How the default Windows 7 wallpaper evolved

Gizmodo tracked down Chuck Anderson, the creator of Windows 7's box art, default wallpaper and login screen.

In an exclusive overview of the evolution of the Windows 7 wallpaper and login screen, the gadget lovers managed to secure some rare development shots of how Microsoft decided on the wallpaper that is now used worldwide. Chuck Anderson is a 20 something digital media artist living in the US. Both the login screen and wallpapers took approximately four months, start to finish according to Gizmodo. They were achieved by a mix of pen and paper, wacom tablet and Photoshop.

It's extremely unusual for Microsoft to share concept designs or early design work of its products so watching the evolution of the wallpapers is a glimpse into how Microsoft wanted to create a unique style for Windows 7. It's worth noting that there are also seven leaves, seven branches, and seven flower petals in the Windows logo.

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I like the suttle differences in the last 2. The fact that they actually went through the trouble to make such hardly noticeable changes shows just how much though goes in to making the default wallpaper.

I can't figure out how this wallpaper was made - it's impossible to make the same deep blue and light blue glow that the wallpaper has.

It was a betta... it is surprising that it made it past the 7000 build (beta) and into the 7100 RC build. I agree though, I liked the fish as well. The others remind me of flowers in a field (with lightning bugs and butterflies).

Yeah, I'm using it right now. I really loved it. But they needed to kill it. Pllus all those landscape wallpapers. Thanks God I was able to backup them, else I would have to download them through the internet

1. for the people complaining about the fish, that was a joke, beta and the fish betta
2. this wallpaper is pretty good, and the hidden stuff is cool
3. PDC 2008 wallpaper tho was better imo

I have been a designer for almost 20 years....

The first thing I do when I see a new win7 install is I change this horrid wallpaper to some other one.

How could microsoft ever accepted this in their flagship product...?

Come on, this is a welcome wallpaper as other already said, I doubt any end user will complain about it, as everybody know how to change their wallpaper. Is their anything left in life except complaining?

You must be a designer yourself, but you should understand that this kind of choices depend on too many factors, one above all: Marketing. I'm sure some designers at Microsoft must have drawn much better ones, but for whatever other reason this one was picked.
And as long as the majority of the users loves it, they've made the right choice ;-)

Agree. This is horrible. Love 7, but I hate this wall. It looks like the color a fish gets after its been floating dead on the water for a week. Just hints of the color it used to be and kind of translucent. The problem is that most humans have really bad taste....Pet Rock, WWE, AOL and this wallpaper. Its simply marketing.

CarlosMiguel said,
Can we have HD of these images? I love them

According to the Gizmodo article, Microsoft will not hand out the full resolution wallpapers.

The default desktop image is the only thing I don't like about Windows 7.
From the above I like #3 the most, but still, not a fan of any of them.

i don like them too .. the logo feels too bold
in fact that's one of the few thing i don like in 7 but it's packed with many alternatives so np 4 me

Bero said,
i don like them too .. the logo feels too bold

I think as most people change their wallpaper the idea is its meant to be a bold "welcome to windows 7" wallpaper, rather than something people will hold onto for a long time.

They are definitely ugly. But I guess the Windows logo is not an attractive logo to design with so they make do.

Also mmck makes a good point.