The best designer brand logos and what makes them unique
Designer brand logos have a unique impact on their audience. Though they’re often relatively simplistic, with basic color palettes and few decorative elements, designer logos are powerful, and evocative. They stand as status symbols, inspiring desire, and longing among consumers.
Carefully crafted with a focus on sophistication, style, and elegance, the logos of the best designer brands not only stand the test of time, they translate perfectly across virtually all mediums. While consumer trends come and go, designer brand logos preserve their impact.
Whether you’re creating a luxury logo of your own, or you’re just curious about the branding strategies of well-known designer brands, you’re in the right place.
Here’s your guide to some of the most memorable and impressive designer brand logos of all time, and what makes them so unique.
What classifies as a designer brand?
Before we dive into our list of designer brand logos, it’s worth taking a moment to understand the designer label. While the term “designer brand” is often associated with the fashion industry, it actually spans a much larger market.
The term designer brand applies to all kinds of products, from automobiles to personal accessory items, sold under a prestigious marque. Typically, designer brands are named either after their founder, or the location where the company was founded.
Usually, the designer label applies to luxury goods. Most designer brands, from the top fashion houses to the world’s leading accessory companies target upper middle class and affluent consumers. Some designer labels produce a combination of smaller, cheaper items, and more expensive products.
For instance, a luxury fashion house might produce smaller products like wallets and accessories to connect with a wider audience. However, they may also create haute couture items and specialist products to reach wealthier, upper-class clientele.
Designer labels are seen as a status symbol by the general public. Products sold by these companies, and the logos on their items are considered higher in quality than general items.
What do most designer brands have in common?
A focus on a more affluent clientele isn’t the only thing designer brands have in common.
When we look at the luxury logos and branding of designer companies, we see a lot of similarities too. Each recognizable logo mentioned below has its own unique components. However, there are some commonalities between each brand mark.
For instance, many of the logos used by designer brands include:
While there are some more complex designer brand logos out there, most are relatively simple. High-end fashion companies and other well-known luxury brands tend to use simple wordmarks, with easily memorable design elements, such as monograms.
The logo concepts created by designer brands usually feature a lot of negative space or white space. Luxury companies know how to draw the eye to what’s important – the emblem itself. This means using plenty of spacing in each logo.
Basic color palettes
Many of the modern designs created by designer companies feature basic color palettes. It’s particularly common to see stunning logos presented in just black and white. If a designer brand does use color, it’s usually just one or two shades.
Many fashion brands choose a company logo that features the name of the business. This makes choosing the right typography extremely important. Most designer companies will avoid overly decorative fonts. They tend to opt for simple sans-serif or serif designs.
The top designer brand logos: Well-known designer brands
Now we’ve spoken briefly about the logo design process of leading designer brands, it’s worth taking a closer look at the emblems themselves.
While all of the unique logo options mentioned above have their own compelling elements, they’re all intended to evoke ideas of aspiration and success for consumers. Luxury fashion brands and other designer companies know how to inspire and engage their audience with a powerful logo.
Let’s dive into some of the top designer brand logos of all time.
Easily one of the most memorable designer logos in the world today comes from Hermes, Paris. Heavily embedded in the pop culture landscape, Hermes was initially established in 1837 by Thierry Hermes, who sold horse harnesses to noble families.
In 1880, Thierry’s son took over the business, and started adding new products, including saddles and bags. The Hermes Company now sells a range of accessories to affluent customers.
The horse-drawn carriage used in the logo is a reference to the company’s equestrian history. It also draws inspiration from a well-known painting “Le Duc attele”.
As mentioned above, designer brands don’t just produce clothing, they’re also well-known in the accessories industry. Longines is one of the most prominent watchmakers in history, first established in 1832. In that time, the company has made various changes to its logo.
However, while the business logo has been updated over time, to suit a more modern audience, Longines has retained a lot of its core visual elements.
The winged hourglass, symbolic of the passing of time, has remained in the logo for a number of years.
The history behind the Longines crest makes it one of the most powerful designer logos.
Though famous designer brand logos are often associated with fashion, many automotive companies are considered “designer labels” too. Porsche is one such example. One of the world’s oldest automotive manufacturers, Porsche, is a leader in luxury cars.
Porsche has one of the most complex logos on this list, but the crest is highly evocative. The shield features a stallion, designed to inspire ideas of speed and elegance.
What’s more, the Porsche logo plays homage to the city where the company was launched, Stuttgart, in Germany.
One of the most powerful luxury fashion brands to emerge from Japan, Comme de Garcons is an innovator in androgynous fashion. The company, founded in 1969, specializes in extravagant garments, as well as minimalistic designs.
While the official logo of a company is a wordmark, with a star placed below the “C” in Garcons, the brand is also well-known for a range of other designs. One of the most widely known emblems includes a heart with a set of eyes.
Comme des Garcons are experts in experimenting with unique imagery and powerful wordmarks in the logo design process.
Like Comme des Garcons, Gucci is known for more than just its official logo. The company established itself as a pioneer amongst luxury fashion brands in 1921. The name comes from a colloquium for “Good”.
Additionally, the title also refers to Gucci’s founder, Guccio Gucci. Gucci’s logo is simplistic, featuring plenty of white space between the letters of the brand name.
Most people are also familiar with the Gucci monogram, which features two interlocking “G’s”, and appears on most of the brand’s products.
The Parker Pen Company demonstrates how versatile designer brand logos can be. While the company does produce products for less affluent clients, it’s still considered a designer brand by many. Even world leaders, like President Kennedy used Parker pens.
The son of founder, George Parker, was passionate about aviation and flight, something he used to inspire his logo creation process.
The logo used by the company today demonstrates elegance and luxury, as well as the company’s unique approach to innovation.
7. Louis Vuitton
Based in France, Louis Vuitton is one of the most well-recognized luxury brands in the world. First established in 1854, the company is an innovator in its industry, appearing at virtually every fashion show hosted throughout the world.
The current logo of the Luis Vuitton brand features just the business name, in a simple sans-serif font, with all uppercase letters.
However, many people are also familiar with the Louis Vuitton monogram, which appears across the bags, and clothing made by the brand.
Founded in 1925 by Adele Fendi and her husband Edoardo, this luxury designer brand has captured the hearts of audiences for almost a century. The official brand logo simply shows the business name, presented in all capital letters to convey strength.
Like many well known designer brands, Fendi also has its own monogram. The image features two “F’s”, which come together to create a unique geometric shape.
Interestingly, the old logo of the Fendi company featured a squirrel, because Edoardo would often refer to his wife as a busy squirrel.
Another of the most recognizable designer brand logos of all times comes from Chanel. Introduced in the 1900s by Coco Chanel, this company has become an icon of the fashion world.
The Chanel logo features two distinctive elements. First, we see the brand name, depicted in a bold, sans-serif font with all uppercase letters. Secondly, the company also utilizes a monogram, featuring interlocking “C’s”, for the initials of the founder.
The elegance of the design has made it instantly recognizable, and the brand’s image hasn’t changed much over the decades, demonstrating the lasting impact of the emblem.
Otherwise known as “Coach New York”, Coach is an American brand, and one of the earliest examples of fashion companies to launch in the US. The company uses both a wordmark and a visual element in its logo.
The visual shows a horse-drawn carriage, or Coach, with an interesting level of detail throughout the elements. The decision to use a horse-drawn carriage in the logo was made to connect the company with the nobility of years passed.
Today, the Coach emblem is considered one of the best fashion logos in the US, attracting affluent consumers from across the globe.
Another of the most famous designer brand logos from the watchmaking landscape, Rolex was initially founded in 1905 as “Wilsdorf and Davis”. After choosing its new name, Rolex created a logo guaranteed to stand the test of time.
The luxurious logo features a serif-style wordmark, depicted in green to convey affluence and wealth. The crown on top of the wordmark reminds us of Rolex’s position in its chosen market.
The design of the Rolex logo is so compelling, it has even led to the organization being nicknamed “The crown” in some circles.
Introduced in 1978 by Gianni Versace, the Versace company has become one of the most iconic brands of all time. The unique logo used by the company is interesting not just because of its complexity, but because of the creature within the logo.
The design prominently features the head of Medusa, a creature from Greek mythology said to turn men into stone. Versace chose this logo to symbolize the alluring nature of its brand.
The logo also includes a circular border, which bears Greek symbols along the perimeter. This design also features the Versace brand name, in bold, sans-serif letters.
Returning to the automotive sector, Bugatti is one of the better-known car manufacturers in the world today. The logo of the company was inspired by Ettore Bugatti’s father, a professional jewelry designer, known for using precious stones.
The Bugatti emblem features a number of dots around the main badge, intended to look like rubies, or other luxurious stones, highlighting the nature of the brand.
Though the company uses different logos throughout their branding and marketing materials, this bright red emblem is perhaps the most recognizable version.
Taking a relatively unique approach with its branding, Maison Margiela is a fashion house first founded in 1988. It produces haute couture and ready-to-wear collections.
The logo of the company is relatively simplistic, featuring a wordmark in an elegant serif font, with the word “Paris” underneath. However, where other luxury fashion brands showcase their logos on their products, Maison Margiela takes a different approach.
The company creates labels with white stitches which omit the name of the brand. These labels can be easily removed, to make the garment less identifiable.
Another well-known clothing company from the designer landscape, Prada is synonymous with luxurious Italian fashion. The company was first launched in 1913 and has been growing ever since, changing its logo through the ages.
The official Prada logo today features the company’s name in a unique font. The serifs on the letters are much sharper, and more pronounced than you might expect.
In some instances, Prada also introduces the word “Milano” on its logo, acknowledging the original location where the brand was founded.
16. Dolce & Gabbana
Founded by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana in 1985, the Dolce & Gabbana company, otherwise known as D&G, is recognizable worldwide.
Though the emblem for this company might seem simplistic, it’s instantly powerful. The unique positioning of the characters, combined with the minimalistic ampersand gives the company a modern and contemporary appearance.
The D&G monogram is also well-known throughout the world, and is often used for the clothing company’s products, as well as marketing campaigns.
17. Jimmy Choo
Best known for its women’s footwear collections, Jimmy Choo is a luxury fashion house from the UK. It was first established in 1996, by Jimmy Choo and Tamara Mellon. Like many of the famous designer brand logos in this list, Jimmy Choo chose a simplistic emblem.
The design is a straightforward wordmark, set in a custom typeface. The letters are made up of thin strokes and small serifs, which showcase both modernity and elegance at the same time.
Jimmy Choo, like many designer brands, also has a monogram used on some of its products, which combines the “J” and “C” from the brand’s name.
Among the most famous luxury brand logos of all time, Givenchy’s emblem is sleek and simplistic. The French luxury fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy created his designer brand in 1952.
Though the official logo of the company only features the name of the company, Givenchy is perhaps best-known for its monogram. The image features a set of four “G’s”, forming a square motif similar in style to a Celtic image.
Givenchy’s powerful logo is both simple and visually interesting at the same time, demonstrating a commitment to luxury, and sophistication.
One of the better-known designer brands from the UK, Burberry, was established by Thomas Burberry in 1856. The company’s original logo was far more complex than the one we know today, featuring an equestrian knight as the main image.
After updating its image for a more modern audience, Burberry introduced a new logo, consisting of a simple serif wordmark, with elegant lines.
The minimalistic logo combines elegance with modernity, demonstrating the new focus of the company, and its commitment to reaching its target audience in the 21st century.
Armani, founded by Giorgio Armani in 1975, is another exceptional example of a designer logo. The fashion designer, Giorgio, created his logo to make a lasting impression on a modern audience, combining an image with a powerful wordmark.
Though the current logo used by Giorgio Armani features only the wordmark, most people are still familiar with the eagle used in the previous designs by the company.
This eagle acts as a monogram for the fashion company, and appears on many of the brand’s products. The overall brand image is simplistic and elegant, with a minimalistic black and white color palette.
21. Calvin Klein
Famous for its designer underwear and denim lines, Calvin Klein was first launched in 1968, and specializes in mass-market clothing for all genders and groups.
Although the fashion logo design used by Calvin Klein might seem relatively basic at a glance, it’s a powerful emblem. The simplistic wordmark, with its sleek smooth letters, demonstrate the company’s commitment to inclusion and diversity.
The Calvin Klein logo also features the common black and white color palette, seen frequently throughout the fashion industry as a symbol of sophistication.
22. Marc Jacobs
Similar in a lot of ways to the Calvin Klein logo, and various other modern designer emblems, the Marc Jacobs logo is simple, but futuristic.
Introduced in 1984, the Marc Jacobs logo has remained consistent throughout the life of the brand. The rounded and friendly letters in the logo make it more appealing to a younger audience, and ensure the design can work well across a range of platforms.
Interestingly, the Marc Jacobs logo has appeared in a variety of different colors over the years, and is often adapted for the company’s branding and marketing campaigns.
23. Ralph Lauren
Another of the most recognizable designer brand logos in the world today, the Ralph Lauren logo features far more detail than most of the designs mentioned here.
Although the company started life focused on selling men’s ties in 1967, it was the polo shirt the company introduced in 1972 that earned it a prominent place in the fashion industry.
It only makes sense then that Ralph Lauren would adopt a polo player for its icon. The image used today combines this polo player with a memorable serif-style wordmark.
Learning from designer logos
There are countless examples of designer brand logos throughout the world today, chosen to represent sophistication, affluence, and luxury. The designer logos mentioned above all have their own unique elements, though there are many common components between them.