The Desktop Background

Chuck says: "The desktop was obviously heavily influenced by the look of the login screen. Microsoft had made the decision to make the Windows logo the centerpiece of the default desktop. But you always worry about the classic complaint you hear from designers about clients: 'Make the logo bigger!' In response to this first desktop experiment, Microsoft told me straight up, 'That's too big. Tone it down.' Awesome. I agreed. The colors were also feeling a bit washed out here and there were too many places for your eyes to wander."

The Desktop Background

"This was a total experiment of making the logo incredibly subtle by making it feel more transparent and like glass. But it had problems: If you're Microsoft and you decide to put the logo in the middle of your default desktop for your new OS, you've gotta do it shamelessly and confidently. This wasn't feeling either. It was feeling like a way to 'sneak' the logo in there and that was simply not the point."

The Desktop Background

"There was a lot of enthusiasm for this idea initially, but when you saw it smaller or on a screen farther away, the logo started to disappear."

The Desktop Background

"Even smaller logo in this one! About these elements going on in the Microsoft window logo: There was no specific, set-in-stone instruction from Microsoft on what they wanted in those quadrants. I played around with lots of different ideas. We brainstormed in the very first meeting about all sorts of objects and things that could be within and emanating from the window. In the end, the objects absolutely had to be simple and they had to be universally recognizable. Elements from nature, basic shapes, and hints of digital iconography were the best fits. I really tried to push through the idea of using a few flaming skulls and some of the demons from the cover of Slayer's South of Heaven but for whatever reason nobody was into it. Whatever."

The Desktop Background

"The logo finally arrives at its proper (and smallest yet) size. This felt right, we just had to go through a lot of options to realize it. But there are still a few too many loose strands, no balance on the top right, and the colors in the window are a bit harsh."

The Desktop Background

And the final result: "Some slight balance added to the top right of the composition—appropriately enough there were now just seven total light strands (and, for what it's worth, seven green leaves on the little branch), and everything was in the right place. This made the rounds and had to get OK'd by approximately 8 bazillion people and was finally approved. I was ecstatic—Microsoft was really into it and so was I."

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