Not many brands are fortunate enough to recover from a poor rebranding. Burberry has managed to make an art of it.
Today Burberry launched its latest chapter of the legacy brand under the leadership of creative director Daniel Lee. The shift reconnects the iconic fashion house with its traditional roots with a fresh wordmark and a look that’s moody in a modern, Londony way.
This new revival ends the sans serif and anonymously progressive look coined under Riccardo Tisci, an iteration of Burberry that dismissed the brand’s classic logo in order to keep in step with other fashion houses amid the trend of ditching serifs. What was lost may be hard to quantify—but a logo says far more about your company than most people are conscious of—even people within fashion.
In 2018, Burberry surely wanted to chase a younger Gen Z audience of online shoppers whose global taste transcends traditional fashion culture. Serif fonts are the clear winners for online typeface. However, when you dismiss the hallmarks of your brand for something slicker, your audience will inevitably question whether you have also gotten rid of your quality, your design standards… And soon, if a brand loses their singularity, their appeal will also be lost.
Many people think a logo is just a minor element of a brand’s entirely. While every component plays its role, what could be more important than the way your name appears?
Luxury brands with a rich history some hundred years old may believe their roots are so deep that their standing is unshakeable. But the risk of a misguided rebranding is alienating longstanding fans, while simultaneously erasing your differentiation.
While certain brands—Gucci, for one—have made the conversion to sans-serif without losing a stride, what happens when the next new generation arrives and surveys the landscape of luxury fashion brands and finds so many bearing an identical sans serif font?
Burberry found the cost of normalcy a bit too high. By returning to a logo and look that roots them in their historical past and prominence, they get to emerge from the pack very much in their own lane.
Every brand is telling a story, and they all begin with the presentation of their name. For those looking to refresh, the most advantageous step is often an evolution, a pivot, a series of tweaks. By keeping fully intact your identity and history, you can continue to grow without having to backtrack and regain ground at greater expense.