KLM Airlines lifts a page from the Metro UI design book

There's no doubt that Microsoft is doing the right thing by recognizing how brilliant the Metro UI is and incorporating into the next Xbox update and Windows 8 desktop OS. So perhaps it is of little surprise to see others starting to snag some deisgn cues from Microsoft's groundbreaking UI by incorporating Metro-esque themes into their products.

Reader Florian (Disinto) recently flew on KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) and couldn't help but noticing something as simple as salt & pepper packets had an all too familiar look to them. There's no confusion here either--those are exactly like the Metro tiles from Windows Phone. Odd seeing them on such banal items as disposable spice packets and yet...it still looks great, no?

Hey, we can't speak for Microsoft, but we're cool with Metro UI/Tiles taking over design aesthetic. So long as Android and Apple stay away, they've already copied enough.

Thanks to Florian for the sweet pic and observation, not to mention good taste in music.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Not only this, but have a look at their online magazine! http://www.iflymagazine.com/?locale=ot_en#/light/berlin/It very much shouts Metro UI in quite a few sections! But it's still different enough.
  • Wow, you weren't kidding.
  • Wow... I like that site, and yes, I see metro and it kind of feels like what I have seen Windows 8 will be like. Very cool...
  • Somehwat at KLM is definitely a fan of the Metro UI.
  • Well, I remember that when the Metro design was introduced someone showed pictures from KLM (or SAS?) that in fact Metro is a copy of their design... So they were first, Metro took some elements from the airlines... No idea if it was "copied", "inspired" or just "coincidence"
  • Ja, I remember flying KLM in the 90's and they had the same salt and pepper packets back then...
  • Well, if you consider that Metro UI was directly inspired by the signs in the metro (hence the name) and airports, it's not exactly surprising that there are similarities. :D
  • THIS ^^^^
  • OLOLOL. This Salt and Pepper design is used for decades in KLM! What a fail, wpcentral...
  • More like Windows Phone 7 lifts a page from KLM.I work for KLM and have worked for KLM for the past 5 years. I am confirming that KLM has had the same design for quite some time now across many different collaterals used for marketing—their website, magazine and yes even the salt and pepper packaging.
  • Oh and FYI its just KLM or Royal Dutch Airlines
  • I'll give it up for both, Metro UI and Daft Punk!! :) How does one get the Extended/Double wide tile for Zune?? I mean, if available to implement on devices other than "one's own code/app"??
  • If you pin an artist to the start, you get a double tile.
  • I love Metro UI. It's this beautiful, mature design pattern relying on spacing, size and color (usually 2 colors per tile).I recently discussed with a colleague the dubious advantages of hiring a person whose only job is to design icons for your application. They had such a designer in his previous company, and I was very surprised to hear that a small company could afford to hire such a person full-time.I argued that for 99% of the cases you can use existing free image libraries (I use these icons: http://icons.mysitemyway.com/), and there is an abundance of those on the Internet. He actually challenged me to find a butterfly logo in such a library and I found this: http://icons.mysitemyway.com/wp-content/gallery/glossy-black-icons-anima... in under 30 seconds. He was unimpressed and insisted that a Mac user (he was one on his old job) wouldn't even look at an app with such a "bleak" logo. "Mac icons are flashy and colorful, with gradients and realism", he said. That sounded so childish, it made me think about the function of the icon in the first place. It's supposed to be descriptive, but also discrete, to successfully lead you through the workflow. Just like road signs lead you through your driving. Should road signs be like Mac icons, or like Metro UI?I agree that having a designer is useful. Programmers are usually not particularly good at design. But this designer has to help with general layout, UX, colors and spacing of elements. Not with drawing icons all day long so that for every different app you have a different icon and thus different user experience for, say, the Copy function. Imagine that Copy was called Clip or Pin or anything else than Copy, and Paste was called Apply or Unclip or whatever. What kind of experience would that be?