Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system launches today with a brand identity designed by Pentagram's Paula Scher. The identity re-imagines the familiar Windows flag as a modern geometric shape guided by the principles of perspective. This idea is the basis for all Windows 8 branding and promotion.
Scher and her team created a complete system based on the idea of perspective. The analogy is apt because Windows is a tool for users to achieve their goals from their own perspective. The name Windows was originally introduced by Microsoft as a metaphor for seeing into screens and systems and a new view on technology. The identity reintroduces this idea with the actual visual principles of perspective.
Windows is a neutral tool for a user to achieve whatever they can, based on their own initiative, and the logo design is deliberately neutral so that it can function effectively in a myriad of uses, especially motion, as seen in television and online advertisements for Windows 8. The old Windows logo was flat and drawn in motion; the new logo is a neutral container that can convey actual motion, becoming a more active and effective brand.
The new logo also reflects the sleek, modern “Metro” design language that is a highlight of the Windows 8 interface. Metro is based on the design principles of the Swiss International Style, with clean lines, shapes and typography and bold, flat colors. One guideline of Metro is that the graphic or interface must appear “authentically digital"—that is, it should not appear to be material or three-dimensional using gradients or effects. The new identity suggests dimensionality using the classic principle of perspective: lines receding into space. Read more about Scher's design of the Microsoft 8 identity.
This idea of perspective is vividly brought to life in Microtropolis, a special Windows 8 launch event designed by Mother New York that is on view at New York's Pier 57 through Saturday, November 3.