Typography of the Fashion World
In honor of the currently unfolding (ha) Fashion Week in NYC, I thought I’d post on some of the terrific typography at work in the fashion world. When I first got into design, I used to think the typeface for the Louis Vuitton logo was the epitome of graphic design. I remember writing everything in Futura Medium for a good month (even research papers, nothing was spared). These days, I still to pick up the occasional GQ or etc just for the ads — usually can pick up a few interesting things. There are always a number of logos that catch my eye, continue reading to see some of the marks that resonate most.
The mark for The Fashion Center (above) is perfectly simple. How brilliant to utilize the button holes to form the F! This is probably one of my favorite logos of all time. What it comes down to for me is that the 5th button hole is slightly smaller than the rest — this subtle scale shift makes the whole thing. Developed at Pentagram.
Selected Typography of the Fashion World
You don’t see too many slab serifs in the fashion world — this one for Iceberg is my favorite. Bally is OK too, but I prefer the “B” in the Iceberg mark for the details (no bottom slab). Also, it’s sort of unfair, but Iceberg is a cooler word and thus I find it more appealing.
Tom Ford probably has one of the most photogenic names in the business. The two words strike a great balance and convey the boldness of the brand very effectively. It announces itself proudly and authoritatively, and is somehow able to be colored pink/violet and still seem completely bad ass.
This one is an uber-classic. Designed by Cassandre in 1963, the Yves Saint Laurent lettering has always had a mysterious air to it for me. Maybe it’s because I could never figure out how to pronounce it. Anyway, the kerning in this one is masterful — just look how smoothly the letters flow into one another.
One of my favorites for its simplicity. The Helmut Lang logo says to me that they don’t mess around — they make classic and quality clothes without comprising their core principle of (stylishly minimal) utility.
Dunhill takes a slightly different approach than most. Seeing the ascenders ascend to new heights is certainly a nice change of pace. It stands out amongst the more typically “restrained” fashion logo. Whether accurate or not, I get the feeling that (like a Paul Smith) there is some extra dose of personality and flare to what they do.
Trussardi has one of the best crests. I’ve seen other brands try this approach (see Juicy), but rarely are they able to achieve such a sense of heritage and refinement like Trussardi. There is even a little touch of playfulness if you look closely at the greyhound in the middle; he looks like he’s up to something.
I love the Hermes identity. The logo is great — especially love the rendering of the horse and buggy — but the real winner for me is the color. If you walk into a Hermes shop, you know you where you are immediately because of the crazy and unusual blends of colors you find yourself surrounded by. A nice contrast to the muted tones of some of the above.
Of all the script logos in the fashion world, Paul Smith is my favorite. It’s hard to imagine the brand without his signature color rainbow, but I think the lettering alone still does a great job summing up what the brand is all about. Seeing this lettering inside of an extra sharp suit somehow makes complete sense, especially when you see that the lining is bright purple.
I know I said Paul Smith was my favorite hand written face, but Salvatore Ferragamo comes pretty close. Each letter is wonderfully drawn if you take them individually — they all have interesting little quirks and imperfections that come together nicely. It’s hard to tell if I like this one because of the actual rendering or just prolonged exposure.
This condensed face is not the official logo of Zadig and Voltaire, but I enjoy it anyway. Their current logo (which you can see on their site) is great, but my love of condensed type always led me to prefer this one. I suppose the current one has more personality (especially in that “g”!) in the end.
Definitely left a few out I know; Chanel, Louis Vuitton, maybe even American Apparel. Let me know if there are any others!
14 Comments Leave A Comment
RA_OUL says:September 17, 2009 at 12:49 am
I have to say the Tom Ford in all caps is simply beautiful and that pink/violet is used so effectively. The Zadig and Voltaire is also a striking logotype which I do like a lot more than the current one. Damn these are nice. I also love The Fashion Center logo by Pentagram which I remember seeing in a Pentagram booklet last semester. It is definitely one of my favorites of theirs. Nice post.
TheMem says:September 17, 2009 at 12:58 am
Typography is Love! Fashion typography is ecstasy!
Jakub says:September 17, 2009 at 1:44 am
YSL and Helmut Lang are so classic feeling, I love it
glad you didn’t add LV or Gucci, those have become the Walmart brands of Brooklyn
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Lester says:September 17, 2009 at 3:27 am
Personally, there’s something I really love about the Cole, Rood & Haan Co. logo. Much better than their parent company Cole Haan.
Jason says:September 17, 2009 at 7:35 am
The kerning in “Helmut” has always bugged me.
Stella says:December 19, 2009 at 10:40 pm
This post was so much fun to read and look at. What a cool example of how to blog well. Thanks!
Sandra Mae says:December 24, 2009 at 8:17 pm
I like this post. Hermes Paris and Paul Smith are so elegant.
Can you also make a logo for quality web hosting?
crash zone says:February 6, 2010 at 2:17 pm
Looking at this post reminds me of move “Helvetica” – it’s amazing how much you can learn by just studying just a single font and it’s impact to the culture.
Fahad says:March 8, 2010 at 6:51 am
Hi Nice blog, found it from another random blog
Neil says:March 19, 2010 at 7:17 am
I seem to remember Method (I think) redrawing the Trussardi logo and doing a great job in refining the dogs head and shield.
From the looks of it it hasn’t been rolled out/lasted the course which is a shame.
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