Levi's bold logo is one of the most instantly recognisable and iconic designs. In fact, the strength of Levi's branding is so strong, they needn't worry about experimenting with new designs, right? Maybe not.
Levi's has recently revealed a new '90s-inspired logo, which is a world away from the beloved batwing design we're so used to seeing. The current sans-serif design has been replaced with a serif typeface that has a real retro feel. But it's not the new typeface that has designers up in arms, but the apostrophe. Or is it the lack thereof?
Designers are arguing that what Levi's is using in place of an apostrophe is actually a foot mark (or dumb quote) – i.e. it's straight rather than curly. Perhaps it's a deliberate design decision, but either way, designers are not happy. Some creatives have given Levi's the benefit of the doubt. Commenting on Brand New Heshaka Jayawardena says: "I'm going with foot mark by accident, mainly because I see SO many instances where people just don't know how to type a proper apostrophe."
However others are struggling to see how such a huge company could make such an error, with Disqus user Jeff Halmos commenting: "Screams "in-house." No excuse. in fact, every instance of the logo I found used an apostrophe."
Our take? It's a complete overreaction. While using dumb/straight quote marks in this context is technically not correct (it's entry #1 in our list of typographic mistakes everyone makes), they are so common as to have become an accepted variation. You might even spot them on your favourite design website (ahem). What's more – it's a logo, so as far as we're concerned, Levi's has free reign to style it any way it wants.
Levi's logos have changed over years in what some might say a much more liberal way than other fashion brands. Evolving over time the company has trusted in its brand and played, successfully we might add, with the direction of text, sizing and even colouring. But, while there's no reason to suggest this switch in logos is permanent, it seems this new design from legacy denim brand is just a step too far for some.