The New Windows 8 Logo

Posted by on Feb 20, 2012 in Branding, Innovation | 10 Comments

AMC Creative // Windows 8 Logo

As Microsoft frantically programs and polishes what may be its most important Windows update ever – Windows 8 – it has also revised the operating system’s visual identity. They tell us that Windows 8 is a bold departure from previous editions. Now the Windows logo is being re-imagined as well, and the results may surprise some people.

Microsoft hired the global design firm Pentagram, which has done re-branding for Nissan, Walgreens, The Metropolitan Museum and countless others, to re-imagine the logo. The result is a pale blue logo that leans toward the clean lines of Windows 8’s new Metro interface, while paying homage to Windows logos of the past. What some people think of as the “flag” has been replaced with a four-pane window that angles off into the distance.

Early versions of the Windows logo made it clear that the flag was originally intended as a Window — what Sam Moreau, Principal Director of User Experience for Windows, called “a metaphor for computing,” in the blog post announcing the design change, However, with each version the Window became wavier, until it was, well, a flag.

Interestingly, the logo is probably most inspired by the very first Windows logo design, which also had a four-pane box, though it looks little like a Window.

AMC Creative // Windows Logos

Considering how strikingly different Windows 8 will be from any Windows OS that’s come before it, this austere and slightly dull design is a bit of a disappointment. Still, the outcome clearly aligns with the goals of the project. Microsoft wanted it to be “modern and classic” and to eschew any “faux industrial design characteristics” like rendered glass, wood or plastic. And the software giant wanted it to be “humble, yet confident.”

The default color may strike some as too weak for a logo, but Moreau said in the post that the logo will change color when you change your system colors.

What do you think of the new logo?

(Article originally published on Mashable)

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10 Comments

  1. derrick pearl (the earl)
    March 10, 2012

    yeah, i like it too. it’s a window you can open and yet you don’t have to. like a computer. and it’s a lot less wavier. like a mac. see, they don’t miss a beat. i can’t wait to change my system colours.
    thanks for that

    • AMC
      March 13, 2012

      Thanks for your thoughts Derrick. Critics will often have issues with ‘simple’ icons/logos, but the designs in most cases have been distilled down from highly complicated initial concepts. I am certain that the brief for the new Windows logo had very narrow goal posts and very wide expectations. Thanks again, MH

  2. Micha
    April 5, 2012

    Giants move slow, and in order to keep up with the rest they start a diet. I do hope for Microsoft that they will also create a fresh unobstructive products. A fancy logo won’t stand a chance if the product will keep on being deformed. Consumers are not stupid. Sadly MS never came up with a breakthrough idea. Hopefully the new brand will bring with it a fresh ecosystem core which is both innovative and friendly for users and developers.
    Happy Easter.

    • AMC
      April 10, 2012

      Thanks Micha, interesting points of view… hope Bill is reading this! M

  3. Matty
    April 19, 2012

    But where are the other 4 windows? ; ) I dunno – the beauty’s in the detail, and I’m just not sure whether this is unique enough. “I’m not in love” with it (saw 10CC the other week – awesome!)

    • AMC
      April 21, 2012

      Thanks Matty. I like clean lines and pure designs, but I may agree with you on this one. They pay homage to the heritage, but is it saying anything new and exciting? Could it in this format?

  4. Anthony Tone Bullen
    April 20, 2012

    Why did Pentagram decide to draw the perspective inaccurately? A square window with square panes viewed at this angle would be tall, not wide. I’m disappointed the result looks like it was created using default settings in Illustrator, rather than the carefully crafted symbol I expected.

  5. Stan
    May 23, 2012

    The time to load the logo should be a fair bit faster then, being effectively 1 bit and a websafe colour 🙂 They’ll save on printing costs too. It is amazing how a simple logo can be effective though. Dare I mention Apple and their rebrand that dropped the coloured stripes. Maybe it also reflects the mood of the post-GFC world that Win 8 is being launched into. It certainly is in line with the new “metro” look for Win 8.

    • AMC
      May 23, 2012

      Nice ideas Stan. Not sure if logo load times and print costs were high on the list of priorities given to Pentagram, but it makes for a good back-story. Thanks for your thoughts, especially the post-GFC colour palette… go mono! M