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The font of Chanel – branding, image, signaling aesthetics and ethics

Coco Chanel and the iconic logo
Coco Chanel and the iconic logo

Coco Chanel officially went into business in 1909, but it wasn’t until 1924 that its logo was registered with the US Patent & Trademark office, going into circulation officially in 1925. Since then the logo and its font have gone unchanged. Unlike most typefaces Chanel’s font is custom, that is you might be able to find approximations, but the exact one is only available to Chanel.

If you are the kind of person who prefers your written communications in a particular font – then you know several, and work with a few preferred ones. Every font underlines your personality, adding another expressive dimension to your written communications. It works in the same way for brands and logos. The main all encompassing element of any company’s brand and “logo” is its font or typeface.

Chanel’s logo, its interlocked double Cs, is almost redundant on any of its products. Chanel has succeeded in creating such iconic products that now you almost do not need to see the logo to be able to recognize the object as a Chanel. It’s quilted bags, its two-tone flats, its jackets, and the most recognizable silhouette in the fashion world, the two piece tweed suit with its narrow, knee length skirt with a cropped, trimmed cardigan like jacket.

When you do see the double C’s or full Chanel logo and its distinctive typeface, on a product, billboard or magazine it effectively does what it is supposed to do. It communicates a world of information, short hand for French couture, luxury, quality, tradition and an imitated but unequalled iconic image. All things Chanel.