Founded in 1856, Burberry today remains a quintessentially British brand, with a closely connected, creative thinking culture at its heart. Burberry believes that to be a great brand it must also be a great company and constantly leverage’s the energy of its culture. Head quartered in London, the brand has built a global reputation for innovative product design, digital marketing initiatives and dynamic retail strategies.
The 161-years old British firm announced at the beginning of August a strong restyling of its logo, for the first time in 20 years, after 1999, when ‘Burberry’s’ became ‘Burberry’. The new branding elements have been developed by Peter Saville, under the guidance of Burberry’s newly appointed Creative Director, Riccardo Tisci. Artworks include both a new logo and a new monogrammed pattern.
Saville was co-founder and art director of the independent record label Factory, and was responsible for a host of iconic album cover designs, including the artwork for Joy Division’s 1979 album Unknown Pleasures. Last year Saville worked with Calvin Klein’s creative director Raf Simons to subtly rework the fashion label’s logo, replacing it with all caps and kerning the letters closer together.
“The new logotype is a complete step-change, an identity that taps into the heritage of the company in a way that suggests the twenty-first-century cultural coordinates of what Burberry could be.” Saville exclusively told Dezeen. The new logo which says ‘Burberry London England’ has been designed in stark capital letters using a sans-serif font, a complete change from the softer, rounder Bodoni font used by the company since 1901. “Historically, Burberry’s logotype was appropriate to the trench coat’s utilitarian nature,” Saville said. “Burberry needed an identity that is fluid and able to cross over into all the categories that are required of a big luxury clothing and accessories brand – something to transcend the company provenance without denying it.”
The monogram design was influenced by early styles at Burberry and the final design is an interlinked T and B, inspired by the founder, Thomas Burberry. It combines a striking orange hue with white and the classic Burberry beige. The serif font used is reminiscent of art-nouveau from that period, with organic and voluptuous curves; yet, there is a bright and fresh contemporary twist. The TB monogram will appear both on its own or as a repeating pattern, echoing the brand famous nova check.
The rebranding has been a bold move for the company; Riccardo Tisci was appointed as chief creative earlier on in the year and has his first ready to wear collection appearing in London Fashion Week in the next few weeks. He also commented on his own Instagram posts of the new patterns with #newera, implying that change is well and truly on the horizon.
A monogram is a typical branding element of luxury houses. As part of his maximalist revolution, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele resurrected the brand’s interlocking G motif from its ‘90s heyday, reinterpreting it for a younger, modern audience by adorning it with flowers or pairing it with playful motifs. Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri reintroduced the house’s logo print on handbags for her first ready-to-wear show. Fendi, has been reviving its black and brown double ‘F’ logo print across its clothing and accessories. Also the LV of Louis Vuitton, the interlocked double C of Chanel, the GA of Giorgio Armani are recognized all over the world and are commonly used on many of the houses’ best sellers. As customers we did not know that the founder was called Thomas Burberry and therefore the TB monogram is almost a little random and confusing compared to the famous classic tartan.
The old Burberry logo, with or without the knight emblem still looks more classic and traditionally British compared to the straight edged re-branded version. Understandably the new logo is modern and a ‘new’ look, but it lacks personality and timelessness that a luxury brand should evoke. It is very simple - a sans serif font with very little character. Did Burberry need a new look? It is a well known brand which has had increasingly effective marketing campaigns over the years, surely it didn’t need this change? The products and prices may need altering but there logo may have been better left alone. Tradition should be modernised, not removed.
Written by Charlotte Ponting
Sourced: Dezeen, Alessandro Balossini Volpe, AdAge