The Prada Logo And Brand: The Significance Of The Iconic Design

May 24, 2023
Authored by:
Ryan Lau

Prada, one of the most well-known Italian design houses, has grown from a small boutique luggage supplier to one of the most renowned high fashion groups.

Now with watches, eyewear lines, a variety of perfumes, a shoe line, a ready-to-wear line, and many more, the Prada group has diversified its product line massively. By purchasing shares in other designers, they have grown to be a mainstay within the industry.

With a close eye on its heritage and an unorthodox approach to styling, the Prada brand has had massive growth over the last 50 years while at the same time keeping close ties to its origins and what it stands for. The Prada logo is a fascinating story of brand evolution.

Key takeaways:

  • The Prada logo has remained unchanged since 1919, using only various variations of the logo depending on the product.
  • Prada effortlessly evolved from selling only luxury luggage to selling high-fashion handbags, apparel, shoes, accessories—you name it!
  • Prada is a fashion industry giant that has yet to depreciate, consistently growing in sales year by year.
  • Prada has a tendency to move away from the norm, sometimes excluding its logo from certain products for the sake of being anti-status.
  • Prada’s most iconic product is the Saffiano Leather Galleria handbag, which is still a status symbol among elites.

The significance of the different Prada logos

Prada's primary logo design

The Prada logo has remained relatively unchanged since 1919, but the brand does have a variety of different Prada logos. The design is among the best luxury logos of all time. Thanks to their association with the royal family, starting in the early 1900s, they were able to incorporate royal aspects into one of their designs.

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Prada's original design associated with Italy's royal family

While these aspects have remained in the logo design, they have been found less and less often over time, with different Prada logos that they cycle between. With that said, the typeface, a unique design specifically for this logo, has remained a constant over the decades. The Prada font has a distinctive two-stroke type characteristic, with both thick and thin lines and a cut-out under the R.

One of Prada's logo variations

Initially, the logo was found within a rope ellipse. While this logo has often been used in the past, in recent years, the inverted triangle Prada logo is significantly more common.

They are so confident that this shape is theirs that, in 2021, they filed a logo trademark application for a simplified triangle mark with the European Union Intellectual Property Office. These simple shapes reflect the simplicity that they want their brand to represent.

The general rule is for the logo to maintain a black-on-white design. However, it will occasionally appear gold or even white, but that is the exception rather than the norm. That said, the Prada logo does change depending on the collection and the type of item it is placed on.

The Prada logo in gold typically seen in especially high-end products

Sometimes the logo includes the country of founding, “Milano”, and sometimes it is placed on their famous logo, an inverted triangle. However, it is often simply “Prada” placed in black on the product. Usually, it only appears on small fasteners, buckles, tags, and labels.

Prada actually prides itself on lacking a logo on some of its pieces, partaking in an “anti-status” or “reverse snobbery” view. This is at complete odds with its competition, Louis Vuitton and Gucci. It is meant only to be recognized by its inner circle. It’s quite a statement.

The Prada logo meaning exemplifies elegance over excess and simplicity rather than complexity. It mirrors the brand’s identity and contrasts with its competition.

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6 fun facts about Prada you never expected

Prada, established in 1913, has been the undisputed leader in the high-end luxury fashion industry ever since. A simple glance at our Prada fun facts, however, will show you that the label is about more than just flashy clothes.

1. Placed in the Wall Street Jornal

Inside Miuccia Prada's Process - WSJ
Miuccia Prada in The Wall Street Journal | Source

Miuccia Prada, the granddaughter of founder Mario Prada, was named one of The Wall Street Journal’s 30 most powerful women in the 1980s thanks to the success of her black nylon handbag, as well as the impact that she had on growing the company and brand.

2. The Devil Wears Prada

The movie “The Devil Wears Prada'' is a film based on the experiences of the assistant to Vogue’s editor-in-chief. While this movie doesn’t put the brand or editor in the best light, the editor went to the premiere and had no negative comments on the movie.

3. No longer just leather

The famous black backpack was made from military-grade nylon. This was a massive departure from Prada's heritage, as they used to only use leather. Prada is famous for its use of humble materials for high fashion.

4. An old-fashioned founding

Initially, Mario didn’t want any female members of his family involved in the business. However, since his son had no interest, the Prada brand fell to his daughter Luisa. Twenty years later, her daughter Miuccia took control and has grown the brand into the Italian giant that it is today.

5. A store in the middle of the desert

How Prada Marfa Became an Art Mecca | Artsy
The Prada pop-up in Texas | Source

An installation of a Prada store can be found on a desolate desert road outside of Valentine, Texas. It was built in 2005 as a pop architectural land art project, created to eventually fade and never be repaired. It was vandalized the night of its opening, and the contents were looted.

6. Garnered some criticism from Armani

Giorgio Armani has said that Prada had bad taste and was “faddish.” Making these comments back in 2011, he also criticized Dolce & Gabbana. That said, he also praised the irony and ingenuity of the designs.

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The Prada logo history: how did the brand evolve over time?

Prada was founded in Milan in 1913 and primarily sold luxury leather luggage. Founded by Mario Prada, Prada became the official supplier of the Royal Family in Italy.

The Prada luggage bag was a royal family favorite, so the combination logo at the time incorporated the royal family’s coat of arms and a crown. The logo variation still makes an appearance to this day.

Prada's logo with the royal coat of arms and crown | Source

When Miuccia Prada, the granddaughter of founder Mario Prada, took control in 1978, sales were at half a million dollars per year. The following year, they launched a line of backpacks and totes, breaking from the traditional leather luggage they had been selling.

Miuccia Prada on breaking the luxury machine | Financial Times
Miuccia Prada takes over the Prada brand | Source

These bags were made of synthetic materials and were a major step in the diversification of the brand. They were a massive success and paved the way for their next major breakthrough.

This breakthrough came in 1984, when Prada launched the now-famous handbag, the Saffiano Leather Galleria. It didn’t take long for the bag to develop a cult following, and to this day, it remains an unparalleled icon in the world of luxury goods.

The iconic Saffiano Leather Galleria bag | Source

Soon after, Prada added two more fashion lines under its wing, the more budget-friendly Miu Miu line and Prada Sport. These developments moved the company from a small luggage company into the fashion corporation that we know of today.

As of early 2022, Prada's net sales continuously grew by 22% year by year, adding up to nearly 2 trillion dollars in total—an incredible build from its inception a century earlier.

Frequently asked questions: 5 popular FAQs about the Prada logo

What are some commonly asked questions about the Prada logo design? Get your questions answered with these five FAQs.

1. What does the Prada logo stand for?

The Prada logo is a symbol of immense growth, authority, and history.

The logo is a perfect representation of royalty (in a literal and figurative sense). Due to the brand’s roots in the Italian royal family, it initially established an air of aristocracy in the design. As time went by, the brand continued to reach fame and success through its sophisticated products and penchant for the unconventional.

2. Where did the Prada logo come from?

The original Prada emblem borrows heavily from the style of an Italian royal family. In 1919, Prada was recognized as the "Official Supplier to the Italian Royal Household." As a result of this recognition, the corporation is now permitted to employ the historic heraldic of the House of Savoy.

3. What is the Prada tagline?

Prada does not necessarily have a tagline, but it does have an unofficial motto. “Be seen, be heard.” Current founder Miuccia Prada wanted the Prada tagline to help people stand out from the crowd and stake a claim on the world by establishing their voice and identity through high fashion.

4. Why is Prada so popular?

Prada has been making and selling high-quality, innovative products for women, men, and children for almost a century. Prada has become a synonym for high-end fashion because the brand consistently delivers groundbreaking new designs every season.

5. What is the Prada font?

The Prada logo font is Engry, and the company's brand colors are black and white. The custom-drawn modern serif is simultaneously striking and instantly recognizable.

Closing thoughts

Prada has kept a close eye on its logo, with its lack of prevalence and importance being its primary characteristic.

Prada can be used as an example, illustrating that it is possible to break from the norm, fly in the face of expectation, and use that difference to promote not only your brand but also your brand recognition. A Prada handbag is one of the most recognizable fashion products, despite the Prada logo being very understated and sometimes hidden.

Today, the Prada logo and brand remain similar to their origins, yet with a new twist, over 100 years after their founding and having input from three generations. With the massive expansion of their product line over the last few decades and the further minimization and understatement of their logo, Prada has innovated yet kept true to their roots.

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