In the latest example of a creative director stamping their authority on an iconic fashion house, Balenciaga have debuted a new logo at their SS18 show in Paris. Created in-house, the luxury brand’s new typeface has been inspired by the not-so-luxury “clarity of public transportation signage”.
It isn’t a radical departure from their previous branding, with a new two-toned logotype replacing their previous elongated, thinner-texted design. The motivations behind the refresh are unclear, though it’s worth noting that as more people interact with luxury brands through mobile devices, replacing the older, delicate logo with a bolder, more recognisable logotype addresses a pragmatic issue of the mobile age. It’s an issue Apple recognised in 2015 – as screens and devices get smaller, traditional typography becomes harder to render and see – which led to the development of their now ubiquitous San Francisco typeface. For Balenciaga, the result is a shorter logo which appears more as a stamp, increasing the text’s surface area with a timeless typography – let’s face it, Kering are certainly winning the digital race when it comes to luxury fashion. Gucci alone posted online sales growth of over 60% in H1 2017.
Creative direction and the obsession with rebranding
As custodians of an iconic brand, it seems that redesigning the logo has become the in vogue way for creative directors to ensure their tenure is as memorable as possible. While Hedi Slimane’s controversial redesign of Yves Sant Laurent’s branding wasn’t universally well received, Raf Simons and Jonathan Saunders have both had a go at updating the logos of Calvin Klein and Diane von Furstenberg respectively.