There are only a few brands around the world that can boast of a rich legacy, and Louis Vuitton is one of them. A world famous luxury lifestyle and fashion brand, it was first introduced by Louis Vuitton Malletier in 1854 and has been ruling the industry for over two and half centuries now. What started with the production of high-quality trunks, gradually turned into one of the most iconic global fashion-houses, designing exclusive garments, shoes and accessories for men and women.
While much of the credit for the company’s success goes to the matchless style and quality of their ever-expanding product line, it was also their eye-catching logo that played a key role in their luxury brand marketing. Below, we’ll take a look at the long, celebrated history of the Louis Vuitton logo, its meaning and key design elements.
Louis Vuitton Logo Design History and Evolution
The Louis Vuitton logo, commonly referred to as LV monogram, is one of the most famous and easily recognized fashion logos ever created. It was first designed by Louis’ son, Georges Vuitton, who created the symbol by using his father’s initials on the canvas. This logo was widely recognized as the brand’s corporate identity in 1896. The design depicted a Japanese-inspired flower motif, chiefly created to prevent any duplicity of the Parisian company’s designer luggage. This iconic LV logo has now become synonymous with class, comfort, grandeur and luxury.
This text-based logo is composed of the full wordmark and a monogram, widely used for the buckles and fabric patterns of Louis Vuitton’s products. Designed in the middle of the 19th century, there haven’t been many changes to the logo, although there were some additional emblems added through the years. The wordmark was removed from the official logo for some time, making the monogram the chief and only part of it.
Coming to the color palette, Louis Vuitton uses two versions — the monochrome one that’s versatile enough to look good on any surface or background, and the neutral, close to gold color that exudes sophistication and reflects the essence of the fashion brand.
As an additional emblem, the brand uses two versions of a stylized flower — one with four long and pointed petals, encased in a black rhombus, and the other one is a rounded flower inside a solid circle. Both these logos are used by the company as its visual identity and can often be seen on their exclusive leather and textile goods.
The present Louis Vuitton logo has the “L” and “V” characters interlocked in an intricate fashion, though they’re easily legible. The “Louis Vuitton” wordmark is rarely used.
Key Characteristics of the Louis Vuitton Logo Pattern
The font is definitely the most noticeable part of the logo. First hand-drawn in 1954, the typeface was inspired by many classic Roman fonts and hasn’t changed since then. An italic upper-case letter L overlaps with an upper-case letter V and both letters feature bold, elongated serifs with thick distinct lines, representing strength, traditions, and sophistication.
Although the official logo is typically black, the brand also uses other colors to match its different product lines and branding strategies. From a range of pastel shades to bright colors like orange and green, they’ve used it all. For example, the iconic brown version of the logo has been a staple for Louis Vuitton handbags since decades.
The soft, muted tone of the logo goes perfectly with the deep colors of the leather. Marc Jacobs came up with an updated version of the logo that features the monogram in a white, pink, blue, purple and yellow pattern. These atypical colorful monogrammed logos are quite appealing to the younger generation, while they still look neat and classy.
Louis Vuitton Logo Pattern and the Problem of Counterfeiting
According to a source, LV is one of the most heavily targeted fashion brands by counterfeit makers. The fashion house takes this problem seriously and spends almost half of its communications budget on the anti-counterfeiting mission. The brand has taken quite a few other initiatives in order to reduce these counterfeit activities. For example, it has created a signature Monogram Canvas and this distinctly recognizable design is based on the LV monogram.
Interesting fact: Louis Vuitton was one of the first fashion brands to use their monogram all over their bags, and this design choice was soon after mimicked by other fashion houses, as seen in the Gucci logo.
Thanks to its widespread use across their different product lines and advertising collaterals, the signature Louis Vuitton logo is incredibly famous and relatable. While its fonts and style may be old, professional designers continue to improvise the logo into new, modern prints, while still retaining its classic essence. This brilliant blend of modernization and tradition has helped the company maintain its poise and position in the fashion industry. Even after so many decades, they continue to be the top manufacturer of luxury handbags, suitcases and attires.
- Louis Vuitton initially dealt in French luxury goods and its specialties were trunks, suitcases, bags, and purses for affluent customers.
- Although they didn’t have a proper logo in its first year, they eventually designed a personalized and stylish emblem for its products.
- The LV monogram first appeared in 1896 and then went on to become famous, thanks to actresses and other celebrities who flaunted their unique collection of LV bags.
- Even though the brand is active online, it unfortunately couldn’t buy the Lv.com domain which already belongs to an insurance company.
- It is one of the most counterfeited brands in the fashion industry. The signature LV monogram and floral motif were specifically designed to prevent fakes. Ironically, the company is still fighting to stop counterfeiting.
Things to Learn from Louis Vuitton Logo Branding
Here are some lessons that you might learn from the LV logo, particularly if you’re considering building a strong brand identity.
- Consistency pays – LV has never entirely changed its initial monogram or floral design. Although there have been a few tweaks here and there, particularly in regards to font color, designers preferred to use them on products rather than changing the monogram itself.
- Make collaborations that benefit your business. However, keep your brand distinct and send your message loud and clear through the association. No matter whom you collaborate with, make sure that they share your views.
- Don’t fall easy prey to negative gossip or rumors. There were certain articles and press releases that stated that the brand’s customers are tired of its increasingly ubiquitous ‘LV’ monogram. However, facts contradict them. According to Forbes, Louis Vuitton has $15B sales and is one of the world’s most valuable brands.
- Don’t follow trends blindly. Ever since the Balenciaga fashion models walked the French fashion house’s Fall 2017 runway with the brand’s famous “B” painted on their fingernails, the idea became a hit. You can follow such trends if they’re useful, or you could abstain from including them in your conscious branding campaigns. Remember, overuse of something can make it lose its importance.
- The logo is an important part of your business. It represents your brand, but it should not interfere with your website’s performance. The LV website features the LV monogram in one part and the name in another. The purpose is to not overcharge the website with heavy fonts and colors. Websites must be simple, appealing and responsive on both mobile and desktop versions. Remember this when designing your site.
When it comes to business branding, you just cannot be generic. Simply building a website with high-quality images and content isn’t enough. Create a visual brand identity that differentiates you from your competitors. Use a catchy brand name and design an expressive logo that remains consistent through the coming years. Louis Vuitton has shown that you can attain success even when you begin with a local niche and a simple monogram. Your brand’s logo should be simple, easy to decipher, and instantly recognizable.
PJ has a background in management consulting and software development. At DesignBro, he combines both. Personal favorite brand of PJ is Jeep.