(Est. 1908) “Converse is an American shoe company with a production output that primarily consists of apparel, skating shoes and lifestyle brand footwear. Converse is known as one of America’s most iconic footwear companies. The company was founded in 1908. Converse has been a subsidiary of Nike, Inc. since 2003. Converse manufactures its products under the Cons, Chuck Taylor All-Star, John Varvatos, and Jack Purcell trade names. In addition to apparel and footwear, the company sells other items globally through retailers in over 160 countries and through approximately 75 company-owned retail stores across the United States, and employed 2,658 in the U.S. in 2015.” (Wikipedia)
The star chevron has been in use since the '70s and we wanted to make it a major part of our identity—that part of the brief was clear: Let’s leverage an icon that’s part of our heritage that’s also representative of moving forward. The challenge was getting our name in the mix so we had to develop a new wordmark.
The [new] Converse wordmark itself comes from several past identities. The letterforms are a hybrid of four/five versions of the wordmark. The 'Converse' word has been written in many different ways as a logo over time; in the end it was about mining details.
Images (opinion after)
One thing to clarify upfront is that this is the logo for Converse as a company and that, most importantly, does not replace the well-known Converse All Star/Chuck Taylor logo that is most often associated with the Converse brand. The old logo is a classic and probably one of the few acceptable uses of the Terminator-esque typography. It wasn’t the greatest logo but it’s been around so long that it’s hard to imagine anything else. The new logo gives a promotion to a recurring element of previous Converse shoes to establish a more distinct, shorthand icon that can stand on its own in social media. The star and chevron pairing is a bold, striking visual; it will take some time to establish the association, I think, between mark and shoes — the way, you know, the swoosh is to Nike — but it has potential for sure. I like that they kept the star at an awkward angle instead of making it straight; it’s a subtle decision that makes the icon more interesting. The wordmark… I don’t know. It’s a weird combination of things that doesn’t quite gel. The “R” stands out too much with its short bowl, the “V” is too wide, and the middle arm of the “E” is too long so all the counterspaces feel very different throughout the wordmark. It feels like they chose quirkiness over consistency and it didn’t fully pay off. Overall, it’s an okay change, that breathes a bit of new life into a brand that thrives from being vintage.
Thanks to Sean Bucknam for the tip.