back to article Microsoft explains bland new Windows logo

Microsoft has detailed the thinking behind the latest change in its logo for Windows, saying the new design brings the software back to its roots. “If you look back to the origins of the logo you see that it really was meant to be a window,” blogged Sam Moreau, principal director of user experience for Windows. "Windows really …

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Bronze badge
WTF?

What hutzpah!

To actually trademark that... thing. And, for Scher, to cash the cheque.

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FAIL

As crap as the Olympic logo is, it does at least get your attention. How can Microsoft sanction something so dull? And the font kerning is pretty crap, they should have at least moved the dot on the i down so that the top lined up with the top of the W.

As with the Olympic logo whatever they paid the agency was far, far too much. An intern could do a better job in MS Paint.

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Silver badge

It seems to me they're deliberately cultivating a kind of "rough edges" look. Why, I have no idea. But it is reminiscent of the styling used in Metro, so I assume they're doing it on purpose.

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Flame

huh?

"Windows really is a beautiful metaphor for computing and with the new logo we wanted to celebrate the idea of a window, in perspective.”

Kill me...

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Branding

'why do Microsoft spend so much money on this sort of thing' WHY! because it is so important and they actually spend a lot less time and attention on it than Apple. People do actually buy IT for any number of reasons BUT one of them is definitely design of the product brand. This is one of the reasons Apple stay on top. (Not the only reason but a significant one). But you guys at the Register surely get this! Brand design is about tuning in to the mindset of your customers and helping them connect with the experience. Do I like the new Windows logo? Do I like the London Olympics branding. YES, I like new, I like different, it lets me know something has changed. Maybe in this world today BRAND design is the only thing that makes your product really different... now I expect that will get the technical guys really going... answers on a postcard...

Stuart Greenfield -

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Branding

Cannot tell if marketing dribbler or troll...

Kindly state which you are.

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Anonymous Coward

>"tuning in to the mindset of your customers and helping them connect with the experience."

“…counterpoint the surrealism of the underlying metaphor…” Hm-hm. Death’s too good for them.

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Alien

Marketing Dribbler or Troll?

"Brand design is about tuning in to the mindset of your customers and helping them connect with the experience."

Marketing dweeb, no question about it. One of the few downsides of my work is that in the course of designing a campaign, I'm forced to work with marketing dweebs, and this is how they talk. No, really; this is pretty much the way they talk normally -- not just in meetings or press releases, but in the cafeteria, in the bar, at lunches. It's like they're mutants, something not human, but something weird and creepy and oily.

(space alien icon, because, honestly, marketing dweebs are from another goddamn' planet)

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Re: Branding

...let me know something has changed... (and I paraphrased your line).

So, the fact that there's a huge "8" next to Windows isn't enough to tell customers that this is the new version of Windows?

I have always been under the impression that the only real reasons for a new corporate logo are either 1) to waste resources or 2) an attempt to distance the company from a recent mistake.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: >"tuning in to the mindset of your customers and helping them connect with the experience."

> “…counterpoint the surrealism of the underlying metaphor…” Hm-hm. Death’s too good for them.

Brilliant! You owe me a new keyboard :-)

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Thumb Up

Re: >"tuning in to the mindset of your customers and helping them connect with the experience."

What a brilliant exposition of ad-speak!

The rest fits in perfectly as well:

"Of the poet’s compassionate soul which contrived through the medium of the verse structure to sublimate this, transcend that and come to terms with the fundamental dichotomies of the other. And one is left with a profound and vivid insight into… err…

FORD:

Into whatever it was …

FORD:

…that the poem was about…

Just substitute "poet's" with "adman's" (or should I rather say "adperson's"? I'm not good with pc-speak) and Bob's your uncle.

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No substantiated reports of a faint essence of joss sticks and whalesong in the area at the time?

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Headmaster

As a designer...

Maybe it's just me, but apart from being incredibly boring, I'd say this logo has technical flaws, that really don't look good for a tech company. The blue shape is in perspective, but the white lines are not. The horizontal line should taper towards the left, as the blue shape does. The fact that it doesn't leads to a weird, presumably unintended optical illusion, which makes the windows on the left and right sides seem to be different sizes (maybe they are! But that would be strange window design). Maybe they did this so it would still work at low resolutions, but that's not a good reason.

The old flag designs may have been a bit garish, but I thought they were clever, by taking the Windows metaphor, and making it 'flexible', 'dynamic' and 'iconographic'. I wish they'd sort it out, I do like windows, but all of their marketing seems to fail and confuse.

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Doesn't do much for me

just makes me wonder what's behind the square window, for some reason.

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WTF?

Marketing...

... dept. working hard as usual!

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Go

well ...

... oh forget it; few sheople give a shit.

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Re: well ...

> ... oh forget it; few sheople give a shit.

It's written "sheeple", and keep your voice low or they'll wake up.

http://xkcd.com/1013/

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FAIL

Never understood this re-branding thing...

The logo doesn't matter.

What matters is shoving it in the [potential] customers face as often as possible. If the logo is already recognisable from years of use, why change it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Never understood this re-branding thing...

It all makes work for the marketing men to do...

The old logo has been around a long time, everybody knows it: sketch a monochrome version in a cartoon and people will recognise the reference. It is a brand, stamp it on a product and, love 'em or hate 'em, we know who's product it is.

But where's the marketing glory in that? So bring out the whale song and joss sticks, someone want to show how clever they are. Or not.

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Re: Never understood this re-branding thing...

Marketing dept. trying to justify they're overpaid, overvalued positions.

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Go

wtf there's no Windows 89

anyway,

Imho it looks like M$ is getting a bit back to it's roots with the Windows 1.x and 2.x logos, and naturally of course (as others have said) it also looks like Metro tiles. You'll have to excuse me for being an old Windows flag guy but I think I can live with this new one.

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Like Windows 1.x

It has a CGA colour monitor look.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh, dear - Made on a Mac

Pentagram is, and always has been, a Mac house, according to Ms Scher:

“We didn’t invest in anything else. We started that way, we bought better Macs, we bought faster Macs, we bought more Macs, we still buy Macs.”

http://www.apple.com/ca/pro/design/scher/

Isn't this fun?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh, dear - Made on a Mac

My apologies - the quote I used actually comes from page 2 of the Scher article:

http://www.apple.com/ca/pro/design/scher/index2.html

Still fun though.

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Trollface

Return to the roots?

Like a 55-years-old woman after a messy divorce who dresses and makes up as if she was 18?

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Pint

Re: Return to the roots?

As long as she has fun, who cares?

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Facepalm

@ theodore

Actually, I care, and I'm sure quite a few other people do also, who'd rather not have to hold in our vomit while forced to look at some hideously deformed collagen and botox monstrosity with miniskirted tree-trunk legs and varicose veins like the Amazon river system trying desperately to recapture its youth, down at the local shopping mall!

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Coffee/keyboard

Speaking as a graphic designer with 30+ years' experience...

B'WAHH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAHHHHH.

Jeezus H. Bicycle-Riding CHRIST. That goddamn' logo looks as if it were done in about ten minutes, as soon as somebody realized that the client pitch meeting was in fifteen minutes. The sad thing is that Microsoft coughed up a massive wad of cash for that logo.

Still, I do have to give the designers credit for making sure that the shade of blue they used didn't match the value of the infamous BSOD Blue. Still, they couldn't have picked a more bland shade if they tried. It's also worth noting that the shade of blue they've picked is very much like the kind of electric pastel shades common in the Rounded Rectangle School Of Web 2.0 Pseudo 70s Retro Mod Design, which is already pretty much "played" (as we designers say). Seriously, man; colors like that belong on the shelf with such relics as your Late 80s Designing With Two Colors Which Should Never Appear Together (remember all those goddamn' print pieces designed with teal and purple? Sadly, I do).

So, just to reiterate: B'WAHH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAHHHHH...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Speaking as a graphic designer with 30+ years' experience...

Well, I can see why you'd be laughing - I'm sure all Pentagram's best and brightest will be deserting them for your company now. Hope you ace the next Windows logo once Microsoft realise what a blunder they've made (if they can afford you).

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Thumb Up

Re: Speaking as a graphic designer with 30+ years' experience...

Hey, don't knock the ol' teal and purple! That horrendous colour scheme is what got my company a major contract with our state government!

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Gold badge

Not distinctive...

I don't use Windows anyway, so I don't REALLY give a toss. But I think those who point out it's not distinctive are right on

Firstly, they've used variations of the Windows 3.1 on up Windows logo for a looong time, and it is certainly recongizable by a lot of people. Throwing that out the window is not smart. Although, they are completely redoing the interface anyway.

But, more significantly, using 4 blue squares as a logo, umm... it doesn't stand out, and it's easy for some unrelated on-screen element to look like some blue boxes, especiallly given the fvwm-like (or dare I say it twm-like?) interface they seem to be favoring.

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windows 8 logo

does that mean this will appear on start-up when its loading oh wait you may not catch it quick enough if Microsoft claims that windows can boot in 8 seconds lol. doesn't look impressive to me think ill stick with windows 7 its better than xp and I see no need to upgrade for a long time windows 7 works for me and does what I want it to do.

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Eugh

I think a child could design that logo, or one that is better! It looks cheap and tacky!

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The best logo?

Frankly, their logo in '89 was the best. Everything after that sucked. This includes the Win8 logo. Looks like a Greek flag!

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Windows

Printer Test Page

So what are they going to put on the Printer Test Page in Windows 8?

That little flag in the corner has always been perfect for checking the colour is actually working, while not wasting tons of ink.

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Re: Printer Test Page

Best post in this thread.

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Anonymous Coward

I just hope they'll bring back Ted Moult too.

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Pint

It's shite..

Really, not worth a penny..

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Megaphone

I read all the comments...

And no-one said the most obvious statement: all that matters in the way it looks is that it must be inoffensive. It achieves that simple goal.

And why should it be inoffensive? Because the vast majority of computer users/buyers have their OS chosen for them by someone else. And that 'someone' does not care about the quality of the brand logo. So it really really REALLY doesn't fecking matter.

Marketing? WGAFF?

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FAIL

It is a flag - a Shetland flag...

http://mynokiablog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/shetland.jpg

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Holmes

@ Flameproof

Isn't that the place that the BBC weather men (aat least the ones with provincial accents) used to pronounce "Shitland".

I do believe it was a private joke of theirs.

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Joke

A Flag, yes - but not Shetland...

It's a reverse-Finnish Flag - to symbolize the reverse-takeover of Microsoft by Nokia. Oh, those cunning, cunning Finns! Well, I for one welcome our new Finnish-Microsoft Overlords...

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Silver badge

Monochrome tiles

For some unfathomable reason Microsoft have decided with Windows Phone 7 and Metro that everyone really likes a single colour scheme across all their tiles. Apparently the days of being able to pick out an action by a familiar shape AND colour are gone.

So in that context the logo makes sense I guess.

Fortunately most 3rd party apps put colour into their icons. to brighten things up but it still looks extremely bland in the default apps and I don't believe for a second that it makes things more usable either. Can't even change the background colour of a tile in WP7.5.

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Holmes

“Your name is Windows. Why are you a flag?”

That'll be three million dollars please.

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Re: “Your name is Windows. Why are you a flag?”

Your name is Windows. Why are you a parcel?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: “Your name is Windows. Why are you a flag?”

Your name is Windows, why are you a window?

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Facepalm

All the right notes, sunshine

Poor sods. You almost have to feel sorry for them.

No matter how much time and money they throw at a problem Microsoft always manages to come out with a solution that looks derivative and rather wonky. Must be a curse.

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Re: All the right notes, sunshine

Its no curse. Its management stupidity to the highest level. Microsoft has the ability to be a damned good and innovative company. They just have idiots/dolts/dumbasses/whatever in leadership positions.

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With apologies to "Love is Blue"

With the introduction of this logo, now we can do things like "Blue, Blue, my World is Blue, Blue is my World 'cause Windows 8 My Data."

Stare at the the blue boxes long enough, and the lines separating them will start to fill in with the blue color. Windows is all illusion!

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"Yes that's right, the last time I went to buy an operating system for my computer, I thought "you know what, I'm going with Windows this time becasue the logo looks cool".

Aesthetics over function? With the exception of the design (sic) community, isn't that exactly what the majority of people do when they're choosing a Mac?

A very apt logo given that the IT world is dumbing down and Microsoft couldn't recognise a strategic advantage if it jumped up and kicked them in the head...

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