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The North Face Logo Design History and Evolution

The North Face Logo Design History and Evolution

If you’re looking for rugged, high-quality gear the first place to go is to The North Face. While it’s expanding far beyond its original climbing gear, you still get the same sense that the products from this company can survive a tumble down a mountain. Just as the company’s goods have stood the test of time, so too has the company’s logo. The simple and iconic The North Face logo is amazing because it, unlike almost all of its competitors, hasn’t changed in fifty years. It’s the ultimate expression of a company’s unwillingness to deviate from its initial spirit or from its initial goals.

The North Face Logo Design Elements

The North Face logo is incredibly simple, but it works on a level that’s very hard to deny. It’s just three words and three curves – nothing more, nothing less. It’s the kind of logo that you’d doodle on a piece of paper during class, but writ large. It’s inarguably one of the easiest to identify on the planet, yet it doesn’t have that many elements that one can point at as memorable. The shape is the thing here, and with those basic shapes the company has managed to create a brand that is not only easily identifiable but one that commits itself to memory.

The font and color are likewise simple. If you see the The North Face logo you’re only going to see a few colors – red, white, and maybe black depending on whether the logo is in greyscale. The font is thick and blocky, with absolutely no denying what’s in front of you. It’s simple, but it works.

Changes and Evolution

1. Shape

What’s amazing about this logo is that it hasn’t changed. You can look at a 1962 The North Face product and see the same shape. There’s something to be said for being iconic, and there’s been absolutely no effort to change up this logo over the years. Other companies may have felt that their logos needed to get with the time, but it’s clear that The North Face will let the world change around it instead. It’s an amazing piece of work, all things considered.

2. Color

The color changes for The North Face have really only come when the company puts out a new line of products. In these cases, you’re getting a new color that doesn’t replace the old color. The black and white logo is timeless, but so too is the black and red or red and white. You’re still getting basic, natural colors that fit on virtually any product. There is no single color associated with The North Fact, which makes it easy to adapt the design to new products. It also keeps the focus on the initial logo and shape, which tends to work very well.

3. Font

The font for The North Face is big and blocky. That certainly works for a company focused on rugged, long-lasting gear. It’s also surprising to see that the company hasn’t changed the font even as the company’s reputation has gone a bit more upscale. It’s clear that this logo means something and that the font is a part of the overall design scheme. Without changing the font, the company shows a commitment to its original principles and an overall lack of unwillingness to change what makes the company so special.

Influences/ Inspiration

At the time, there wasn’t much out there like The North Face. It isn’t that there weren’t speciality stores or outdoor gear, but the logos were simple and incredibly practical. The logo can’t even be said to be a product of its time, because the simple logo stood out even the 1960s. As such, you can call this one a true original – minimalist to be sure, but one that definitely marched to the beat of its own drum.

In terms of current design, you see more knock-offs than anything else. There are dozens of low-cost outdoor gear companies that have logos close to The North Face, but not quite the same. The basic shape and minimalist design, though, did become incredibly popular throughout the 2000s in other industries. While clothing logos settled in, you can see a number of tech companies (Logitech, for example) that have logos similar in design to The North Face.

Trivia

Conclusion

A company so important that its name begs an article, The North Face has managed to make it through fifty years with a single logo. That logo is unique, simple, and stands up to the basic tests that make a good logo. If you’re looking for something to study, this is a great logo with which to start.

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