New Outlook icon

Microsoft today announced it is giving a facelift to its Office icons, bringing them into the modern era as Office continues to transform into a more collaborative suite. The new icons for Office 365 have been designed to embrace the history of Office while giving them a "bolder, lighter and friendlier" look.

Office icons updated with modernized design, rolling out in coming months

In announcing the new icons, Microsoft gave a little background on how it approached the design process:

We wanted a visual language that emotionally resonates across generations, works across platforms and devices, and echoes the kinetic nature of productivity today.

Our design solution was to decouple the letter and the symbol in the icons, essentially creating two panels (one for the letter and one for the symbol) that we can pair or separate. This allows us to maintain familiarity while still emphasizing simplicity inside the app.

Each icon, Microsoft explains, now focuses more on the content produced by each app, rather than a document outline for Word and a spreadsheet outline for Excel, for example. The icons have also switched up the letter-to-symbol ration, giving two-thirds of the space to the symbol and one-third to the letter. This shift was made to "[speak] more to people's creations," Microsoft says.

The new icons are set to roll out across all platforms in the coming months. You'll start seeing them on mobile and the web first, with other platforms to follow.

News of the updated icons also comes as Microsoft has pushed out a minor update to its Office Mobile apps on Windows 10, bringing a new radial color picker that was first spotted in testing in September.