Friday, February 17, 2012

The New Windows Logo

That there is the new Windows 8 logo. Yep, they've gotten rid of the "flag" and gone back to the original metaphor of a. . .wait for it. . .WINDOW!

In a post over on the official Windows Team Blog this is what they had to say about it:
Now, as a designer I have a few minor issues with this new logo.

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 colors 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 color, the logo changes to reflect you. It is a “Personal” Computer after all.

  1. The "window" element feels like an island unto itself rather than associated with the wordmark. My right brain is crying out for that to be to the right of the lettering.
  2. The dot on the "i" sticks up above the top line of the "W" and "d" for no apparent reason. I want that to be aligned properly.
  3. The dot on the "i" is a circle, and I feel it should be slightly oval-shaped to mirror the negative space in the "8" (it's a subtle thing, true, but it's a nearly subconscious way to help tie it all together).
  4. The "window" element is boring. Windows has long made use of the Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow blocks in the logo, and the "Metro UI" does actually use multi-colored blocks, so there is no good design reason I can see to drop color completely.
  5. The "window" element is slightly out of scale with the wordmark. The "far" end of the perspective on the window should be the same height as the "8" (again to help tie it all together).
  6. My last point is a legal concern (if I were hired to design this logo, that is) regarding the fact the "window" element on it's own is a "simple geometric shape." Typically the USPTO will not allow simple geometric shapes to be registered as trademarks since they are not distinctive enough. The same rule applies to copyrighting designs. Considering the "window" element WILL be used by itself, for example on computer keyboards for the ubiquitous "Windows Key," this potential legal issue with trademarking itseems an odd point to ignore.
It has also been pointed out that the perspective on the "window" element is wrong, that it is rectangular (like a flag) and not square (like a window) and the horizontal bar should be tapered. I'll grant that purposely doing it "wrong" might help make the "distinctive" argument for trademark purposes even if it is artistically annoying, so without knowing whether it was an actual mistake or purposeful I'm going to leave it alone.

So, without further ado, here is my quick and dirty reworking of the new logo addressing these points, and for easier direct comparison the actual logo. You decide - which do you prefer?