The Windows team officially unveiled the new Windows 8 logo over the weekend, and, unfortunately, I'm just not feeling it. Now, I could just let this go and wait until it sinks in, but what fun would that be? Especially since I've not felt something quite this polarizing with Windows since the Longhorn reset. Here is the new logo below, followed by the 5 reasons it doesn't sit well with me:
1 - Plain Jane: I'm all for simplicity, but I feel like this is just too simple. I understand that this is a complete revision of Windows and that Microsoft wants to showcase both a window (instead of a flag) and Metro (Windows 8's user interface) in the logo, but all the theory and genius that undoubtedly resides behind the design of this logo has lost its translation to me in the end result.
2 - Wonky: Again, I know that this logo is the fruition of many hours of thought, design, strategy, etc., but when I look at that design above, the word that immediately comes to mind for me is "wonky." That font style doesn't really appeal to me, and I would really love to see some depth given to the logo, instead of just the perspective/illusion of a 3D window in 2D space. Then again, maybe I'm just trying to sound smart, who knows?
3 - Triggers my OCD: Have you ever been to someone's house as a guest and noticed on the wall an off-center picture that you couldn't do a single thing about? If your answer is "yes," then you're probably a freak-a-zoid like me when it comes to straight lines and perfectly-centered everything. And that's the reaction that the new Windows 8 logo triggers for me -- the "OMG, I HAVE TO FIX THAT CROOKED PICTURE!" response. I so desperately want to "fix" that which drives me bonkers when I look at that logo.
4 - Brand recognition: Looking at this image, I can't help but wonder what happens when Microsoft ditches Metro. Will this logo accurately represent Windows for the next 15-20 years, or will they opt for another change in branding when the need strikes? I hate to think I'm this reactive to something as simple as the rebranding of Windows, but I just don't see this logo standing the test of time. I liked the flag, personally, however unrelated to "Windows" it might have become over the years.
5 - Visual direction: As a UX friend of mine noted (and I completely agree with), the actual Windows window (that is to say, the new logo sans the "Windows 8" text) guides my eyes away from "Windows 8." So, instead of complimenting the "Windows 8" text and feeling like it's one big, happy family, this logo feels like there are two separate components simply residing beside one another. It just feels... off.
With that said, I hope this isn't it. I hope that what we're seeing is essentially a placeholder -- that is, an outline of a logo that will -- when finished -- be filled with some kind of character and depth. I mean, when I read Pentagram's post about the logo, as well as Microsoft's, I feel like I must clarify that I'm speaking my opinion about this logo from the perspective of someone who isn't a designer.
Having said that, if I have to read all the theory and design principles behind a logo to "get it," then I'm not so sure it's a logo I would ever like without such persuasion -- and persuasion I don't feel I should need at that. It's no secret that I've always been a fan of Microsoft's visual work with Windows, but to be honest, for my personal tastes, the bar was set far too high with Windows Longhorn. I was fine with a flag. Especially the one that never made it: