Adapted from No Rules Logos: Radical design solutions that break the rules (RotoVision)
By John Stones
Convention has it that one of a logo’s first tasks is to be immediately accessible and readable; it shouldn’t daunt the viewer at first sight. The logos that follow, however, make demands on their viewers and require deciphering.
Rule 1… and how to break it!
Make the viewer work to understand what he or she is reading and you will draw them into your world, while making it clear that this isn’t your normal, everyday logo for an everyday product.
Levi’s Blue is a premium line of clothing, produced by the legendary jeans brand. Chris Bolton was asked to design the visuals for the opening night of a Levi’s Blue pop-up store in Antwerp, Belgium. Inspired by the Nu Rave theme of the event, Bolton, a British/Canadian designer based in Finland, came up with a solution that pushes the boundaries of legibility. He describes it as follows: “Horizontal lines create structured letterforms. When the words ‘pop’ and ‘store’ are used together, the word ‘up’ drops into the combination to create a readable, structured logo.”
It is a multilayered design that Bolton admits is “more a strong graphic, typographic solution than a classic logo.” No doubt its experimental feel was ideal for differentiating the Blue clothing line from Levi’s standard fare. And it certainly put clear blue water between itself and the iconic, and very legible, primary Levi’s logo. While initially intended for a single event, the logo was so well received that it has since been adapted and developed for all the communications of Levi’s Blue.