Pentagram’s Paula Scher designs Microsoft Windows 8 Identity

Pentagram’s Paula Scher has designed an identity for Microsoft’s latest operating system Windows 8, using a graphic resembling a window pane.

New Windows 8 identity
New Windows 8 identity

Windows user experience director Sam Moreau has blogged that the new design responds to the company’s Metro design principles – a typography-based design language.

According to Moreau, Scher asked, ‘Your name is Windows, why are you using a flag?’

Moreau says, ‘If you look back at the origins of the logo you see that it really was meant to be a window. “Windows” really is a beautiful metaphor for computing and with the new logo we wanted to celebrate the idea of a window, in perspective.’

Original Microsoft Windows identity
Original Microsoft Windows identity

A window-pane graphic has not been used since Windows’ first incarnation, Microsoft Windows 1.0

The Windows 8 operating system launches later this month with the Pentagram-designed identity.

Hide Comments (23)Show Comments (23)
  • Jamie Homer November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I quite like it! It’s a nice fresh ident, yes it does look like a couple of other things, but my only gripe would be that it might be nice to have a little more negative space in between the window panes.

  • Richard Simmonds November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Ditto what Jamie Homer said.

  • Bernatom November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Emotionless. Sheer Swiss Style nostalgia, ergo, trendy. Identity shouldn’t be a matter of fashion if so brands will be prisoners of it. Consistency is the key for pertinence, that is if a brand stands for the same product / service over the time. Salute a classic (Coca-Cola) and ignore the pointless redesign (Pepsi) for the sake of money.

    To sum up, Windows certifies its wannabe condition (Apple minimalist look alike) with this “new” ID.

  • Papi bahal November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I thought ‘Catchphrase’ died years ago!!!

  • George Varela November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Idiot and obvious question Ms. Paula.
    The windows symbol is creative window, color and beatiful, a window in movement.

  • George Varela November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Agree Bernatom.

  • sadf November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    No matter what Windows does, apple fans will always chalk it back up to just trying to imitate Apple. Pretty pathetic.

  • jason irerie November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Boring, and very generic. A poor solution for a big company that’s trying to rethink who they are.

  • John Bryson November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I like it. A pure, simple starting point. Let’s see it come to life now…

  • marshall November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I generally really appreciate Ms. Sher’s work…but not this. The font is a snooze, it’s too far away from the “windows”, which are boring and taken too literally! The first time I saw this, I thought it was a JOKE. Sorry to see it’s not. I am stunned by it’s awfulness as a logo, actually.

  • Jesse Burton November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Her question should’ve been: “why are you still calling this ‘Windows?'”

  • @therealjovan November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Ironically, it still looks like a flag.

  • Robbie de Villiers November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    The Metro IO is 2-dimensional. This windows logo becomes 3-dimensional because it shows perspective. Perhaps Pentagram can explain the rationale behind the 3d approach in a 2d io…?

  • Stuart Crawford November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    bland, over-corporate and un-inspiring – perfect fit for the company.

  • Matt Kump November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I don’t understand how Pentagram could have such an AMAZING opportunity here (Windows is pretty much all or nothing with this version), and instead of create something that really reflect the rebirth of this new brand, they made something boring, corporate, and cold. While Windows traditionally was more corporate and cold (and successfully so), Windows 8 is not even REMOTELY that. The fact that the entire mark is blue says it all really. I’m so disappointed.

  • Robert November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I love the logo for the simple fact that it shows Microsoft is not afraid to make bold moves. As a designer it really helps me to appreciate that they are becoming increasingly design centric by the day!

  • Steve November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Christ, that must have take 5 minutes tops. “I’ll draw a window and use the slant tool. Job done.”

    And how much did Pentagram get to do this?

  • Aram November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Such a disappointing solution for someone who has made such an impact in the design world.

    This proves that selling the idea was more important than the final result. Reminds me of someone I used to work for.

    Big FAIL, Ms. Scher.

  • pubup November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I gave it a day and came back to live a comment. It is a logical choice and a move towards simplicity. I like it for its coherance with metro ui, but dont like the the typo and the graphic having the same weight, would prefer more dynamics and movement.

  • @vizenj November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I like. Looking forward to seeing in context. More than that I hope that it is indicative of an intent by MS towards a graphical simplicity within windows which has become a showcase for needless graphical tinketry over the last few incarnations.

  • James Brandon November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I think all of these points are quite valid, exept a few naive comments. I also think that the windows advertisent and marketing campeigns have always looked outdated and somewhat tacky. This new redesign of the logo is fresh simple, and minimilist was just the way to go. The comment about having more negative space between the windows is a good point..and just because it’s minimilist it doesn’t mean theyre striving for the Apple ‘image’. You can say that about various organistations in competition if that was the case. Needs a little work, but nice design.

  • Andrew Kelly November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I think they could have steered clear of using the same typeface as Apple, but still…

    It’s a great idea to go back to the logo’s original roots, but are we seriously supposed to believe that Paula Scher, Sam Moreau and Design Week genuinely think that, “a window-pane graphic has not been used since Windows’ first incarnation”? They really just saw “a flag” for all those years? Seriously?

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