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New Logo for Calvin Klein by Peter Saville



Noted Feb. 6, 2017 by Armin

Industry / Fashion Tags /


(Est. 1968) “Calvin Klein is a global lifestyle brand that exemplifies bold, progressive ideals and a seductive, and often minimal, aesthetic. We seek to thrill and inspire our audience while using provocative imagery and striking designs to ignite the senses. […] Founded in 1968 by Calvin Klein and his business partner Barry Schwartz, we have built our reputation as a leader in American fashion through our clean aesthetic and innovative designs. Global retail sales of Calvin Klein products exceed $8 billion in 2015 and were distributed in [over] 110 countries. Calvin Klein employs over 10,000 associates globally. In 2003, we were acquired by PVH Corp., one of the largest apparel companies in the world.”

Design by

Peter Saville

Related links

Instagram post
Highsnobiety story

Relevant quote
A return to the spirit of the original. An acknowledgement of the founder and foundations of the fashion house. In collaboration with the art director and graphic designer Peter Saville.

Instagram post

Images (opinion after)
New Logo for Calvin Klein by Peter Saville
New logo.
New Logo for Calvin Klein by Peter Saville
One of the older, closer-to-the-original versions of the logo.

Calvin Klein's Avant-Garde-esque upper and lowercase wordmark has been around since the late 1970s — so I'm not sure what the Instagram post is referring to as "A return to the spirit of the original" * — and is one of the most recognizable mainstream fashion logos, thanks in due part to it being so prominent in the band of its underwear. There is always a reason to change logos, and a new creative director is a perfect reason, but, in this case, there doesn't seem to me like there is a legitimate reason to make such a lateral (yet distant) change. It is literally the same thing, just uppercase. Since my job is celebrating logo changes (the good and the bad) and this website's livelihood depends on logo changes I'm not one to ask "Why bother?" but this one really leaves me wondering why bother? It does nothing to move the brand forward, nothing to separate it from other fashion brands (see last week's DVF post), and nothing to inspire customers. There is nothing inherently wrong with it but, just as well, nothing inherently better that would warrant the change. This feels like change for change's sake to satisfy someone's whims, more than a strategic move to set up the brand for the next 50 years. BUT I am the first to admit that I don't know the actual reason for the change… I only see a brand that seems alive and well — its shelves on Costco are always halfway ransacked — and maybe I'm also biased in that I have been using Calvin Klein underwear for all my adult life, which I mention not to say that I'm upset that my next batch will have an uppercase logo but that there's a nearly 40-year-long equity in that logo that's just always been there and seems odd to let go of it.

* After it was pointed out in the comments that I was showing the "original" logo in the before/after image and not the last incarnation —image now updated in the header — I can now see how the new logo does return to the shapes of the original (added to the post).

Thanks to Diego Guevara for the tip.

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