So about that Windows 8 logo…

So there you have it, the Windows 8 logo. I was wrong about it being a fake. It’s very much a real, thing. I’m just going to quote from the popular and respected “Brand New” corporate identities blog which I wholeheartedly agree with.

With Windows Like These Who Needs Enemies?

…(Segoe) works best as a user interface ingredient but as the typography on a logo, it’s extremely underwhelming — pair it with the worst rendition yet of the Windows window and you have a real loser. I’m not saying the previous Windows icons were good, but they had enough abstraction (and gradients and shadows and highlights) to at least look techie and Microsoft-ey, but this “minimal” approach looks like, well, a window. A window in a $400-a-month studio apartment rental with beige carpeting and plastic drapes. Moving away from the more flag-like icon seems like abandoning two decades of equity — crappy equity, but equity nonetheless.

Since I know it’s unreasonable to suggest going back to the drawing board (although not impossible), here are some minor tweaks I would suggest to make it a little easier to swallow.

Update: The design studio behind the new logo Pentagram posted a video showing the logo being animated. I must admit in animation, it does further drive the message of “motion”, but I have to wonder how applicable it is to common uses like the keyboard/hardware button and bitmap graphics on screen.

Windows 8 Transparency from Pentagram on Vimeo.

They also note the “crossbar” is actually not in perspective on purpose, which is an interesting design choice as it would mean the logo doesn’t scale at all, but has to be re-rendered for every size.

The perspective drawing is based on classical perspective drawing, not computerized perspective. The cross bar stays the same size no matter the height of the logo, which means it has to be redrawn for each time it increases in size, like classic typography.

The crossbar posted on their site actually differs to the one posted by Microsoft which leads me to believe they are already running into the scaling issues already. Will the real Windows 8 logo please stand up.

47 insightful thoughts

  1. It is awful. Not awful in the sense of being ugly or anything, but in the sense of abandoning something that was better and didn’t need to be changed. It suggests people being in charge who don’t actually care about the stuff they’re messing with and would rather make a change, because they get to claim it, rather than it being a good idea.

    1. I’m sorry but the current logo has absolutely no place within a Metro interface. More than at any other time, this version of Windoze absolutely needs a new logo. I’m not convinced this is the correct new logo but it is certainly going to work better with Metro. I like the WinPhone logo much better.

  2. Yes, the perspective looks wonky and awkward, but when you compare this window to the related transition animation from Windows Phone, the angle is a perfect fit. It’s obvious where they got their inspiration from but I think it’s probably too literal.

  3. It looks very plain and simple and out of the way. I like it personally. I always found it hard to design around the old logo becuase it stood out too much and didn’t go with much of anything, it was especially bad as a sticker on laptops. This logo can go with anything and will be very easy to animate in the UX of the OS, ads etc.

  4. let’s hope they are listening to your suggested changes. that vertical line – too wide – is now forever burned into my memory.

  5. Well, Segoe is not just for interfaces. As you know it is a complete family of typefaces, some of them optimized for UI. But for that logo they used a special version (print version?) of the Segoe WP. Something between regular and semibold weight.

    I personally don’t like the “8” from the Segoe WP font family. It does look like two circles on each other. The “8” on the Segoe you used looks much better almost like the infinity symbol.

  6. I agree with you that your version for the most part looks better (I like the bold 8 better), however there is one thing you are not considering. By changing the kerning, you can no longer use the default font installed on devices, especially web browsers, to display the windows logo. The genius here is that the logo font is already everywhere.

  7. I really liked the Windows logo on the Developer Preview Start button. Your version definitely is more of a delight to the forgetabble current blandness.

  8. Changing something that’s successful is a fashion at Microsoft post-XP because they equate radical changes = progress and minimal UI/look changes=no progress.

    1. The second one is better than MS but the first one keeps the old logo’s four colours. The first one is perfect since I doubt MS will turn back on the official logo I hope OpticShape releases his logo on white / black backgrounds so people can mod Win8 when it comes out.

  9. I like the new Windows 8 logo. You made good effort retweaking the logo but I think the original design is still better.

  10. I happen to think the logo is the least important thing about Windows 8. Apple just have words and the Apple icon. Perhaps MS mimicked Apples minimalism approach. The criticism seems personal like why can’t Microsoft do anything right. I will believe in MS if their new product hits it out of the ballpark.

  11. I’d like the original better if they could use colors similar to the original Windows logo, and make it less tilted out. Also, perhaps use more square icons rather than the rectangles, and I’d still think it’d do a good job of representing the synergy between Microsoft’s new “live tiles” approach and their traditional Windows system.

  12. For Aero environment, retail packaging, websites and everywhere else but the Start Screen, MS should use the colored logo with gradients. A user at PCWorld seems to have created just that with the colors gotten absolutely spot on and see how beautiful it looks:

    http://forums.pcworld.com/uploads/av-250035.png (Small)
    http://forums.pcworld.com/uploads/profile/photo-250035.png (Medium)http://img816.imageshack.us/img816/5606/win8logomockup.png (Large)

    They should use the Metro logo only in the Start Screen UI, not everywhere else. Just like colored logo looks out of place in the Metro environment, the bland single color logo looks out of place outside of Metro.

  13. In essence this logo just encapsulates everything that is wrong with Microsoft today. You would think with the amount of money they have available they could do better than that.

  14. I didn’t think your tweaking would amount to much of a difference but it’s surprising how much easier on the eye it is. The official one makes me feel slightly dizzy!

    I like the logo change overall. The flag was always a bit rubbish IMHO. I just don’t quite agree with the perspective of the “window”. It seems to go against the whole Metro design philosophy (as I understand it). I prefer the Microsoft Store logo (http://bit.ly/wU0gYf) although that is perhaps too busy for Metro?

    I think they should have gone with the original Windows 1 logo, that’s cool

  15. I don’t care about the design of a logo; my concerns lie with the OS and back compatibility when MSFT release W8 on the world

  16. I think there is a fundamental issue with the logo not aligning with the UI. The UI uses simple colors and shapes and moves left to right, top to bottom in TWO dimensional form. The Windows 8 logo rightly uses flat colors, but the ignores the two-dimensional aspect by introducing perspective and in the process becomes 3d… which is out of keeping. Then the Windows 8 INTRO continues in 3d… I don’t understand their thinking…

  17. Peronally I prefer the logo like Microsoft uses for its marketing at the moment and while I have no doubts about your vision or ‘philosophy’ on logo design and typography I don’t think your ‘tweaks’ have resulted in a better logo. Altough your intention was to make it appear more ‘light’ I think the original still takes the edge in this repect, this especially goes for the windows logo itself. Narrowing the space between the ‘window segments’ makes the logo to appear much heavier than the original.

  18. Maybe, just adding some space (double?) between the ‘blocks’ would do the trick. By the way I agree on your arguments on the vertical line in the logo. This seems logical.

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