Yves Saint Laurent was a French fashion designer who popularized the idea of high fashion for women.
He is also well-known for founding his own design house, which continues to produce clothes and accessories under his name to this day.
One of the most recognizable features of Saint Laurent’s designs is his trademark YSL logo, which has remained largely unchanged since its creation. This article will explore the history and meaning behind this iconic logo.
What Is YSL
French couturier Yves Saint Laurent didn’t just find the eponymous label – he completely changed how people perceive clothing.
Saint Laurent left a lasting mark on fashion by making ladies’ pants and tuxedos fashionable, using the traditional national dress as inspiration, and setting the groundwork for ready-to-wear garments.
He couldn’t have accomplished this without the help of his business partner, Pierre Berge. The YSL co-founder oversaw not only daily operations but also made key contracting decisions.
With Pierre Berge in charge of all business decisions, Saint Laurent couldn’t turn his pastime into a profitable side hustle.
YSL Logo Meaning And History
Before Yves Saint Laurent launched his fashion label, he was clinically depressed and was previously fired from his position as chief designer at Dior. He was also deemed unfit for military service due to a nervous breakdown and was discharged from the army.
While Pierre Berge searched for investors to support him in starting a business, Yves Saint Laurent entered the fashion industry in 1961.
With lucrative deals and much success, Berge grew the company while Saint Laurent dealt with treatment.
The company started with fragrances and later expanded its inventory to include other high-end fashion items like jewelry, shoes, and clothing.
Similarly, you should also read our article about 12 brands like YSL.
Nevertheless, this was only a fleeting development, as one of the investors encountered losses in the late 1980s and could not keep financing the fashion enterprise.
Gucci acquired most of the assets and rights to use the name Gucci in 1999 after French pharmaceutical company Elf Sanofi Beaute bought Berge’s and Saint Laurent’s stake in what had become a successful business venture.
Saint Laurent continued to be creative, setting the bar for haute couture. However, when Gucci’s executives decided to change the brand’s image, they restricted the designers’ creativity.
As a protest, Pierre Berge tried to start a new company with a famous designer. They borrowed money they didn’t have to create a high-end clothing store.
Saint Laurent stopped doing what he loved because he needed to conform to the time: Nike sneakers and boring pants.
Nowadays, Berge stepped down as CEO of YSL, while Gucci retained ownership of the brand.
Hedi Slimane became the head of the fashion company in 2012, and immediately controversial decisions were made. The most loyal customers disapproved of these changes, such as dropping the Yves moniker and changing the 1962 emblem. Do you know where YSL is made?
YSL Logo 1962 – 2012
One year after the launch of YSL, its original logo was designed by Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron, also known as Adolphe Mouron Cassandre. Cassandre was born in Ukraine but later moved to France to pursue his art education.
Unfortunately, he suffered from depression and took his own life; however, before doing so, he created the YSL trademark.
The artist’s subsequent endeavors might have been different if he hadn’t been exposed to Cubism and Surrealism. Because of this, the Yves Saint Laurent emblem was especially eye-catching.
The letters “Y,” “S,” and “L” are written in a style that creates a vertical monogram, which is the primary emblem.
The way these letters are entwined beautifully expresses the sensuality and desire for exploration of those who wear this perfume. The letter “S” was placed dead center (bottom) to frame the top letter “Y” and the bottom letter “L.”
The small, pointy serifs and strokes on all three letters, with varying thicknesses, created an engaging visual that made the static drawing seem alive.
Adolphe Mouron’s genius was his ability to take two ideas that don’t go together and make them work. It was commonly believed among type designers that it was a bad idea to put two very different fonts together.
However, the Frenchman didn’t let this stop him, and he found a way to break all of the rules by making an inscription using a random combination of symbols.
The YSL monogram combined sans-serif and serif fonts and cursive and Latin styles. The letters “Y,” “S,” and “L” were significantly larger than the other capitalized letters, without any space in between the words.
This meant that the text had to be divided into thirds, taking advantage of the size difference in the letters.
As a bonus, The diagonal orientation of “Y,” “S,” and “L” gave off the illusion that the writing flowed from left to right.
YSL Symbol 2012 – Today
In 2012, Hedi Slimane became the new creative director for the company and decided to do something different than what was expected by completely changing the company’s visual appearance.
He wasn’t just being innovative; he was rejecting what already existed to try something more simplistic.
The rebranding of Saint Laurent- from Yves to simply Saint Laurent- caused several controversies and the termination of several deals.
Hedi Slimane made history when he became the head designer for YSL. He uprooted the company from Paris and moved it to Los Angeles.
He also dropped their iconic monogram. This was done before his first collection was released to create hype, which Pierre Berge wholeheartedly approved of despite any media attention it may have garnered.
He hopes that Slimane will bring YSL’s fashion back to its roots through these changes.
The new logo looks very different from the old one, inspired by the store sign outside Saint Laurent’s Rive Gauche shop.
The brand’s name is set in an eye-catching grotesque font. The “R” has a small serif at the bottom right corner.
Also, “PARIS” appears under the words “SAINT LAURENT,” honoring the city where the fashion house started. His typeface draws inspiration from older fonts.
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Font And Colors Of The Emblem
The YSL empire was originally indicated by a simple monogram of three letters interlocked. An accompanying phrase expressed the brand’s sophistication in a humble way.
It is clear that the author, Cassandre, put a lot of care and thought into every aspect of the design. This can be seen in the font choice, which features neither superfluous strokes nor illogical ligatures.
The artist’s rhythmic placement of the letters and the designer’s curly Businesses have utilized Proof to increase traffic, conversions, and sales pages’ sensuality through curves and swoops.
Yves Saint Laurent has set itself apart from other premium labels in the fashion industry for decades. But this is just one example of how much modern-day logo design has changed. Why is YSL so expensive?
A part of the company’s legacy has been forgotten with the introduction of a new creative director. The logo has been reduced to its simplest form, shrunken in size, and given “heavy” powerful edges.
The name was kept simple to make it more understandable, but this came at the cost of the fashion house’s originality. The retro logo is only used by a handful of cosmetic and perfume brands today.
The renowned Cassandre created the first-ever inscription. This artwork employed a blend of Italic and Roman typefaces on a lone line.
There were also variations regarding the thickness of lines and fleeting serifs at the end of each letter.
“SAINT LAURENT” was typeset in Neue Helvetica in 2012, with “PARIS” appearing underneath in a bold serif font, similar to Copperplate Gothic Std Bold.
The original black and white logo is the standard now. Its basic design allows it to be put on many products.