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Thread: From Venice to England - A short history of the Bremont logo

  1. #1
    Senior Member Alt1tude's Avatar
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    From Venice to England - A short history of the Bremont logo

    Last year whilst on a visit to Bremont HQ, Giles English showed me designs for a revised Bremont logo which they were working on alongside the new website.


    Above: Top is the older logo, being phased out and below is the new 2012 logo.

    I found this intriguing because on the one hand I really loved the existing logo, however being a designer, I did see it’s limitations, especially when printed small and I gather that as they’d been using the logo for the past 4-5 years it was time for a refresh.

    Like a lot of luxury brands, the existing logo was created using a serif typeface: Basically letters that have details on the end of the strokes. It feels English in style, however looking into the history of the typeface, places it in 15th century Venice.

    During the 15th century, Venice was a centre for trade and culture: as a result, it also became a focal point for printing and design. Advances in technology enabled small form books to be printed (The direct influence for books we read today) and popular typefaces such as Bembo (created in 1929) are influenced by venetian printing of this period.


    Above: Bembo is an example of a Venetian inspired typeface

    With the existing Bremont logo, I’ve identified the letters used as another venetian influenced font called ‘Felix Tiling’, which unlike Bembo above was designed more as a ‘display’ face not one used to print the text for books.


    Above: Felix Tiling, a venetian typeface used on the older Bremont logo

    Whilst the existing typeface feels luxurious there are some clear limitations: first being the kerning (space between letters) and secondly the clarity of the logo when printed at small sizes.

    With the kerning, one of the biggest restrictions was the pairs of characters - you can’t help notice the larger space between the R and E - Something which once you notice, becomes a very prominent part of the design!


    Above: The space between the R and E is some what large!

    Also, thinking back to the 15th century venetian typefaces, these would have been originally designed as book fonts and would have been larger in size based on today’s 'text' sizes. The font of the existing Bremont logo, when printed small (between 6 and 8pt) and especially when printed black on a light dial isn't as clear as perhaps it should be:


    Above: The lettering is readable but could it be better?

    Finally the propellors - I’m at a guess, the original logic of this design was to make the propellors look both like watch hands and aircraft parts... Something which works as an idea but as a result I feel that they looked weak - neither watch hands nor propellors.


    Above: Top a propellor. Below - is it a propellor or watch hands?

    So moving onto the new logo, well when I say ‘New’ - it still looks like the old one, but has been cleaned up and made more relevant.



    Above: The 'new' logo. Looks like the old one, but better!

    Gone is the old style 15th century influenced serif font and instead it’s replaced with a new cleaner sans serif look. Less is definitely more here.

    The new logo also draws it’s influence from English heritage, which as we all know is at the heart of every Bremont watch. The new font used is a humanist sans font called ‘Agenda’ and this takes it’s reference directly from one of the most influential typefaces of the 20th century, called Johnston Sans, (Designed by Edward Johnston for the London Underground in 1916). Whilst being a sans serif, it’s humanistic qualities are influenced by handwriting and carving - And has been an influence to many popular fonts such as Gill Sans.


    Above: Johnston Sans is a key influence of the new Bremont brand

    Being slightly bolder in appearance, the new logo now looks stronger when printed small, but it’s humanistic details still give it a subtle quality associated with luxury brands.

    You'll also notice that the spacing between the letters on the new logo is wider than the older one. When printed small this will really help legibility.

    In addition to the new typeface, one refinement I’m much in favor for is the redesigned propellors, which look much stronger and relevant.

    Whether you prefer the old logo, or like the new one, you have to agree that when printed small on the dial, the improvements are really seen: There’s more clarity, no spacing issues and of course the English heritage behind the lettering helps!


    Above: The new logo looks very clear on the new watches, such as the ALT1-WT World Timer.

    Of course, what this new logo creates is a point in time where older logos become phased out on watches. Does this mean pre-2012 watches will become more collectable as the brand grows? In ten years time, will people be looking specifically for a Bremont ‘Old logo’ watch?... Only time will tell!

    Hope you enjoyed this little history lesson! So, do you prefer the old or new logo (Or did you not notice it had changed?)!

  2. #2
    Thanks for the graphic design input mate, always appreciated!

  3. #3
    Excellent article Piers... a few pals of mine went to the London College of Printing and explained the importance of typography years ago and I have always marveled at the work that designers put in to create..'just that version'...... great stuff!

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    Thanks for a really interesting piece and insight into the world of fonts. I had noticed the change on some of the new models and website; I think it looks neat and very clean and really works, especially on the new dials and website. I like how they're subtly moving the brand on.
    Last edited by Embles; 04-18-2012 at 05:44 AM.

  5. #5
    Member Whiz Wheel's Avatar
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    So will this change tend to make the watches that have the older font more collectible at some point?

    Cheers,

    Jerry

    P.S. Piers - no USB drive yet - no rush, just curious

  6. #6
    I'll admit in the scheme of things the font used for the brand's name isn't going to be a deal breaker for me. But, I do prefer the older, serif font over the new one. I like how the width of the lines change (not sure what that's called) and I like those details on the characters. The size of the old style Bremont name on my SOLO is large enough to see those details.

  7. #7
    Thanks! Very informative.

    I like both logos. But now that you have pointed out the space between the R and the E on the old logo, I think the new logo makes more sense.
    No longer a fan boy...

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    Will Bremont update the logo on new watches from the existing range or will it just be used on the brand new models?

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    Senior Member Alt1tude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Will Bremont update the logo on new watches from the existing range or will it just be used on the brand new models?
    I can't speak for Bremont but would expect they still have quite a lot of dials already in stock so I expect as these get used up, when new ones get printed they will with the new logo - hence why all new models (i.e World Timer, SOLO White etc) are going straight with the new logo.

    I would assume the same will go for the rotors and anything else that's already been made up and in stock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alt1tude View Post
    I can't speak for Bremont but would expect they still have quite a lot of dials already in stock so I expect as these get used up, when new ones get printed they will with the new logo - hence why all new models (i.e World Timer, SOLO White etc) are going straight with the new logo.

    I would assume the same will go for the rotors and anything else that's already been made up and in stock.
    Thanks Piers.

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