Levi’s logo history, symbol, meaning and evolution
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Levi’s logo history, symbol, meaning and evolution

Levi's Logo History

How much do you know about Levi’s logo history? Levi Strauss & Co. is one of the most famous companies in the denim jeans industry. Part of the reason for this is the organization’s unique approach to building a memorable brand identity

The red label that appears on all Levi’s clothing immediately separates the organization from countless other vendors in the fashion space. However, just like many of the top brands of the world, Levi’s hasn’t always used the same symbol. 

To understand how Levi’s created such a memorable image, we need to dive back into the full history of Levi’s brand identity. Here’s everything you need to know about the Levi’s brand, and its unique label. 

The Levi’s brand: When was Levi’s founded?

Before we begin exploring Levi’s logo history, let’s take a moment to look at the Levi’s brand. Levi’s, otherwise known as “Levi Strauss & Co”, is an American clothing vendor, best-known for its denim jeans. It was initially founded in 1853, by Levi Strauss. 

Levi moved to San Francisco, California, to open a new branch of his brother’s dry goods business. At the time, Jacob Davis, a tailor who frequently purchased denim cloth from Levi Strauss, had the idea to start using copper rivets to strengthen the points of strain on pants. 

He didn’t have the money required to purchase a patent, and wrote to Strauss to suggest they go into business together. The two men received a patent in 1873, and eventually started to produce the blue jeans that would make the company famous.

Levi’s branding: What does Levi’s mean?

There’s no real hidden meaning behind the Levi’s brand name. Like many companies at the time, the organization was named after a person, Levi Strauss, one of the co-founders of the Levi’s brand, and the trademark holder for the first Levi’s jeans. 

The brand’s name might be simplistic, but it’s ideal for a clothing company, giving the brand a sense of history and personality. 

What is Levi’s slogan?

The slogan for the Levi’s brand is “Quality never goes out of style”. According to the company, this is more than just a marketing tagline. The slogan is a promise to consumers that the products they produce will always exceed expectations. 

Levi’s logo history: The Levi’s logo evolution

Virtually everyone is familiar with the Levi’s brand today, and the little red tab that often appears on the back pocket seam of Levi’s jeans. However, the trademark symbol of the Levi’s company hasn’t always been the same. Here’s your insight into Levi’s logo history. 

Levi’s Logo History


Long before Levi’s started producing jeans, the company already existed as a “dry goods” retailer. The old Levi’s logo was very different to the one we know today. It featured a simple rectangular badge, with the name “Levi Strauss & Co” in serif font. 

The numbers “16” and “14” refer to the original founding date of the company, which had already been in operation for decades, before Strauss moved to America.

Levi’s Logo History


The horse brand logo, introduced by Levi’s in 1892 is still in use among some Levi’s products today. The image featured a pair of Levi’s jeans, being pulled apart by two men with horses, demonstrating the strength of the “original riveted” clothing. 

The ornate logo featured a number of elements, alongside the two horses moving in the opposite direction. The name of the company appeared, alongside its patent information, and the location where the company was first founded. 

Levi’s Logo History


A redesign in 1925 introduced a simpler, yet brighter logo to the Levi’s brand. The name of the company appeared in a thick sans-serif font, in red, with a thin black outline. The rounded letters in this iconic logo made the company appear friendly and fun.

Levi’s Logo History


By 1929, the market for jeans was expanding, and Levi’s created a new logo to take advantage of the high demand in the industry. The new image featured the word “Levi’s” in a bold and geometric sans-serif font, depicted in blue and white. 

The inscription on the above logo design appeared on a red background, and included the tagline, “America’s Finest Overall”. 

Levi’s Logo History


Levi’s adjusted the color palette and contours of its logo in 1943. The blue coloring remained, presented in the blocky letters of the “Levi’s” inscription. However, it now appeared on a yellow background. The tagline used in the previous logo also appeared again here. 

The lettering on the design was a lot simpler and more refined, but still featured bold curves to make the company appear playful and fun.

Levi’s Logo History


Not only did Levi’s introduce a new logo in 1949, but they showcased a new tagline too: “When there’s work to be done, wear:” The image featured white lettering for the name “Levi’s” on a black background. The slogan was written in a lowercase, sans-serif font. 

Levi’s Logo History


Far more modern than the previous Levi’s logos, the emblem introduced in 1953 was streamlined and eye-catching, featuring white font on a dark red background. The Levi’s wordmark was altered slightly, with an angled “E” character, and various geometric elements

In this design, the words “Vintage Clothing” appeared under the company’s name in a bold, sans-serif font. Overall, the red and white color palette was bold and engaging. 

Levi’s Logo History


Levi’s retained its white and red color scheme moving into the late 60s, though the red shade was made a lot brighter for the new label. The 1969 design introduced the first version of the “batwing logo” for the Levi’s company, with the curved elements on the bottom part of the banner. 

Levi’s changed its font choice again with this design, opting for a sans-serif typeface where all letters but the “E” were capitalized. 

Levi's Logo History


In 2003, Levi’s introduced a slightly updated version of its previous logo. The sans-serif font remained, though the letters were slightly more refined, with bolder lines. The narrow rectangle for the Levi’s label was extended slightly, giving the name more space. 

The color of the design used for Levi’s jeans was also altered slightly, becoming a little darker, similar to the red used in the 1950s. 

What does the new Levi’s logo mean?

Throughout Levi’s logo history, the jeans company has experimented with a wide range of images, all with their own unique meaning. The “two horse trademark”, still present on some designs today, symbolized the strength of the clothing compared to the competition. 

The latest Levi’s logo, introduced in the early 2000s, also has a deeper meaning. The “batwing” design on the bottom of the badge highlights the shapeliness of the company’s products, and their ability to hug the contours of the body. 

The red color palette used by the brand is intended to symbolize vitality, passion, and strength, while white is often used to reference excellence and quality. Not only does this logo stand out on denim fabric, but it also makes a resounding impact on all of Levi’s marketing materials. 

The bright and eye-catching logo has become a symbol of quality for everyone who loves Levi’s unique products. 

The Levi’s symbol: Fonts and colors

The Levi’s logo has become a symbol of quality and excellence in the fashion world. It’s something consumers associate not just with style and modernity, but with strength and reliability too. Though relatively simple, the compelling design fits perfectly with the Levi’s brand.

It’s small enough to appear on miniature tags on Levi’s jeans, and memorable enough to capture the attention of consumers worldwide.

If you want to take a closer look at the Levi’s logo, you can find some useful resources here:

What is the Levi’s logo font?

The Levi’s font has changed a few times over the years, from a strict serif typeface to the simple and modern wordmark we know today. The “red tab” Levi’s logo uses an iconic sans-serif typeface, with bolded letters and strong curves. 

The design is similar in some ways to options like URW linear wide ultra bold, although there have been some changes made to the characters, such as the “E” letter. 

What is the Levi’s color palette?

Throughout Levi’s logo history, we’ve also seen the company experiment with a range of different shades. However, the most common color used by the brand has always been red. The bright red hue of the Levi’s logo immediately grabs attention in any environment.

Combined with the white font on the Levi’s logo, the two shades deliver exceptional contrast.

The Levi’s colors used today are white, and a specific shade of red, similar to:

The Levi’s jeans logo: A perfect fit

Looking back at Levi’s logo history, it’s easy to see how the company has crafted an iconic image, using a combination of carefully chosen typography, and color psychology. Though the Levi’s logo is relatively simple, it’s instantly eye-catching. 

Over the years, this logo has helped to not only capture the attention of new customers, but draw attention to Levi’s history, and dominance in the fashion market. The red and white batwing logo symbolizes strength, timelessness, and durability. 

The Levi’s logo works because it’s unique, clean, and modern. It’s endlessly versatile, and wonderfully memorable, no matter where you encounter it. 

Fabrik: A branding agency for our times.

Stephen Peate
Creative director
Stephen Peate
Creative director
As Fabrik’s creative director, Stephen oversees complex branding programmes. He advises our clients on their tone of voice, creates logos and visual identities and crafts names for companies, products and services. Writing for Brand Fabrik Stephen reflects his love for logo design and visual identity.

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