From Calvin Klein to Gap: Fashion’s love affair with logos


Logos. Within the fashion industry logos mean a lot. Let us not forget the fuss that was made when Hedi Slimane dropped the Y from Yves Saint Laurent. And the new frenzy when Saint Laurent’s new creative director Anthony Vaccarello put the Y back into the logo.
“Logos mean so much from a visual perspective and recently they have really presented a paradigm shift at high fashion labels, becoming an increasingly hyped focus point for each collection,it’s a logomania that we haven’t seen to such a degree since the 90s catwalks,” says WGSN’s Hannah Watkins, Senior Editor of Prints and Graphics.

ysl- statement accessories

YSL: the importance of fashion logo design


And this week brings news that Raf Simons has refreshed the iconic Calvin Klein logo, while Gap has gone back to its 90s athletic inspired logo with its #throwback 90s collection.

On the one hand we see a logo evolution and on the other a return to form with the original classic. This news got us thinking: what is it about a logo that resonates with consumers? And what do brands need to think about when it comes to their logo? And how can they evolve without alienating their consumer base?

For Gap it’s clearly about offering nostalgia right now, while for Raf it’s about signalling a new start, hoping to engage with a new consumer, and show current consumers that a change is coming.


Gap 90s


This isn’t the first time that Gap has played around with its logo either. Back in 2010, Gap decided to experiment with its logo and the consumer backlash was intense.

gap logo change

Gap’s 2010 logo change


“From a design perspective, logos are a great way to create an unmistakable trademark and boost brand identity. So much time and effort goes into crafting a visual that reflects the brand, and will hopefully be strong enough, or bold enough to stick in the consumer’s mind. In this day and age logos hold even more meaning because we exist in an extremely visual time, when aesthetics mean so much. Now logos also need to be Instagram-friendly and drive desirability,” adds Hannah Watkins.

When it comes to logos evolving though, how do you keep the essence of what consumers love about the brand, but subtly update it for a new generation or a new time?

the gap 90s



Weigh into the discussion down in the comments below. What do you think?

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