pride of place at the top against the background of an inverted orange oval, and the second word was located below the bottom. The letter “H” is now capitalized.
2000 – 2007
At the start of the new millennium, MSN changed its logo. This was reflected in the identity of the postal service because the management wanted to unify all brands. In the new version, the blue abbreviation “MSN” was on the left, and there was a multicolored butterfly above its upper right corner. On the right, the designers have rendered the word “Hotmail” using a solid black font.
2007 – 2010
In 2007, the brand became Windows Live Hotmail. His logo now has this phrase, written in a sans serif font of different weights. On the left side, there was a distinctive Windows checkbox.
2010 – 2011
The logo’s creators split the label into two lines: “Windows Live” at the top and “Hotmail” at the bottom. The flag was replaced by an icon with an orange envelope in 3D style.
2011 – 2013
In 2011, the Windows Live brand disappeared, so the name was replaced by Microsoft.
2012 – 2013
The word “Microsoft” was removed, “Hotmail” was orange, and the envelope was two-dimensional.
2012 – 2019
In 2012, Outlook.com replaced the old email service. Its name on the emblem took the same place as “Hotmail.” A rectangle with a white “O” has been added to the envelope. The designers preferred blue as the main color.
2019 – today
In 2019, the web application began using the same logo as the Microsoft Office program of the same name: a large blue envelope with two rectangles. One shape with the letter “O” was on the left. The second one looked out of the envelope and consisted of pixels of different shades.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The letter “O” stands for the name of the Outlook service. The rectangle in the background symbolizes paper writing. All corners are rounded to inspire subconscious trust in users.
The current logo is not labeled, but it used to be a sans serif font. Blue has a shade of # 0072C6.