There’s Something Weird Happening With Luxury Fashion Logos
Like beauty, fashion has long resided in the eye of the beholder. But it appears, as of late, that the representation of fashion logos has become an exercise in riskless conformity. A recent Business of Fashion op-ed argues that sans-serif fonts have become the go-to typefaces for luxury brands, so as to depict themselves as less about scripted ornamentation and more about themes like social justice and inclusivity (to the possible detriment of creativity and uniqueness).
Whatever the case, it's weird. These all look the same!
— The Business of Fashion (@BoF) January 27, 2019
Author John Whelan commences his article by showing a quintet of revamped fashion logos, with Yves Saint-Laurent’s new look the most altered overall symbol, one might argue, and Burberry’s being the prime example of a brand that has chosen to dial down its reliance on serifs, not to mention cursive. We here at Promo Marketing have addressed logos almost as many times as we have drawn breaths, so the recent decisions by those brands and Balenciaga, Balmain and Berluti to let sans-serif typefaces be their main marketing tool to the masses caught our eye.
Why they have chosen to do so becomes the core of Whelan’s analysis, with the writer looking at sources that have suggested that the emphasis on certain fonts might be a means to avoid linking the outgoing typefaces with oppression, overly patriarchal societies and inequality. To each his or her own with seeing a typeface or font as a symbol of any of those concepts, with Whelan noting that “Fear of offending” has become the chief agenda item for all big businesses.
What, then, does that mindset mean for those who might also be thinking about tinkering with their fashion logos and, perhaps more importantly, those who have the notion to stand a fashion brand or any brand, for that matter? As Whelan notes, “If these rebrands then are symptomatic of a conservative, corporate groupthink dressed up as social justice, what does that mean for creativity and competition?” That registers as an excellent question since, as he notes, “For a global creative industry, however, homogeneity is dangerous.”
By moving toward safe, boring, text-based sans-serif fashion logos, are the aforementioned bigwigs giving glitz and glamour a rest in favor of moderation? If so, how might the sway the fashion world’s sway affect logo representations in other fields? Might a minimalist approach come to dominate, or will the serif rejection amount to nothing more than a trend, something with which the fashion world is highly familiar?