Brands can often be pretty precious about their logos, enforcing strict rules about how they can be used and displayed, so it’s nice to see a big brand willing to do something different. Calvin Klein recently let its iconic ‘CK’ monogram logo completely out of its own hands, passing it to four artists for reinterpretation – with intriguing results.
As the CK logo is well-known for its simplicity, the artists had a great deal of latitude for ways to reimagine it, and they each injected a good deal of personality into their take on the classic design (side note: if this gets you in the mood to do some logo creation of your own, check out our guide to the best graphic design software).
The four artists who got to take their hands to the CK logo were Rediet Longo (a.k.a. RED), who was born in Ethiopia and raised in Milan; Rafaella Braga, based in New York City and Berlin; Parisian graphic designer Maïte Marque; and painter Alfie Kungu, who lives in Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire.
In a project arranged with Hypebeast, the quartet was presented with a giant cube of white canvas in a warehouse in the UK. each of them had a side upon which to enact their radical reimagining of the iconic CK. It’s really interesting to see the different ways they tackled the task, and the logos that resulted.
Painter Kungu, for instance, picked up his roller and paints and got to work creating a bright and playful redesign. He cites the Saturday-morning cartoons of his youth as an influence on his art style, and you can definitely see that in his redesign. Marque, meanwhile, had her graphic design head on and projected her vibrant redesign onto the canvas from her laptop.
RED infused his redesign with graffiti iconography, while Braga was also influenced by the street art culture from her roots in South America. You can see all the creations over at Hypebeast (opens in new tab), where there’s also a video that shows off the finished four-sided canvas.
As we mentioned at the start, it’s really cool to see such a big brand being less precious with its logo and letting young artists from diverse backgrounds play around with its iconography. Hopefully, we’ll see some more reimaginings like this in the future. If you can’t get enough cool logos, check out our round-up of the 10 best logos of all time, and our top tips on how to design a logo.