Just Slightly Bothered by the Windows 8 Logo Design


Post Update: 19th February 2012

Now that the official statement on the Windows 8 logo published by Pentagram the perspective issue that I pointed out in the post below is now a mute issue.

It also appears that the version of the Windows 8 logo referenced by myself and many other websites is NOT the version designed by Pentagram. You will notice that their design (image above) has the stroke thickness of the vertical and horizontal lines set much much thinner.

Pentagram also cover the reasoning for the equal thickness lines as being based on classical perspective drawing rather than computer perspective. I still think this looks odd, but at least there is an official line for that particular design direction.

“The perspective drawing is based on classical perspective drawing, not computerized perspective. The cross bar stays the same size no matter the height of the logo, which means it has to be redrawn for each time it increases in size, like classic typography.”

This also is a good example of trying to be too clever for your own boots—that is a direct reference back to me—and not waiting for an official description before going off all half-cocked. I personally wouldn’t bother reading anything below mostly because it makes me look like a real dick.

Read More on the Windows 8 Logo by Pentagram

A lot of press coverage over the announcement of the new Windows 8 logo design, and with that has come a substantial quantity of mixed thoughts. Note: There was a story running last weekend reporting that the Windows 8 logo was a fake design, and I pretty much got sucked up with that, but it now seems to be very much official.


The Official Windows 8 Logo Brief

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.

To get right down to it I’m not overly offended by this new Metro style of design that Windows 8 is based on.


In fairness to the Windows brand, we have a common theme being addressed (the window pane) as well as the rather specific name in Windows which doesn’t leave a whole lot of visual choices for us to base a logo design around. Hard to reinvent a window without resorting to something dramatically stylised which is not really an option given the Windows logo design heritage.

If this has been a logo for something totally different and from a totally different brand than Microsoft then my overall thoughts would likely be quite different, and by different I mean not so, “I’m not overly offended…“.

There is, however, one design detail that does bother me, and I just can’t stop being bothered by it. I have tried to see a plausable reason for it, but I just keep coming back to it being a design flaw rather than a purposeful feature.


Those pesky window frames.

It’s all about the perspective and the simple fact that the white dividing lines would/should/ought to—I like to think this is a reasonable conclusion—increase in width the further left-to-right background/foreground it goes. Instead, the white dividing lines remain constant and seemingly don’t work/run/flow with that quite dramatic off-the-page perspective.

It’s one of those details for me that makes it look like it’s either: trying too hard to not be realistic in any reasonable form, or it was just missed all together. There are no hard/fast right/wrong rules with logo design, but there are some things that just cause murmurings amongst the design fraternity.

So going back to last weekend when I first saw reports that the Windows 8 logo was a fake: it was this feature that led me to assume that it could quite possibly be a fake as  this surely would not have been in an official design? So I was wrong on that front.


I have, so far, not seen design feature this picked up by any other critic so am I am just being particularly particular?

Read more on Windows 8 logo design over on WindowsTeamBlog.



Written by: Graham Smith: The Logo Smith
1st Posted: 2012/02/18 & Post Updated: 2014/05/09
Filed In Categories: Brand Identity, Famous Logos

Subscribe to Blog Updates by: RSS, Email, Feedly

Hire a Freelance Logo Designer in the UK

Logo & Brand Identity Design by Freelance Logo Designer The Logo Smith.

If you like the Logo & Brand Identity Design work I have done in my Portfolio, and The Gallery and Monomarks, and are looking to hire yourself a Highly Talented, and Super Experienced (27 Years), Freelance Logo & Brand Identity Designer, then look no further. Visit Hire Me, and fill in the Design Brief, or just Contact me.

The Logo Smith has Full Business Idemnity Insurance (FCA Regulated).

« Previous Post: iPhone 4 iOS with 1986 System Software 3.0 Icons by Anton Repponen

» Next Post: The Forevermark Logo Design

Breadcrumbs: Home » Brand Identity » Just Slightly Bothered by the Windows 8 Logo Design