Introduction: What is a Logo?
A logo is an asset that represents a company or organization. It is exactly what someone would see when looking for a product or service that has the same name as your business. An instant identifier. A logo can be designed in many different ways and materials, it can be reflective of the uniqueness of your company or organization and is important for brand awareness, sales, and customer recognition (Wainwright, 2011).
The logo of an organization is created to express the character of the business. The logo can be designed to capture the personality, philosophy, or history of a company. Many logos are designed to reflect a products origin or movement (Clow, 2007).
There are many different types of logos: Logotypes, Pictographs, Icons, Emblems and Seals. Each type of logo has its own purpose in supporting a business or organization (Kumar & Kumar, 2010).
Logos are used to create a brand and can be very successful. Many brands have become famous and famous logos have been created. Some of the most famous logos include Nike’s Swoosh, McDonald’s arches, Walmart’s arrow, Apple®’s green apple mark, Disney’s castle or Universal Studios’ cinematic monster (Kumar & Kumar, 2010).
How the Logo Came to Life
In 1981, Rei Kawakubo and her husband, Adrian Joffe began a fashion brand inspired by the hot weather of Japan and the look of young Japanese street boys. They were “comme des garcons” in Tokyo’s Shibuya district. They offered a collection that combined elements of both of their cultures, Parisian style with Japanese details. The label was not only a look, it became a complete lifestyle. In 1981, Kawakubo created a black label for the Comme des Garcons line and this logo was also used on the business card and letterhead. In 1982, she designed the blue line, a youthful interpretation of the black label with a strong masculine feeling. The combination of beautiful, clean lines and a sporty sensibility reflects the Japanese ethos.
The Japanese were fascinated by the design. This logo was quite successful and Kawakubo decided to keep it for all her labels and use it on her business cards as well. In that way Comme des Garcons became a recognized brand in Japan as well as around the world.
The Interesting Connections Between the Logo & Fashion
As Kawakubo’s designs changed, the logo did too. The slogan of the label was “Art of Freedom”. Each new design was presented as an art piece by Rei Kawakubo and her team, always aiming to confront expectations. Anything that was thought to be beautiful in the past became ugly or boring. In Comme des Garcons’ world clothing is not just used for protection from bad weather but also to express oneself and to convey a message.
A strong sense of rebellion and fearlessness is communicated by the logo. It evolved over time to mirror the changes in Kawakubo’s designs, developing from a small sketch to a larger image. The evolution of the logo illustrates not only the development of Kawakubo as a designer but also her rebellion against design conventions.
When Did Designer Rei Kawakubo Take Charge of The Comme des Garçons Logo? And How Did This Change It?
In 1982, after several years at Parasuco Kawakubo decided to begin her own line (the Comme des Garcons brand) and asked her then-husband, Adrian Joffe to design the label. It was given a simple monogram logo, putting the designer’s name first and the brand second. The designer wanted to emphasize material and product rather than the company itself. She wanted to show her name as a part of the design. This new logo made the brand more identifiable with Rei Kawakubo, who was its designer. The first collection featured a wide range of styles including sports clothes and street wear that made the label popular with a younger audience.
In 1988, after 20 years as head designer of Comme des Garcons, Kawakubo decided to change the logo. She introduced reversed letters in lowercase with a horizontal dash. This marks the beginning of using large Chinese characters on clothing which are still used by Kawakubo today.
Conclusion: The History Behind How and Why an Iconic Clothing Brand Created an Icon
The Comme des Garcons label is, in a way, the story of Rei Kawakubo, who created it. When she started out she wanted to be different from other brands and create something new. She wanted to show her name instead of hiding it away as other designers do. The designer has become much more recognizable and loved now, thanks to this iconic fashion brand.
The two symbols that were combined to make the brand’s logo were Kawakubu’s initials and the French for “like boys.” Comme des Garçons translates literally as “like boys.” It was chosen because Rei wanted her garments to be unisex. The designer still creates mostly menswear, but has made an effort in recent years to create clothes for women. She has been inspired by a girl she met named Sarah Moon. Moon had Kawakubu design a wedding dress for her. Moon is a tall and thin woman. She said that it was very hard to find clothing that fit her. Kawakubu designed the white gown for Moon, along with other clothes, which she then sold to the public. The designer’s life and career itself has been an inspiration to many, including Moon.