Once upon a time, an ironclad rule of logo use was: Do not alter it in any way! To which Google replied, “Hold my beer.” Since 2000, the search engine has featured many a doodle, clever alterations of the online logo designed to celebrate events and anniversaries.
Lacoste has also played with their logo, a small embroidered image of a snapping crocodile branding their iconic polo shirt. The main version has been green since René Lacoste and André Gillier founded the French company in 1933, but mutations featuring everything from colors of national flags to a special-edition holiday design by Jean-Paul Goude have appeared.
In the latest twist on its logo design, Lacoste took a walk on the wild side with IUCN—the International Union for Conservation of Nature—and embraced endangered species. In the Save Our Species limited edition, the croc has yielded his place to images of ten different threatened animals (in the embroidered Lacoste style, of course). To drive home the point that these species are in crisis, the number of shirts available for a particular animal matches the number of it that remain in the wild. When they’re gone, they’re gone. The number of shirts produced range from thirty for the Gulf of California Porpoise (Vaquita), up to 450 for the Anegada Ground Iguana. The Save Our Species line was announced in late February during Paris Fashion week, and the total 1,775 shirts had already sold out by the first week of March, despite a price that is double the normal cost for a polo sporting the crocodile; all proceeds from sales of the shirt will go towards wildlife conservation.
The time has passed when altering a logo was considered imprudent from a brand perspective, and expensive to do, to boot. The explosion of technological innovations has released the logo from its confines as a static symbol, and the bar is rising on what constitutes great logo design.
Julie Markfield, CEO & Creative Director
Photo: Advertising campaign announcing Lacoste’s Save Your Logo initiative ©Lacoste.