Art Deco logo design: The history of Art Deco branding
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Art Deco logo design: The history of Art Deco branding

Art Deco Logo Design

Art Deco logo design and branding elements frequently appear in the luxury landscape. Though the concept of Art Deco has been around for quite some time, it’s still often associated with luxury, elegance, and beauty, making it a fantastic choice for many companies.

Throughout the centuries, graphic design trends and branding have consistently evolved. Long ago, when companies were first looking for ways to capture the attention of their target audience, the majority of the logos produced by brands were complex, intricate, and artistic. 

Today, we’ve seen designers shift towards a more simplistic, minimalist approach

Yet, despite these evolutions, some of the “design movements” introduced throughout the years have remained a core part of the branding landscape. 

We still see evidence of “Line Art” and “Cubism” in some business logos. You may have noticed examples of Pointillism and Futurism in certain brand assets too. Art Deco, also known as the “moderne” art style, is one of the most enduring movements in recent history. 

Today, we will be exploring the basics of Art Deco logo design, how Art Deco branding can still be leveraged by brands today, and where this movement began.

What is Art Deco logo design?

Let’s start with the basics: What is Art Deco?

Appearing alongside other artistic movements like “Bauhaus” in the early 1900s, Art Deco, or style moderne, is a creative style that originated in France and rapidly gained popularity throughout Europe and the US over the decades.

The style focuses on a “modern” or contemporary approach to elegance, which ignores the opulence of previous design movements in favor of simpler designs. Despite a slightly more minimalistic approach, Art Deco still conveys sophistication, wealth, and elegance.

Throughout history, elements of “Art Deco” have appeared all over the world. We see hotels and fashion houses with architectural Art Deco components. Interior design trends frequently focus on Art Deco concepts, particularly in recent years, as modern minimalism has grown more attractive.

Today, Art Deco appeals heavily to lovers of nostalgia and people who appreciate the clean lines and patterns prized by Art Deco creatives. Art Deco combines simplicity with luxury to deliver a unique aesthetic unlike anything else in the artistic world.

So, what is Art Deco logo design?

In Art Deco branding, elements of the movement are commonly used to convey ideas of elegance, sophistication, and heritage. Art Deco logo design is trendy in fashion and jewelry landscapes but can appear in virtually any industry.

In Art Deco logo design, companies use simple color palettes, lines, curves, and bold shapes to connect with their target audience on an emotional level.

A brief history of Art Deco design and branding

To fully understand the appeal of Art Deco logo design, it’s worth diving briefly into the movement’s history. 

The roots of Art Deco design and branding began in the 19th century in France. France was a place of rapid design trend development and artistic growth during this time. Concepts like “Art Nouveau” started appearing, and people rediscovered what art meant. 

“Decorative artists” who worked as designers of furniture, textiles, and similar products, were responsible for the growth of the Art Deco movement. Before 1875, these creators were generally regarded as everyday artisans. However, they were recognized more when the French Society of Decorative Arts was established in 1901. 

Throughout the first decade of the 20th century, Decorative Artists began experimenting with more unique and modern styles, focused heavily on minimalism. French designers were looking for ways to compete with the prosperous efforts of German designers. 

By the 1910s, Art Deco elements were leaving their marks on buildings, brands, and products throughout France. 

In 1925, France found a new way to place its design concepts in the spotlight with a world fair known as the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes. This was when the world became aware of Art Deco. 

The Art Deco movement took the world by storm, appearing in car and interior design, jewelry, furniture, and architecture. 

Art Deco design represented outstanding craftmanship and rich, luxurious materials. After World War 2, Art Deco began giving way to more straightforward, less decorative designs. However, elements of Art Deco have remained consistently present in the branding world to this day.

Art Deco design elements: The characteristics of Art Deco design

One of the reasons Art Deco logo design and branding elements are so compelling is the movement follows various styles. Most of the time, Art Deco creators focus on combining a multitude of different elements and patterns into a single, beautiful piece. 

Initially, Art Deco creations were a little more complex than they are today. Various designs involved ziggurat patterns, loud colors, exaggerated curves, and smooth lines, all connected to capture the audience attention with bold aesthetics. 

As designs have grown simpler and more minimalist over the years, the Art Deco movement has evolved. Still, many of the characteristics of Art Deco design remain consistent, from geometric shapes to vibrant colors. 

The best way to think of Art Deco design is as a mosaic of various styles and sometimes contradictory patterns joined together to create something new and exciting at the time. 

Some of the major Art Deco design elements you may notice in logos and branding components today include:

  • Geometric components (bold shapes)
  • Triangular shapes and diamonds
  • Zigzags and straight, smooth lines
  • Trapezoidal shapes
  • Vibrant, loud, and metallic colors
  • Sleek and streamlined components
  • Sunrise and sunburst motifs
  • Exaggerated curves
  • Hard edges and sharp points
  • Low reliefs
  • Chevron (V mark) arrangements
  • Ziggurat patterns
  • Stepped forms
  • Floral, stylized patterns

As you can see, compared to other schools of design introduced over the decades, Art Deco had many more unique characteristics to experiment with. Freedom was one of the core benefits of designing an “Art Deco” piece for designers when the movement first emerged.

Designers of clothing, products, and architectural components could explore ideas that would never have been combined.

Art Deco logo examples

The complexity and versatility of Art Deco branding can make it challenging to understand the movement without a few examples. Though Art Deco logos aren’t as popular today as they once were, we can still see a few elements of the Art Deco movement worldwide today.

As mentioned above, Art Deco is perhaps ubiquitous in certain industries, such as the fashion landscape. However, we can see examples of this concept in some other spaces too. Here are some tremendous Art Deco logo examples to inspire you.

Art Deco Logo Design

Yves Saint Laurent

Otherwise known as YSL, Yves Saint Laurent is one of the better-known luxury fashion houses to emerge from the French landscape. The company specializes in a range of haute couture items, accessories, and footwear and also has its own beauty line.

The elements of Art Deco in the YSL logo include eye-catching bold font choices, with plenty of straight lines and exaggerated curves combined together. Like in many Art Deco logos, the YSL emblem focuses heavily on shapes rather than specific flourishes or ornate elements.

Art Deco Logo Design

CopperMuse Distillery

An excellent example of an Art Deco logo belongs to the CopperMuse distillery, known for creating a range of alcoholic beverages from rum to whiskey. The company frequently uses Art Deco elements in its packaging, products, and overall branding.

The logo design is similar to that of an old-fashioned movie house. It’s likely to remind you heavily of the 1920s and people wearing suits or flapper dresses.

There’s even an interesting icon of a woman which appears in many of the company’s branding assets, which also follows the Art Deco design style.

Art Deco Logo Design

Accrual Empire

Accrual Empire is a consulting business with an excellent Art Deco branding style. The company has chosen to add elements of Art Deco in its logo to convey a sense of excellence, luxury, and modernity.

This logo shows many of the main characteristics of the Art Deco style, such as the chevron-style inverted Vs.

We can also see the classic “sunburst” style imagery, created with straight lines around the large building in the middle of the logo. All of this emblem’s aspects revolve around using straight, clean lines and sharp edges.

Art Deco Logo Design

The Dark City Gallery is a company that produces limited edition, luxurious movie posters in various artistic styles. The company chose to implement elements of Art Deco design into its emblem to highlight its understanding of the artistic landscape.

In this logo, we see a lot of bold lines and shadows used to create the shape of a building. There’s also a bold circle and fantastic Art Deco-style typography on display. This logo’s various edges and elements make the image appear modern, minimalist, and even sharp in some areas.

Art Deco Logo Design

Citroën

Though the automotive industry may not be the first place you’d consider looking for Art Deco logos, it’s worth noting there are some great examples in the car space. Citroën, a French automobile brand, shows its heritage as a French company by using some basic Art Deco components.

The chevron-style arrows in the Citroën logo are a core component of the Art Deco design movement. The lines in this emblem are also extremely bold and eye-catching. Even the font choice is modern, engaging, and Art Deco in nature.

Art Deco Logo Design

Chanel

Perhaps one of the best-known examples of an “Art Deco” logo comes from Chanel, a luxury French fashion house known for its ready-to-wear apparel and accessories. The logo features two interlocked C’s, sometimes displayed in gold, other times in black.

While the logo might seem more minimalist than Art Deco at first glance, it does convey some of the aspects of an Art Deco design. The exaggerated curves in the Cs, as are the bold, blocky lines, are a classic component of the Art Deco movement.

Art Deco branding examples

Art Deco design and branding elements aren’t just evident in logos.

As the Art Deco movement took off over the years, we’ve seen examples of the style in virtually every part of the world. Over the years, countless advertising campaigns and other components have showcased the “Art Deco” concept.

Here are some other great Art Deco branding examples to guide you…

Art Deco Logo Design

Art Deco in advertising

Although Art Deco in advertising is less common today than it once was, the movement was trendy for marketing teams following the first world war.

After the war, many advertisement posters dotted around the world shifted from flowing and floral illustrations to more geometric, streamlined concepts in graphic design.

Art Deco concepts appeared in everything from Vogue magazines to posters for the latest Rolls Royce car. The strong lines, dynamic typefaces, and bold colors helped companies to convey ideas of modernity, luxury, and confidence.

Art Deco Logo Design

Art Deco branding in typography

While some aspects of the Art Deco design and branding landscape have grown less common over the years, Art Deco typography is still evident all around the world. We see examples of “Art Deco” style fonts on websites, magazines, and even printed onto the packaging.

Art Deco elements in typography usually include geometric shapes, elongated letters, and lots of decorative detailing.

Many Art Deco fonts have additional lines, which help give the letters a sense of depth and dimension. Art Deco font options are also usually quite slender, with minimal spacing between each letter.

Art Deco Logo Design

Art Deco in graphic design

Another area where you may notice a significant amount of Art Deco styling is in the graphic design landscape. Graphic designers frequently use elements of the Art Deco artistic styles, such as zigzags and sharp lines, to help convey minimalism and modernity.

Art Deco elements can appear on magazine covers, posters, marketing materials, websites, and more. One of the most famous examples of Art Deco graphic design was used to promote the movie “The Great Gatsby.”

Various design components throughout the film show opulent Art Deco-style imagery with bold fonts, strong lines, and exaggerated shapes.

Art Deco Logo Design

Art Deco in packaging design

As mentioned above, elements of Art Deco style can often appear in the packaging elements used by various brands to make their products stand out on shelves.

Usually, when it comes to adding Art Deco elements to packaging, companies focus on using specific typefaces and patterns. Most designs will usually consist of only a handful of colors, conveying a sense of minimalism.

In many cases, Art Deco packaging design includes metallic colors like gold and silver.

These shades are often widespread in recreations of Art Deco concepts. Triangular shapes, chevrons, geometric elements, and straight lines are all common characteristics of Art Deco-inspired packaging options.

Art Deco Logo Design

Art Deco in website design

Many fashion, movie, and entertainment companies use elements of Art Deco design and branding in their websites. 

Thanks to modern tools and software, web designers can experiment with various shapes and colors when producing an eye-catching website. 

Most of the time, Art Deco websites are characterized by contrasting hues in shades like black and gold and large images combined with smaller text options.

Designers often like to use several thin and fine lines in Art Deco website design to evoke the classic spirit of Art Deco architecture. The result is a luxurious and regal-looking website. A great example of Art Deco website design can be seen on the Lena Hotel site:

Which companies use Art Deco graphic design?

The versatility of the Art Deco design movement makes it an excellent option for a wide range of different companies. However, it’s more common to see this design choice being used by certain brands from specific industries.

You may have noticed in our exploration of Art Deco logo examples that many modern companies using Art Deco logos are French in origin.

For the French, Art Deco is more than just an aesthetic choice; it’s an opportunity to highlight heritage and history by connecting themselves to one of the most enduring art forms to come from France.

Many French companies still use components of Art Deco design in their packaging, websites, and other branding elements today.

Art Deco is also frequently associated with wealth, luxury, and extravagance. As a result, we’re less likely to see it in certain industries associated with science or health.

On the other hand, Art Deco’s unique nature fits well with companies in sectors like fashion and beauty. The colors and shape choices used in Art Deco imagery help companies to appear wealthier and highlight a sense of excellence.

Outside of the fashion, jewelry, and beauty industries, Art Deco branding can also appear frequently in the entertainment and architectural space.

Some architectural companies use Art Deco elements to remind consumers of the movement’s influence on modern building aesthetics. Entertainment brands often use Art Deco to remind people of the classic theatres and entertainment houses of the early 1900s.

Art Deco can even be an excellent tool for evoking nostalgia in a target audience. Though modern in some ways, Art Deco can sometimes be seen as “retro” or “vintage,” too. This makes it a fantastic choice for companies who want to connect to their audience emotionally concerning the past.

Is Art Deco branding right for you?

Art Deco logo design is an interesting and appealing option for a huge range of companies. It can evoke feelings of nostalgia or highlight the excellence and extravagance of a brand’s products.

The design choice can be seen as both contemporary or retro, depending on how it’s used, and it’s ideal for more minimalistic organizations too.

For branding experts and artists, Art Deco is a highly versatile stylistic choice, offering the opportunity to experiment with various shapes, geometric patterns, and rich colors. It can be decadent and luxurious or bold and impactful.

Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for choosing the best art style for your needs. If you think Art Deco might be the right aesthetic for your company, it’s worth speaking to a graphic designer and exploring your options with the help of a professional. 

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Stewart Hodgson
Co-founder
Stewart Hodgson
Co-founder
Our co-founder, Stewart, is responsible for content strategy and managing Fabrik’s publishing team. It’s up to Stewart to bring Fabrik to busy marketers’ attention. As a regular contributor to Brand Fabrik, Stewart creates articles relevant to anyone in branding, marketing and creative communication.

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