Let’s stop for a moment and discuss my predilection for fonts, branding and packaging. Particularly teamed with some of my favourite fashion houses. In a self-conducted analysis across fashion label logos, interestingly both Futura (used for logos of Nike, Louis Vuitton) and Helvetica (Saint Laurent, and completely unrelated, Tupperware) are fonts commonplace within logo design. Given the above, it is no surprise that fashion houses reinvent themselves or collaborate with typographic designers and artists to enliven their brands.

 
Study of Fashion House Logos, Acne Studios | Yellowtrace

Study of Fashion House Logos, Acne Studios | Yellowtrace

Study of Fashion House Logos, Acne Studios | Yellowtrace

Study of Fashion House Logos, Acne Studios | Yellowtrace

Study of Fashion House Logos, Acne Studios | Yellowtrace

Study of Fashion House Logos, Acne Studios | Yellowtrace

Study of Fashion House Logos, Acne Studios | Yellowtrace
Acne Studios Hong Kong Store.

 

If you take to Google and submit the search terms ‘Acne-Studios-Font’ you will find a myriad of discussions across forums filled with typography aficionados discussing both the brand’s previous and current custom font. Swedish label Acne Studios (an acronym for Ambition to Create Novel Expressions) last year undertook a logo and font rebrand at the hands of typographic designer Göran Söderström of Letters From Sweden.

Formed in 1996, the creative collective lifestyle label held the original intention to act as a multidisciplinary platform to test new ideas within numerous facets of both art and culture – many of the first Acne Studios employees stemming from backgrounds in Graphic Design. Upon learning this it is no surprise that the brand has a very successful large-format biannual magazine Acne Paper, which is edited by Acne Studios Co-founder and global Creative Director Jonny Johansson; with a cover that has been graced by the likes of Richard Serra and co.

The font re-fresh rebrand was clearly a success, a lot of this potentially owing to the fact their signature salmon-pink remains to cover all shopping bags, merchandising and stationery elements. The brand has been said to hold a universality, which has developed not through advertising, rather through the cultish pull of the brand. I personally love their new font – and am half tempted to update to a new Acne Jasper Clutch just so it has the new logo embossed on the signature clutch. See? This is how they get you…

 

See Acne stores previously featured on Yellowtrace.

 

Study of Fashion House Logos, Celine | Yellowtrace

Study of Fashion House Logos, Celine | Yellowtrace

Study of Fashion House Logos, Celine | Yellowtrace
Celine New York.

 

Founded in 1945 by a husband and wife team, eponymous French fashion house Celine was originally a made-to-measure shoe business. Over time, the house’s logo has changed – from red elephant, to a horse sulky to the intricately intertwined back-to-back C’s known as the ‘Blazon Chaine’ logo (not dissimilar to that of Chanel’s interlocking consonants).

In 2005 Creative Director Peter Miles was engaged to undertake a rebranding of the label, which went on to be further refined through a collaborative process with fashion designer Phoebe Philo when she joined the house in 2008 Following Philo’s intent to clean up the brand to reflect a contemporary minimalism, Miles commissioned typographic designer Hannes Famira to produce a custom typeface for the brand, based on a mid-twentieth-century Italian typeface he had found titled Semplicità. Famira worked with scans of the original metal type specimen pages, which enabled him to reinterpret the original structure of the font given the low quality resolution of the scans. Within the detailed description on his website, he notes that this transition from the original to the revival was where the fun lies.

I particularly like a description as listed within a NY Times article, noting that Miles notes that the logo appears in a ‘left in the sun black’ on creamy white.

 

Study of Fashion House Logos, Comme des Garcons | Yellowtrace

Study of Fashion House Logos, Comme des Garcons | Yellowtrace

Study of Fashion House Logos, Comme des Garcons | Yellowtrace

Study of Fashion House Logos, Comme des Garcons | Yellowtrace
Comme des Garcons.

 

Comme des Garçons (which translates from French to ‘Like Boys’) is a Tokyo based Japanese fashion house, established in 1969. In 2002, Comme des Garçons released their line ‘PLAY’, which has been described by the label as ‘a sign, a symbol, a feeling’.

Cue the iconic hand-drawn-heart-with-set-of-eyes-logo created by Polish artist Filip Pagowski Pagowski had first come into contact with Comme des Garçons founder Rei Kawakubo during the 1980s, through his model ex-wife had subsequently attended a number of men’s shows and in 1992 was cast for the Summer show. Pagowski had been working for Comme des Garçons on other projects on and off for about two years before the PLAY logo eventuated, and had even submitted the logo for other CdG projects. ‘I remember working on something… not connected to anything. I got this idea of a red heart with a set of eyes. I drew it instantaneously and the first draft was it. I submitted it for another CdG project, for which it never made it, but eventually it resurfaced; making bigger waves as a logo for the PLAY line.’

Pagowski notes that the heart image happened simultaneously with, but independently of the creation of the PLAY line – ultimately creating one of the most visible and recognisable icons associated with the popular Japanese brand.

 

Related Post: Comme Des Garçons “White Drama” at Les Docs, Paris.

 

Study of Fashion House Logos, A.P.C. | Yellowtrace

Study of Fashion House Logos, A.P.C. | Yellowtrace

Study of Fashion House Logos, A.P.C. | Yellowtrace
A.P.C.

 

A.P.C; (‘Atelier de Production et de Creation’), founded by Tunisian-Jewish born designer Jean Touitou in 1987, is a French ready-to-wear label well known for it’s minimalist designs. It is also interesting to note that within the articles of un-embellished clothing, the logo itself is rarely visible. But that’s not to say that the brand is unrecognisable.

Rapidly expanding in addition to the flagship A.P.C store in Paris – A.P.C Stores are situated internationally – and can be found in Antwerp, Berlin, Kobe, London, Osaka, NYC, Hong Kong, Tokyo, LA, Melbourne; with a store having recently opened it’s doors on Crown Street, Surry Hills in Yellowtrace’s hometown of Sydney.

So, how does a brand that has been described as both ‘discreet’ and ‘beautifully boring’ go about their branding?

 

Study of Fashion House Logos, A.P.C. | Yellowtrace

Study of Fashion House Logos, A.P.C. | Yellowtrace
A.P.C.

 

A.P.C’s ethos of creating a discreet and down-to-earth aesthetic is translated across the brand, often also manifesting in the built fitouts of their stores. Designed by Parisian based architects Laurent Deroo Architecte with the assistance of local design practices in international application, each A.P.C store includes a non-ostentatious approach to the overall store design, with a similar palette of refined yet beautifully crafted and detailed materials. This holistic branding approach across product, branding and Fitout has enabled Touitou to remain true to his belief that the clothing/brand should not overshadow the personality of the wearer.

The outcome in all four instances are obviously a success, given the popularity and recognisability of each of the four brands. But what do these four logos/brands have in common? Their similarities lie in that they foster an air of multidisciplinary collaboration, drawing on the skills of those from slightly different design disciplines, however working towards a singular strong vision.

 


[Images courtesy of the campaigns of the fashion houses.]

 

About The Author

Jenna Rowe
Contributor

Jenna is a graduate architect working in Sydney via her hometown of Hobart, having graduated to the big leagues in 2012 (she was actually voted off the island). Within practice Jenna occupies a multi-disciplinary role, working across marketing and architectural projects with a focus on retail design management. Jenna is also heavily involved in the Emerging Architects Committee NSW (DARCH), having recently stepped down from her post as Co-Chair in 2015 to be more involved at the event-based level. Like an actor waiting tables, architecture is not her only passion - she also moonlights as a freelance graphic designer and is a maker of all the things. You will find her V necklaces and other creations on her one true love - her instagram account.

3 Responses

    • Justin Locke

      Really nice piece Jenna, great subject. Can we follow it up further down the line with some information on other Scandinavian fashion house fonts?

      Reply
  1. suparna som

    Very impressive, good to read about the contemporary fashion labels and their behind stories, keenly looking for more… probably on these labels – Creatures of comfort, Building Block, Are studio etc.

    Reply

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