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Microsoft rolls out a dramatically different logo for Windows 8

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Announced on Microsoft’s The Windows Blog earlier today, the software company has officially announced the redesigned logo for Windows 8 after it was leaked on a Chinese site on Monday. While the color scheme is different than the leaked version, the design is definitely the same. Designed to emulate the Metro style of Windows 8, the monochromatic logo is much simpler than the Windows 7 logo which was previously mistaken for a flag according to the blog.

windows-8-logoAs explained by Samuel Moreau, the User Experience Director at Microsoft, he states “We wanted the new logo to be both modern and classic by echoing the International Typographic Style (or Swiss design) that has been a great influence on our Metro style design philosophy. Using bold flat colors and clean lines and shapes, the new logo has the characteristics of way-finding design systems seen in airports and subways.”

Moreau continues “It was important that the new logo carries our Metro principle of being “Authentically Digital”. By that, we mean it does not try to emulate faux-industrial design characteristics such as materiality (glass, wood, plastic, etc.). It has motion – aligning with the fast and fluid style you’ll find throughout Windows 8. Our final goal was for the new logo to be humble, yet confident. Welcoming you in with a slight tilt in perspective and when you change your color, the logo changes to reflect you. It is a “Personal” Computer after all.”

windows-1The logo most closely resembles the Windows 1.0 logo released in conjunction with the first version of the operating system during 1985. The 1985 logo uses a similar light blue color as well as shapes designed to emulate a window. This massive shift in Microsoft’s Windows branding pays homage to the logo that started it all, but pushes a minimal design similar to the direction Apple went during its logo changes over the years. 

Shetland_FlagAccording to ReadWriteWeb, the color scheme and white cross pattern on the four frames is similar to flags within several countries. It’s similar to “the flag of the French city of Calais, the Estonian city of Pärnu, the former flag of Iceland, the flag flown by some ships of the Greek Navy and a classic Nordic Cross flag, still flown today over Shetland Province in Scotland.”

The new logo is already drawing various levels of criticism on the Web from technology blogs. Joe Wilcox at BetaNews called the logo a disaster and used imagery of the Titanic in his critique. Sean Ludwig at VentureBeat called the logo bland and that it could have easily been created within Microsoft Paint. Over at UnderConsideration, graphic designer Armin Vit simply called the logo a “real loser.” Devin Coldewey at Techcrunch shows off a humorous version of the new logo that uses the four light blue panels to incorporate the “Blue Screen of Death.” Graphic designer Julius Tarng points out that the logo is out of perspective, if the new logo supposed to emulate a square window.

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While the logo was designed by Paula Scher at the international design consultancy Pentagram, this hasn’t stopped freelance designers from posting a large variety of logo redesigns on the official blog post. Various design suggestions include altering the perspective of the frames, putting the four colors back into the frames or even incorporating a range of Windows apps into the logo. People has been leaving comments describing the new logo ranging from “amazing” to “disaster” as well as consistently questioning why Microsoft is forgoing the iconic color scheme found within Windows logos dating back over two decades. Microsoft officials have yet to post any followup comments in response to consumer questions regarding the debated redesign.