Established in 1856, the Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville (BHV for short) is a popular department store in Paris located in the 4th arrondissement in the gallery-filled district of Marais. This past June it was announced that the store would be renamed Le BHV / Marais with an identity designed by Publicis Royalties. (A few more images than those presented below can be found here).
There isn’t much information released about the change. Some web mentions, like this one, report that the new identity has been designed to cater to the “slasheurs”, a term that describes the digital generation of young people. (French readers: correct me if I’m wrong). These are directly referenced in the use of the orange slash.
The old logo was great. For a brick factory. There was really nothing in it that, as an outsider, would have indicated that this is a department store with contemporary fashions and other products. The new logo is more within the scope of boutique hotels and the sort, so it’s not overly descriptive but at least it’s within the ballpark (or right arrondissement). Typeset in a very safe sans serif and spaced adequately, the new logo is pleasant and the orange slash becomes a very effective graphic device to build the identity around. In application, the diagonal lines are deployed with relative restraint and avoid becoming overpowering or distracting. I like how they have established two patterns: one “zoomed out” and one “zoomed in” of the lines, best appreciated in the wrenches above. It helps break the monotony of one pattern. Overall, it’s pretty and it’s contemporary without being overdone.