Backstory & History Of The Versace Logo

May 26, 2020
Authored by:
Brandon
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Gianni Versace started the design house that would come to be Versace in 1978. Over the design house's history, it would receive several branding changes with according logos to match. Initially, the brand was named "Gianni Versace," named directly from its founder. Several font changes were made in 1980 and 1990, respectively, predominantly due to consumers' changing design preferences. If you are finding this to be the case in your company, and are looking to reinvent your logo, check out Logo.com's AI-powered logo generator for awesome templates and customizable features. Gianni's talent for design and an eye for trends made Versace one of the forefront design houses in the industry. Gianni's connections within the music and film industries helped propel the brand into the spotlight.

Versace was founded in 1978 by Gianni Versace and has been focused on premium clothing and luxury items with a focus on Italian design ques. Throughout this article, we will be looking at the original design of the Versace logo, along with the development and history of the logo.

Versace Logo - 1980

While the Versace brand started in 1978, Gianni did not release a logo for the company until 1980, at the time only featuring the name Gianni Versace. During this time, the brand (then named Gianni Versace) released their first full collection, Haute Couture, in 1989.

It was not until 1993, over a decade after the first logo was debuted, that the now famed Medusa's head was introduced as a staple of the brand. The selection of the Gorgon Medusa is one that drew many questions. However, the choice of such a notable emblem doubtlessly assisted in the propulsion of the brand to international acclaim.

In 1997 Versace underwent yet another logo change, finally dropping the Gianni portion of the name, officially taking on the famed name Versace. The Medusa's head was kept from the 1993 logo change. However, the font was changed to be a bold font to match the brand's new name and look.

Versace Logo - 1993

Tragically, in 1997, tragedy struck both Versace as a brand and Gianni Versace personally. On July 15, 1997, Gianni was shot and killed outside his Miami home by Andrew Cunnan. Conspiracy and questions surround the motive of Cunnan along with the connection between him and Versace. However, Cunnan was obsessed with Gianni Versace. After Gianni's premature death, the brand was taken over by his two siblings, Donatella and Santo Versace. Santo became the new CEO while Donatella became the brand's new creative director. During this time, the brand declined in popularity, and profits soon followed, resulting in CEOs' rotation over several years. Ultimately, all CEO's who departed the company cites disagreements between them and the Versace family as the reason for departure.

The 2008 Version of The Versace Logo

In 2008, Versace underwent yet another logo change, switching the layout of the logo, now with the "Versace" name on top, with the Medusa head emblem below, inverted from previous iterations. This would be the most recent change to the Versace logo (as of the publication of this article). However, the colouring and layout would continue to vary from product to product. An interesting feature of Logo.com's AI-powered logo generator is the ability to export your new logo in a variety of formats, making it extremely easy to maintain the same logo look across multiple platforms and products.

The origin of the Medusa image in Greek mythology, Medusa is a monster created by the Goddess Athena. Supposedly, Gianni wanted his designs to emulate the shock and beauty that one feels when seeing Medusa's head for the first time. While others have made additional parallels between the mythology of Medusa and the Versace brand, Versace themselves have given little backstory regarding the origin of the emblem. Some have highlighted the irony behind using Medusa's head in the logo of a fashion house, as the myth of Medusa serves as a warning against vanity and lust, with some connecting "fashion" as a genre with those character traits.

Versace would move to diversify their offerings, including the release of Versace editions of Lamborghini cars and AgustaWestland helicopters. They also partnered with investors to launch a series of Versace Palazzo hotels. All these offshoots of the primary Versace design house would carry on the Versace logo and Medusa emblem, furthering the design's popularity.

Initially, the design for the Versace logo dictated the emblem be black with a white background, however, the logo changes colour with a notable frequency between product lines, showing up as colour matched with clothing, or as silver or gold on jewelry and other accessories. While traditionally inadvisable for a brand, this trait could be regarded as a testament to the logo retention of the Medusa emblem.

The brand has often been described as the "rock and roll designer," referencing its extensive roster of celebrity clientele. These customers often flaunted their latest purchases on the red carpet, on social media, and in music videos, propelling the Medusa Head logo into a level of a cultural phenom.

An example of Versace's use of colour swapping on their logo for different product lines.

Versace has fully embraced the Medusa symbol as part of their brand identity, encouraging designs that evoke emotion similar to those found when confronted by Medusa. They welcome the paradoxical nature of the character, boasting indescribable beauty while radiating a (literally) petrifying fear. At the same time, the Versace logo emanates simplicity. It is styled with inspiration from ancient greek design, invoking a timeless and graceful design similar to the garments worn by those featured in Greek mythology.

The storied and intricate past of the Versace brand (and by extension, their logo) details an inspired artist who was able to leverage a brand to become an international fashion and design icon. The growth of the brand beyond Gianni Versace is a testament to the resilience of Versace's identity. Donatella Versace said her brother's reasoning for using Medusa's head was "whoever falls in love with Medusa can't flee from her," and it is clear that today many have fallen for the brand.

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