Zara has unveiled a new logo. The controversial new design reflects the evolution of fashion branding, but many designers are confused by the decision to go against some key design principles.

anatomy of zaras new logo

The move from a minimal and airy aesthetic to a more complex overlapping design is triggering for some design purists. #doyouevenkern


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Zara’s original 1975 logo was actually tighter on spacing and the new design seems like a step backwards to some.

Zaras logo historyZara’s logo history

The design has attracted criticism from fellow designers, particularly typographers, who have described the design as ‘claustrophobic’. Others mocking the design with predictions of a future rebrand where kerning has been removed completely.

 

Twitter reactions to Zara rebrand

 

Love it or hate it, what stood out to me is that this rebrand does align with Zara’s business strategy: Offering a wide range of low-priced products which look like popular higher-end fashion brands: affordable, on-trend, fast fashion – for everyone.

Bringing the high-end to the high street.

It seems logical that their branding should also adopt cues from high-end labels. Using design to support brand positioning is strategically sound and I imagine this was part of the design brief.

Some things haven’t changed, the logo still features a serif font and block capitalisation. However, where the previous logo had generous spacing, the new logo features a bolder serif, more dramatic curves, condensed spacing and a more complex overlapping design of tangled serifs, which echoes the style of luxury and heritage fashion brands.Luxury fashion brand logosLuxury branding favours more complex logotypes.

Zara’s new logo was designed by French agency Baron & Baron whose clients include luxury fashion brands Dior, Bottega Veneta, Coach, Hugo Boss and Louis Vuitton.

Whilst the logo itself may feel crowded to some, the new typography in action actually does look quite elegant and sophisticated. The branding is reminiscent of editorials in Harper’s Bazaar (which is not altogether surprising given Fabien Baron was Creative Director of the fashion magazine in the 90’s). Working with renowned Vogue photographer Steven Meisel to capture Zara’s latest campaign doesn’t hurt either.

HarpersThe brand is reminiscent of Baron’s work for 90’s Harpers Bazaar.

Does the new branding lift Zara to the level of its luxury counterparts? Will designers forgive Zara for their crimes against typography? Jury’s out.

Zara branding examples Zara Rebrand