Decade revitalise Banana Republic’s brand with an elegant, eclectic and type-driven identity system
With Banana Republic holding such a valued and beloved status as a home for upscale fashion, it’s only fair that Decade’s brand revamp pays homage to the company’s heritage. In 2021, the New York-based studio worked closely with Banana Republic’s leadership and in-house design team to refresh the iconic American brand.
The starting point was found in the letterforms of the original logo. As Decade Co-founders and Creative Directors Grace Robinson-Leo and Rob Matthews explain further, "through our research, we found that the logo was based on Arrow by Walter Diethelm (1965), stretched to be a bit wider.” This Arrow font was the basis of sketches for a potential custom typeface, and after receiving the client’s approval, Decade worked closely with Colophon Foundry to craft a bespoke serif.
Taking the logo and Arrow as inspiration, Colophon Foundry explain the development process. “We started by matching the weight of the type and logomark and borrowed key forms such as the ‘R’ and ‘P.’ From here, we used variable type to establish the right balance between contrast, serif length and height and expand it into a usable typeface that would compliment rather than replicate the wordmark.” The resulting type system carries the same aesthetic and presence as the mark yet, with two optical sizes – Display and Text – can be used across a multitude of applications.
Banana Serif is paired with Luzi Type’s Lynstone to round out the “stable scaffolding” of the typographic system. “Banana Serif is the primary font, and is used everywhere. Lynstone is the secondary font for the brand – it is never used for display, but instead supplements Banana Serif in places like captions, additional levels of hierarchy needed for digital, etc.”
In addition to these, Decade created extensive brand guidelines, design templates and brand codes – additional logos, monograms, accents, and patterns – to create cohesion across the brand’s various outputs. “For example, athletics collections have sportier varsity-style monograms and colour palettes, with more playful marks for baby (like the drawing of a banana). Meanwhile, handwritten and hand-printed touches reference the original illustrated catalogues. Robinson-Leo and Matthews continue: “Banana Republic’s team did an amazing job bringing everything to life” and the finished identity can now be seen out in the world (and online) across digital, marketing assets, store signage, clothing tags and labels and packaging.
Banana Serif by Colophon Foundry