Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cachet-ing In

I've always wondered how a particular logo develops a cachet. Is it, as the jargon goes now, an 'organic' development, or is it carefully orchestrated? I'm leaning toward the latter.

Just to pick one example, how did Hollister got to be the thing to wear? I just looked it up (thanks wikipedia) and found out it is a A&F brand, not a surf board shop whose logo happened to catch on. Ah, nothing like aggressive, targeted marketing to make us all want to be seen in a casual yet carefully crafted look.

How's this related to sense-of-place? I've always wondered whether a place-logo could become fashionable and whether that would that help the youth of that area better appreciate their home place. It would be far better if they came to appreciate it, well, 'organically' but I'm not above thinking that youth fashion could be an ally. Can you see, say a "Superior East" logo catching on?

Thus I was excited by the a recent news story that Nautica was bringing out a line of clothing inspired by Sleeping Bear Dunes. I thought maybe we'd see kids around the country wearing a logo related to northern Michigan. Alas, it was instead that the colors of the new lineup were inspired by Lake Michigan shorelines -- sand dune tan, lake blue and Coast Guard orange. The Sleeping Bear Dunes name got into a new set of trade publications but I'm still waiting for the fashionable logo to come out and catch on on its own. I really don't think I want a fashion label to come in and force it.

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