The haute couture house Balenciaga is a legendary discovery of its time. It appeared in 1919 in Spain and immediately attracted the attention of the ruling elite. A little later, due to the armed conflict, the company was forced to move to France. Basque designer Cristobal Balenciaga Eizagirre gave Parisians an Empire style, off-the-shoulder clothing, a button-less coat, a-line dresses, and a slim, straight silhouette. He made a revolution that determined what the outfits of the next era would look like.
Meaning and History
The Balenciaga brand was not a high fashion house, although everyone calls it that. It was not a member of the Parisian organization Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne because its owner broke all the rules and firmly refused to comply. Most of all, Cristobal was outraged by copying original ideas: he believed that Christian Dior was stealing his cut and silhouettes.
The greatest couturier ended his career in 1968 as if anticipating his imminent death. This was a complete surprise even for the company’s employees. The house of Balenciaga was inactive until 1986. It only resumed operations when it became part of Jacques Bogart S.A. A little later, it was bought by the Kering holding.
Unlike clothing, Balenciaga’s logos have never been varied, either during Cristobal’s lifetime or since. The new owners were in no hurry to experiment with the identity: they kept the original word mark and changed only the font.
1917 – 2013
One of the first emblems contained two capital letters, “B” facing each other with flat sides. They were connected by three parallel diagonal lines that looked like stitches that held the garment together. At the bottom was the brand name in black sans serif letters. Even below was the word “PARIS,” which denoted the location of the fashion house.
2013 – 2017
The company that bought the Balenciaga trademark ditched the trademark monogram. She decided to use only the wordmark with the brand name, making the font bolder.
2017 – today
After another update, the letters were squeezed at the edges. Changing the proportions didn’t affect the style because, otherwise, nothing changed. The creators of the logo tried to modernize the design while maintaining its recognizability.
Previously, the Balenciaga company had a traditional mark, which consisted of two letters, “B.” Diagonal lines symbolized the stitches connecting the pieces of fabric. Now, this monogram is no longer used. The owners limited themselves to a short inscription without additional graphic elements.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
Balenciaga’s typography comes in a variety of fonts. In one of the earliest versions, it was an analog of Urbano Expanded from FontSite Inc. A typeface was used, vaguely similar to Bw Modelica Expanded Bold from Branding With Type and Ultine Normal Demi from Insigne Design. The modern wordmark is in the Utah Condensed Bold font, inspired by lettering on public transport. Designer Demna Gvasalia changed it slightly to adapt it to the logo of the fashion house.
The color scheme, in turn, was not so varied. It always contained black as the foreground and white as the background. A simple combination emphasizes the aristocracy and good taste of the brand.