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How And Why Fashion Brand Logos Change: 7 Examples

How And Why Fashion Brand Logos Change: 7 Examples

It takes time to create a recognisable brand. Branding in the fashion industry comes with higher stakes because of customer expectations. 

Once your target customers have gotten used to your brand, you decide to rebrand. It is one of the most challenging and sometimes costly undertakings in the fashion industry. You risk losing clients because they do not recognise your brand. 

Why do fashion brands change their logo? And is there a pattern they follow or are following when changing the logo? offers assignment assistance to enable you to create more time to pursue your passion, like athletics and art in college. 

Why fashion brand logos?

Puma Fashion Brand Logo Design

The fashion industry receives much attention. It is always on the news as celebrities use their outfits during global events. For the fashion industry, visibility is everything. 

A logo identifies a brand. The names of some of these brands are concealed. Some brands are known more by their logos and not the name. The situation highlights the value of fashion brand logos to the industry. 

Branding and fashion go hand in hand. Branding makes a product identifiable. It creates a public perception of the products on offer. It is for this reason that celebrities and influencers are so sensitive about the fashion products they promote. 

Some of the brands have held onto their logos for decades. The thought of rebranding does not even arise because it could be construed to mean loss of identity. Still, there is a wave of brands changing their logo to resulting in a different identity. 

How fashion brands are changing their logos

Around 2017, many fashion brands went on a rebranding spree. For an ordinary person, the rebranding was not significant because the name remained. Only a keen observer would notice the difference. Many people needed an explanation to understand the change. 

The most significant change in logos for the fashion industry was driven by font type. It is best described as the Sans Serif Invasion. The invasion affected brands beyond the fashion industry. 

The Sans Serif Invasion 

Fashion Logos Rebranding Sans Serif

The trend can be traced back to 2017/18. Many companies appeared to be looking for an opportunity to look like their counterparts. They abandoned unique font types and rebranded into Sans Serif font. 

Check the old logos before the wave swept the corporate industry. It appears as though everyone was crying to be like the other. 

Before the Sans Serif invasion, fashion brands could do anything to appear unique. The unique logo designs made it easy to identify iconic fashion brands. All over a sudden, everyone wanted to create an identity using Sans Serif. 

The invasion went beyond the fashion industry. Tech companies like Facebook, Google, Air BnB, and Spotify rebranded to adapt to the Sans Serif shade. 

However, the effect was more pronounced in the fashion industry than anywhere else. It was as though the two industries had decided to order their logo services from the same designer. 

Why would a company abandon a recognisable logo for a new one? Remember that rebranding costs money and will come with lost sales since the memo about rebranding does not go to everyone. 

An innocent, loyal customer will fail to pick a product because the design does not match the known.

While discussing the invasion, it is worth noting the difference between Sans Serif and Serif. Serif font comes with fancy details on the edges, while Sans Serif is more bold and solid. 

Seven brands that adapted Sans Serif font

Burberry Rebrand Logo Design

Fashion and technology companies appear to be on Sans Serif hypnosis. While rebranding is understandable, it happened at around the same time for all these fashion companies. Further, the companies adopted the Sans Serif font. Here are the companies that jumped into the Sans Serif bandwagon.

  1. Balenciaga 
  2. Burberry London 
  3. Saint Laurent 
  4. Berluti
  5. Balmain
  6. Rimowa 
  7. Diane Von Furstenberg

Each of these brands had a different logo taste. Some dropped the images or graphics that accompanied their custom logo design. For instance, Burberry London had the graphic of a horse. 

On its part, Rimowa had the name encircled. All these fashion companies abandoned the distinctive fancy branding for Sans Serif. 

Sans Serif Font

Sans Serif Vs Serif Compared

The Serif font came with additional decorations that were referred to as serifs. They included swashes, blades, and flourishes that identified different serif fonts

As distinctive as these features were, all brands went for the plain Sans Serif font. The font lacks the benefit of detail. It would make a logo plain and boring. Still, all these fashion brands thought this to be the best route to follow. 

To begin with, Sans serif fonts are considered simple. This is one of the requirements for a recognisable logo. The simplicity makes the logo readable. It is also versatile for printing on different surfaces. 

Interestingly, Sans Serif does not offer too many options when differentiating one brand from the other. Varying the weight, height, and slant-angle does not result in much change. 

The absence of manipulation options for the Sans Serif logo resulted in similar-looking logos. The diversity and creativity associated with the fashion industry seemed to have taken a backseat. The elaborate font details that identified fashion lines before came to an end. 

The need to print logos in black and white could also have pushed the fashion brands to change the font. The font is solid and readable under all circumstances, unlike Agency FB or Algerian that a person could struggle to read. 

Interestingly, all the logos appear similar when printed in black and white. Does it worry a branding expert because logos are supposed to be unique? 

You can find the answer in the advantage that Sans Serif and such related fonts give to a brand. Sans Serif makes it easy to read any detail, even from a distance. 

Related:  Emotional Storytelling for Branding

Because it does not come with extensive details, especially on the edges, a reader will decode the information faster, resulting in quick recognition. 

Fashion brands may have been pushed by the desire to create recognisable brands that are also versatile when printed on different surfaces. 

The loss of form when some fonts are transferred to other surfaces is a recognisable force behind the rebranding. For instance, Algerian font requires much attention to details to recognise a name from a distance.

Fonts in black and white

On many occasions, fashion brands are required to print their logos in black and white. Some of the logos like Revolut would lose the details that are only available in colour. 

The best solution in such a case was to pick a solid font like Sans Serif that would maintain its form, whether the printing was in colour or black and white. 

Classic fashion branding 

Fashion Logo Design Branding Itoko

Branding must find the perfect balance between trendy logos and classic ones. Trendy logos appeal to a particular generation or geographical location. Within time, the once flashy logo becomes a bother. 

At the end of the excitement, you realise that your logo cannot be printed on a wall or will not be recognisable on a billboard. You are torn between rebranding, sometimes not sure what to do next. 

The fashion industry realised that branding went beyond fancy logos. It was time to create a classic logo that would survive the hype on a font. This is a psychological shift that affected the entire branding discourse. 

It explains why the changes in logos happened across the board. Even where the companies did not settle for Sans Serif font, there was an inclination to the solid fonts. 

Long term branding 

Branding and the appearance of logos are critical only at the beginning. It took time for the fashion industry and corporate world to realise this fact. 

Previously, a brand used philosophical logos. It explains why institutions have meaningful symbols on their logos and brand identifiers. 

A mind shift happened around 2017 when it emerged that changing a logo results only in short-term losses. 

Loyal customers will still follow you into your new identity. In the long run, people will still buy your products and use your services.

New customers will also buy your product even with a new identity. The idea of sticking to brand identity in the name of a logo became lighter. 

Businesses and institutions felt that they could change without worrying too much about the impression implications predicted to affect brands. 

Long-term branding took centre stage. A brand would still maintain its market position despite slight changes in logo design. Notice that all these fashion brands maintained their names. Loyal customers would still consider them as their authentic brands despite a new font. 

Subtle changes

Saint Laurent Fashion Rebranding

Fashion companies only changed their logo design, especially the font. A lot of the customers who consume these products did not notice the changes because they were minor. 

For instance, all companies maintained their names. A customer who was used to Saint Laurent continued to enjoy the same fashion line, which had a different font. 

The same switch happened in the technology sector. The masses never noticed the changes because they were minimal. Some could have thought that designers decided to use bold letters instead of normal ones. The colour change also failed to capture the attention of many loyal customers. 

Such subtle changes meant that fashion brands were not worried about losing customers. After all, no new company emerged using the same name to compete in the same space. Such subtle changes in font did not affect market perception. If anything, it could have given the brand a fresh look. 

Tapping into the benefits of rebranding 

Speaking of a fresh look, the change in the font by the fashion companies gave them a chance to renew their appearance. 

Some of the names could have been easy to identify but difficult to read or pronounce. Saint Laurent and Diane Von Furstenberg got a new lease on life. They were now easy to recognise, print, and pronounce. 

Diane Von Furstenberg Fasion Logo Redesign

The fashion industry has a chance to rebrand through the change of logo. The reasons for rebranding vary from one company to the other. 

The market quickly gets fatigued when the same brand dominates for too long. Change of brand signals a renewal, an element that every loyal customer is looking forward to.

Rebranding is also a chance to appeal to new customers. Across generations, people do not want to be associated with similar brands. For instance, a teenager will be uncomfortable dressing like the father, regardless of the luxury level involved. 

As the fashion industry rebrands, they can capture the attention of a new market.

A change of logo is also a chance to adapt to the latest branding philosophy. The marketing department is constantly exploring new ideas to push their brands and reach new clients. 

Some of the old fashion brand logos are informed by outdated philosophies. As an example, the early logos involved graphics and images like horses or people walking. They also featured multiple layers of words and fancy fonts. 

As marketing becomes more competitive, the need to rebrand grows. The new logo will be informed by a new philosophy, making it responsive to market forces. 

Technology application

The effect of technology in advertising is also pushing the fashion industry to cut its logos differently. 

Previously, the logos were painted or printed on flat surfaces. Today, lighting will affect the appearance of some of these logos. Further, some designs cannot fit when used on the digital platform. Brands are forced to adapt to these changes. 

What next?

There is nothing wrong with wanting your logo to conform to the latest branding philosophy. It should be a norm to rebrand and adapt constantly. 

The fashion industry has not seen the end to logo design philosophies. However, the principles of simplicity, readability, and recognition have been taken to a new level. 

You only need to carry along your customers in the process of rebranding. Subtle changes, like altering the font, will do the trick for successful fashion brand logos. 

Photo of author

Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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