Microsoft, Traf-o-Data, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have more in common than you might think. Not only were they founded by philanthropist extraordinaire, Bill Gates, but these three companies also have black logos. So what does this say about Bill Gates’ favorite color?
Despite his tendency to use the color black, Bill Gates does not have a favorite color. A little known fact is that Gates is actually color-blind. In a 2016 interview, XBLA creator Greg Canessa explained that Bill came up with the colorless mode on Zuma because he is color-blind.
It’s unknown whether Bill Gates has been color-blind his entire life or whether this is something that has developed in his later years. In any case, as a multi-billionaire poor vision certainly hasn’t impeded Gates’ success.
Stick around if you’re interested in finding out the true extent of Bill Gates’ vision issues plus the psychology behind the Microsoft logo.
Is Bill Gates Colour-Blind?
For some celebrities, color is a huge part of their identity – Justin Bieber’s purple, Billie Eilish’s green, the 1975’s pink, for instance. But for Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates this isn’t the case.
From the suits he wears to the cars he drives, Bill maintains a monotone color palette in all areas of his life. So it seems to make sense that Gates is color-blind. After all, why would he wear bright colors if he cannot personally experience them or ascertain how they make him feel?
While it’s no secret that Bill Gates wears glasses, the fact that he is color-blind remained undiscovered until 2016. Speaking to IGN Unfiltered about Gates’ involvement in Xbox Live Arcade, Greg Canessa explained:
“He personally was a casual gamer. He loved Zuma in particular. And so he wanted to actually give feedback on the experience. […] He is actually the guy who came up with the colorblind mode – because he’s colorblind – that we actually ended up implementing in all of the PopCap games and most of the XBLA games that were color-dependent.”
As a keen philanthropist and advocate for disadvantaged populations, it seems somewhat surprising that Bill hasn’t used his platform to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by color-blind people.
Maybe Bill Gates is embarrassed about his condition? Or perhaps Gates has acquired color blindness over the last few years and is still coming to terms with it? What do you think?
The Psychology of the Colour Black
With that in mind, it’s easy to see why all of Bill Gates’ businesses started out with black logos – because color didn’t make any difference to him. But color has a huge impact on the way consumers perceive a brand. So what does the color black actually mean?
The first Microsoft logo was showcased in 1975. In line with the company’s original name ‘Micro-soft’, the logo is set out over two lines and features a black 70’s / disco style font. Each letter is made up of several concentric lines.
According to Oberlo, the use of black symbolizes power, mystery, sophistication, and luxury. Most people associate black with fancy limousines and expensive dresses. So using black in their logo helped to convey Microsoft as a successful, knowledgeable company way before it actually became one.
The Psychology of Colour
Nevertheless, Microsoft’s monotone branding had a major overhaul in 2012. By this point, Bill Gates’ influence at Microsoft had been declining for several years after stepping down as CEO in 2000.
Like other big-name brands such as Google and eBay, Microsoft decided it was time to implement some color. The updated logo features four colorful squares plus the word ‘Microsoft’ written in a grey sans-serif font.
The four squares are red, green, blue, and yellow with the colors said to represent PowerPoint, Excel, Word, and Outlook. So the multi-colored nature of Microsoft’s updated logo is indicative of its wide product offering.