If you haven’t customized your Windows 8 lockscreen wallpaper, then you would be looking at the colorful illustration of the Space Needle set against Seattle’s mountain ranges. It turns out that to be the work of Marius Bauer, a talented designer who worked with Microsoft to create the default Start screen and lockscreen wallpapers now seen by millions of people.
On his personal blog, Marius shows off a selection of images from the initial concept phases that explored the combination of silhouettes and nature, which are a source of inspiration for the all-digital designer. Many of the original artworks appear to be loosely focused on the stems of leafs and petals of flowers.
It’s a very interesting style that’s unfortunately not part of the final design.
Before the Microsoft design team finally settled on the Seattle illustration we now see today, there was also a very alluring hybrid photograph-illustration based on the Space Needle wallpaper included in Windows 7 by Will Austin. The combination of vivid colors reflected from the metallic walls of the EMP Museum and the simplified shading in the Space Needle illustration is quite complementary.
I only wish Maurius has the rights to make some of those early concept wallpapers available for download as they’re a great alternative to the official ones in Windows 8.