Image courtesy of its designer, who wishes to remain anonymous
It has been one of 2018’s running jokes—luxury fashion retailers have been swapping their time-tested logos for drastically minimal versions that might seem wholly alike to the untrained eye. Brands that opted for sans-serifs this year include Balmain, Celine (formerly Céline) and Burberry.
Jokes aside, there’s a number of reasons why brands seem to be adopting the “same” typeface. San-serifs, when designed chicly, can illustrate the companies they represent in a tasteful, legible manner that’s suitable for the digital era.
Having observed these major revamps, an incognito designer—who even created a temporary email address for the sake of this project—decided to redesign the logos of 19 other luxury retailers.
The industry’s rebranding wave, which this designer calls the “Virgil Abloh effect,” is the “easiest way to keep up with the cool kids.” Abloh’s Off-White, as well as Balenciaga, are textbook examples of this effect.
“[Going sans-serif] rejuvenates the brand whilst taking minimum effort,” the designer told DesignTAXI.
Additionally, the logos in this project were designed for “Insta-readability,” which means they should be easy to perceive whether on a t-shirt, worn by somebody, or when displayed on Instagram through a small mobile screen.
They should also bow out gracefully to make way for the companies’ products. “It indicates that buyers might care more about the emotional power of the brand, rather than the fluff around it. Or does it?” the concepts’ creator questioned. The designer also took the individual identities of the 19 brands to consideration for this project.
Would every luxury retailer adopt this bare-bones approach? Maybe not. “Could you imagine Rolex typeset in ‘Gotham’?” the designer asked DesignTAXI. “I’d love to be proven wrong though!”
Take a look at all 19 concepts below. What are your thoughts on the “Virgil Abloh effect?”