Causes uproar and mixed feelings on social media
Riccardo Tisci, Burberry’s new creative chief, is shaking things up at the traditional British brand and shared on Instagram the first logo redesign in 20 years.
Even before debuting with his first collection for Burberry this September at the London Fashion Week, we already see significant changes in the quintessentially British fashion house, world-famous for its trench coats and the check pattern.
Burberry’s logo with the knight on a horse and the wordmark; the brand's name in a classic and traditional serif typeface, which hadn’t been changed for the past twenty years, becomes now a clean all-caps sans-serif “BURBERRY LONDON ENGLAND” and a monogram in eye-catching pop colours, red and honey, with interlocking initials of Thomas Burberry, the founder of the brand and creator of the iconic trench coat.
The art designer and art director Peter Saville, the same who made the new logo for Calvin Klein in 2017, had only four weeks to refresh Burberry’s identity, which is almost an impossible task in such a short time!
Social media followers of the brand have not received the news very well; one called the new logo “cheap,” other follower said “This is just bad,” another one said “This is a great pattern for a high-end Scooby Doo episode” because of the cartoonish bubbly B used in the monogram.
Riccardo Tisci on the other hand, was more than pleased with the new logo, saying: “Peter is one of our generation’s greatest design geniuses. I’m so happy to have collaborated together to reimagine the new visual language for the house.”
Other fashion houses have revamped their logos over the years, some successfully, others not so much.
The French fashion brand Yves Saint Laurent, under Hedi Slimane, changed in 2012 not only its logo but also its name, dropping the Yves and becoming only “ Saint Laurent”. The new logo caused the ire of many YSL lovers but ended up winning the Wallpaper Best Rebranding award. Saint Laurent's new identity was, in fact, a clever move as it drew the house image closer to the original "Saint Laurent Rive Gauche" from the 60's. But GAP, for example, had such a negative public response for its new logo back in 2010 that it returned to its old one only a few days later.
So what drives a fashion house to feel the need for such a drastic change?
Is it to refresh the company’s image? Is it because the logo is outdated and the brand wants to create a new identity to appeal to the younger generations? Is it because the house has lost its glamour due to cheap imitations? (Burberry check is probably one of the most copied patterns in the world!). Is it to fit in with the market’s current obsession, the logomania? Or is it merely because of the designer’s ego?
Maybe it is a bit of all of the above.
After twelve years as creative director at Givenchy, the Italian designer Riccardo Tisci, known for his modern and contemporary approach, for sure wants to mark his arrival at Burberry with a breath of fresh air. The traditional 162-year-old fashion house has always maintained a foot - or two- in its historic past, Tisci wants to move the British label to the “here and now”. Let's just hope that the new visual language doesn't end up erasing the heritage brand's identity.
I guess we will have to wait; only time will tell if the revamped logo will be successful or not.
Photo via Burberry Instagram