Let’s look back at a few of the versions along the way.
Few remember the original Windows logo, yet we found it both refreshing and inspiring in relation to the work we have been doing on the Metro style design visuals. Using simple lines and clear straight forward concept, this logo reminded us of what a great and evocative name we have with “windows”.
For many of us this was the image in our mind when we think of past Windows logos. The now classic window shape and the introduction of the four colors were hallmarks of the Windows brand for many years to come. The introduction of the “waving effect” gives the logo a sense of motion. This logo would be the basis of the Windows versions throughout the 1990s.
The next major incarnation of the logo came with the release of Windows XP. What has come to be known as the “Windows flag” is a cleaner more sophisticated mark than its predecessors. The version that populated the lower left hand corner of Windows PCs next to the word “Start” also gained a sense of materiality (plastic?) and a 3D effect from the rich gradients and shadows.
The Windows Vista release marked the beginning of the AERO design aesthetic in Windows with a key component of the interface being the “AERO glass” effect. Replacing the green Start button was the round glass-like button with a now flattened version of the “flag” from Windows XP. Internally, this icon became known as the “pearl”. You can see the intricate lighting effects of the faux glass. In many ways signaling just how powerful of a rendering engine the PC had become. This version of the logo was largely unchanged for Windows 7.
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.
More info at windows blog