an All Creative World site
Ivan's picture

Rule 1: Thou Shalt Make a Logo That is Instantly Readable

Adapted from No Rules Logos: Radical design solutions that break the rules (RotoVision)
By John Stones

Rule 1

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.

Levi's Blue

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.

Read further on

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

ncdesign's picture
35 pencils

I can get on board with the "Horizontal lines creating structured letterforms" but the word "Up" seems muddy and forced. It looks like the instrument that the Goonies used to find the three rocks that held the buried treasure:

gijolas's picture
7 pencils

i'm not sure how ironic you are on your point
but if you ....
than you 100% damn right
more than 100

Dare to Desire !

Art D. Rector's picture
3164 pencils

Sometimes it's a very thin line between being a design artist and a bullshit artist.

Leaky Penny's picture
2612 pencils


Leaky Penny
Check out what I've been up to lately!

I'm going to print it out and eat it.

-Unknown Artist

Ivan's picture

I agree. It's much like modern art.

qwertyale's picture
2047 pencils

I'm reading this book xD
Liked a lot of "mutant" logos =]

yes I'm brazilian xD

steveballmer's picture
653 pencils

I am not Steve Ballmer pretending not to be me!

ericineville's picture
1 pencil

This "logo" also points to the fact that some designs require context. If I was at a POP UP STORE event I might recognize the faint hint of the letterforms. In the Levi adopted branding I can see the "levi's" word but can always rely on the more classic branding on the bootom left. I wouldn't guess the other background letters are "pop up store" unless perhaps I was in one - and with the placement of the artwork over the new logo ( and a safety net of the old reliable logo) I'm guessing they liked it's cool factor more than it's readability.

gijolas's picture
7 pencils

thats true,,
but from that point, maybe we have to change the meaning and term of LOGO, spreading out so much sounds like talking about politic sh..

Speak to speak.... means not much ......

Dare to Desire !

Creativebits is a blog about Creativity, Graphic Design, Adobe, Apple and other related subjects.

Do you need a great new logo?

Pick a pre-made design from a collection of 50,000+ logos that will be customized to your business name for free.