Founded by Levi Strauss in 1853, Levi’s is credited with creating blue jeans. The company started out as simple gear for workers, but, eventually, their denim became a trendy item to own. In modern times, the Levi’s name is still associated with quality and durability, and jeans with the signature red Levi’s logo are still a status symbol. Our guide to the Levi’s logo will show you how the logo has changed over the years. We will examine the logo’s design to see how it has helped Levi’s market their product.
Levi’s Logo Design Elements
Levi’s uses a dark red logo shape with white text on it. The overall shape of the logo is somewhat like a rectangle, but the sides are slightly slanted, so that the top is wider than the bottom. Instead of being a straight line along the bottom, the line is two curves that meet in a point in the middle. Levi’s refers to this logo as the “batwing,” due to its similarity to the Batman logo.
The logo says “Levi’s” in a white, sans-serif font with contrasting thin and thick stroke weights. The E is a lowercase E, while the rest of the letters are capitalized. To make the logo look more uniform, each letter is exactly the same height. In the upper right hand corner of the logo is a white R surrounded by a circular line that is slightly cropped at the top.
Changes and Evolution
Levi’s first logo had a very elaborate shape. It was a rectangle that included two men working with two horses. This logo included several banners and a lot of text talking about the brand’s founding date, patent location, riveting, city of origin, and other items. Eventually, Levi’s decided to simplify the logo down to a basic rectangle that just said “Levi’s vintage clothing” in the 1950s.
To add a little more visual interest to the logo, it was then shaped into the batwing design that is used in the modern logo. Levi’s briefly went back to a plain rectangle design that was vertical instead of horizontal. They finally returned to the batwing design in 2011.
Levi’s first logo was just black on a white background, but when Levi’s started printing the logo as a tag on jeans, the elaborate horse design was changed to red on a brown background. Once the Levi’s logo was changed to a basic rectangle, the company decided to use red and white, because these colors showed up nicely on blue jeans. During the 1960s and 1970s, this color was a little more orangish due to color trends, but it turned back into a cool toned red by the 1980s.
Levi’s logo fonts have also undergone many changes. The original logo used a script font, but it was later turned into a classic Roman font. In an effort to look trendier, a slanted, elongated art deco style font was used in the 1940s. By the 1970s, the logo had begun to use the custom sans-serif font with a lowercase E that is still in use today.
The batwing shape of the Levi’s logo is meant to mimic the back pocket shape on Levi’s jeans. These curved edges are a very smart graphic design decision, since they make a plain logo look a little more visually appealing. Levi’s decided to crop the edge of their trademark symbol as a throwback to how Levi’s tags were sewn on jeans decades ago. The method for sewing the logo tag on jeans often slightly cut off part of the trademark symbol, and, over time, this became an accepted part of the Levi’s style.
- Antique jeans with a big E on the logo are much more expensive than newer ones with a little E on the logo.
- If founder Levi Strauss had not Americanized his name when he immigrated to the USA, the logo would say “Löb,” which was his Bavarian birth name.
- The logo only has the name of one partner in the original company because the other partner, Jacob Davis, did not have money for a patent.
Levi’s clever use of their logo as a branding device for jeans has made the red tag logo one of the most famous logos in the world. Almost every clothing manufacturer produces denim jeans now, but many people still prefer jeans with the red Levi’s logo affixed to a pocket. Despite some slight changes, the company’s logo remains recognizable due to its distinctive color.
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