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A logo with a capital L

23-02-2017

Leolux introduced a new logo at the start of 2017. Or, more exactly, it introduced an evolved version of the well-known brand logo that has been emblematic of our identity for so many years. As the history of the logo is as rich as the history of Leolux itself, I think it’s worth writing a blog about!

The Lion

Let’s go back to 1952. This was the year in which Zuid-Nederlandse Clubmeubelfabriek Venlo (ZNC) introduced a collection of modern furniture under the name Leolux. The ‘leo’ in Leolux refers to the lion in ZNC’s logo, and ‘lux’ refers to luxury (a necessary reference since at the time, the term ‘modern furniture’ was equivalent to spartan, uncomfortable furniture in the minds of many people). The lion in the name was the dominant aspect of the logo: the very first Leolux logo was round, with a prominent lion’s head, and the name Leolux in sober block capitals below it.

In the following decades the lion underwent a number of makeovers. Around 1959, the modern Leolux furniture was given a golden label, the ‘golden seal’, with a slightly more stylised lion than in the preceding years. This trend continued in the following years, with the 1960 logo being an example of this.

The wordmark also showed this trend toward further stylisation. Whereas the name Leolux still appeared in lettering on our façade in 1959, a few years later there were only two very sober wordmarks, the first featuring a smaller, stylised lion while the other has no lion whatsoever. By 1962, the lion had finally disappeared from the scene.

Variations on an L

The 1967 brochure features a logo with lower case letters only, but this didn’t survive for long. A mere two years later saw the birth of the logo that was to be the image of Leolux for the following decades.

The name Leolux was written in classic capitals, with the O tilted ever so slightly and the U and the X touching - two typographic tricks that resulted in a logotype that was perfectly balanced. The stylised L as an ideogram was also introduced in 1969, but it was still to undergo some experimentation. Varieties of the logo sporting smaller and larger versions of the L, both alongside and above the logo, were to be seen in the years to 1976.

Colour nuances

This logo reached its final form in 1976. The position, shape and size of the L as well as the wordmark were formalised and used consistently, although the colour varied occasionally. Orange had been the colour of choice fairly consistently since the sixties. In the early eighties the familiar yellow was introduced as part of the Leolux corporate identity, although the logo was generally printed in black, grey or white in advertisements or brochures.

A respectful redesign

In 2016, we started rejuvenating the logo, a rejuvenation process that was characterised by our enormous respect for the past. The result is that the Leolux L has been freshened up and softened a little, but is still supremely recognisable.

The greatest change is to be seen in the wordmark: captital letters come across as very loud in digital communication, so we have chosen a friendlier and more modern typeface. The ratios and distances between the letters and the logotype and ideogram have been carefully considered, so as to result in a pleasing, balanced end product. With this progressive, fresh and contemporary logo Leolux is ready to face the future head on.

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