In advance of the release of Windows 8, Microsoft has been showing us bits and pieces of its newly redesigned UI. Now, we're getting our first look at the newly redesigned logo, the latest in a lineage of iconic symbols for the operating system.
The new logo keeps some heritage elements of the Windows design, but brings it into line with the Metro style design principles. The logo is much simpler than the last several iterations. It keeps the four-pane window design, but rather than waving like a flag as it has since Windows 3.1, the sides of the panes have been straightened out to make it look more like, well, a window. The new design also abandons the multi-colored scheme for a solid baby blue design. Interestingly, this blue colour is very similar to the blue used on the original windows logo.
Sam Moreau writes about the thinking behind the design on the Windows Team Blog:
With Windows 8, we approached the logo redesign with a few key goals on mind.
1. 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 colours and clean lines and shapes, the new logo has the characteristics of way-finding design systems seen in airports and subways.
2. 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.
3. 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 colour, the logo changes to reflect you. It is a "Personal" Computer after all.
The blog post contains some really interesting insights into the evolution of the logo over time. I don't know how I feel about the new logo, but the timeline above sure makes me feel old. Windows 1.0 was released in 1985, not too long after I was ejected from my mother's womb. I didn't use Windows until version 3.1, and I'm personally partial to the Windows XP logo — probably because I never felt any affinity for Vista or Windows 7. [Windows Team Blog]