Back in February we reported on the new Windows 8 logo designed by Pentagram partner Paula Scher — a release that got its thunder stolen by the leaking of the logo (not by us) ahead of time (not our fault). Officially, the Windows 8 logo is this and eight months after it was “unveiled,” the actual software behind the new, non-flag-anymore-logo was launched this past Friday to much hoopla around the world. See launch video later in this post. As part of the OS re-launch, which is a major departure from past Windowses, Microsoft is taking this opportunity to kickstart its new branding — after all, Windows is only the most used operating system in the world, so a lot of people are paying attention. The branding effort which now covers Windows but will spread into other Microsoft products has been lead by Wolff Olins, who describe their role to be “to curate all of the components and contributions into one clear, creative brand experience for consumers.” In the case of Windows these contributions include new packaging with structural construction by IDEO, illustrations conceived in collaboration with and created by Colors and The Kids, and brand imagery and video by Todd Selby.
Gearing for its latest OS release — after a couple of lackluster and user panned versions in Windows Vista and Windows XP (and continued mockery from OS X users) — Microsoft has been slowly releasing previews and developer versions of Windows 8, a complete rethinking of one of the most frightening computer-using experiences. Based on Microsoft’s “Metro” design language, Windows 8 adopts the user interface currently in play on the Windows Phone OS. By the end of February, Microsoft will release a consumer preview (don’t call it Beta) of Windows 8 and its new logo was recently spotted. Update: This post has been revised with design credit to Pentagram partner Paula Scher and text from Sam Moreau, Principal Director of User Experience for Windows; scroll to the bottom.