Burberry, the English iconic brand, revealed a new logo and monogram in August 2018. The rebranding took place under the direction of the fashion house’s chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci, with the collaboration of Peter Saville, the renowned British art director and graphic designer.
Riccardo Tisci’s was inspired by “a logo from 1908 and a Thomas Burberry monogram” while visiting the house’s archives. The final logo is designed in a sans serif font (Bodoni font, previously) and the monogram showcases a honeyed background with interlocking T’s and B’s, which stands for “Thomas Burberry” – the brand’s founder.
Burberry’s branding endeavor holds multiple challenges including working around a brand that holds strong historical foundations, maintaining a point of differentiation, and creating a communication strategy aligned with the new direction of the brand.
A historical brand
The rebranding of a fashion house in the luxury sector is an important business decision, even more so when the house is Burberry, a brand that embodies values such as tradition, British elegance, and history. A brand that is also well known for a specific pattern – the iconic check design, a Scottish tartan design with a beige base, accented by black, red, and white – one that was untouchable until now.
“Historically, Burberry’s logotype was appropriate to the trench coat’s utilitarian nature, ” Peter Saville confides to Dezeen.com on the rebranding. “Burberry needed an identity that is fluid and able to cross over into all the categories that are required of a big luxury clothing and accessories brand – something to transcend the company provenance without denying it.” The strategic move undeniably indicates a strong shift from tradition to modernity since it is the first rebranding since 1999 for the fashion house. It also represents Riccardo Tisci’s first major footprint since his nomination as the new creative officer of Burberry back in March 2018.
The differentiation factor
The differentiation aspect in branding is essential to remain relevant and visible to customers. While this was a point already achieved with the previous branding, the current version appears to hold similarities with current competitors and mainstream trends in the sector. Indeed, 80’s-90’s vintage resurgence trends and the popularity of monograms, logos, and prints appear to be a current inspiration for Burberry’s new monogram. Influences such as high fashion meets low fashion or competitors (Gucci, notably) might have impacted the current creative direction of Burberry. Additionally, the minimalism of the new logo holds similarities with this recent rebranding: Calvin Klein, made under the direction of the same designer selected by Burberry.
A communication 2.0
Riccardo Tisci shared information about the rebranding through Instagram posts and stories, eventually revealing internal communications between him and Peter Saville regarding the creative process involved in the project. This type of communication strategy showcases 3 important points: the now well-established importance of social media for luxury brands, a new type of communication – for the luxury sector – that pushes for transparency with audiences, and a clear focus on millennials and new generations of customers.