BEHIND THE LOGO: YSL.
Image 1: A Logo Designer By Cassandre | Image 1: YSL S/S2009 by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin | Image 3: Vintage Advertisement via Pinterest
I am vertically aligned with interconnecting letters.
My bold sloping lines meet sharp edges.
Inspired by the proportions of Roman capitals, my elegant curves compliment my typography.
I was designed by painter, poster artist and typeface designer, A. M. Cassandre.
My identity arouses a refined and worldly appeal, mirroring the ageless dress style I have become known for.
What am I?
In 1963 Yves Saint Laurent had recently lost his job as the head designer at Dior and was making tracks to new beginnings by creating a fashion house under his own name. Fast becoming an iconic symbol for the French fashion house, the typography has offered the brand identity with a sophisticated elegance, eliciting a timeless spirit for which the brand has become famous for.
Commissioned by the designer at a pivotal point in the artist’s life, Cassandre had recently deserted his pre-war success as a graphic artist and poster designer; turning his focus to his original calling as a theatre artist and painter. It wasn’t until 1958 that Cassandre chose to further explore the art of typography when mechanical typewriter company, Olivetti, commissioned him to design a range of typefaces for their typewriters.
Upon the rejection of one of his proposed typefaces, Cassandre advanced his typography style with a more smooth and effortless letter style, contrasting the more mathematical characters evident in his earlier work.
It is in the YSL logo that we can see this freer letter-style blend itself within a more geometric or ‘straight’ aesthetic - a style Cassandre similarly implemented when designing playing cards and silk scarves for French fashion house, Hermès.
Following the death of YSL in 2008, the trademark he commissioned had remained unedited or revised for the better part of half a century up until 2012 when it was announced that Hedi Slimane would replaced Stefano Pilati as the Creative Director. A time of controversy for the branding and visual identity of YSL, Slimane announced that the ready-to-wear line would be rebranded simply as ‘Saint Laurent’.
Paying homage to the original branding which assisted YSL to become one of the world’s most recognisable brands, the original logo is still present for accessories such as cosmetics, shoes and handbags.
Images via Pinterest
The iconic interconnecting characters would be the last logo design for Cassandre before he took his life in 1968.