Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger represents the living embodiment of the American Dream – a New York native who started out with nothing but made his way to the top through sheer determination and determination. Like the man himself, the Tommy Hilfiger brand is as American as apple pie… as, in fact, is the brand’s logo. With its red, white and blue color scheme, it has USA written all over it. But is it as simple as it sounds? Is there more to this world famous logo than a statement about the brand’s legacy? If you’ve ever found yourself pondering the same question, you’ve come to the right place for answers.
The history of the brand
To understand a logo, you have to understand the brand behind it. In the case of the Tommy Hilfiger logo, you also have to understand the man. Born in Elmira, New York, on March 24, 1951, Hilfiger was, not to say too much, an uncomplicated child. Having just finished high school, he followed his parents’ offer and attended the GST BOCES Bush campus in Elmira for a brief time, but dropped out midway.
But while college didn’t appeal to teenage Hilfiger, there was one thing in particular that did: fashion. Inspired by the style choices of his heroes Mick Jagger and David Bowie, he began scouring Manhattan stores in search of the same trendy flared trousers and leather jackets. Some of them he used himself. Others he sold to his friends. Seeing the opportunity to combine his love of fashion with making money, he opened his first store, “People’s Place,” in 1971. At the time, Hilfiger was only 20 years old. His youth, combined with his total lack of business knowledge, led him to make mistakes, mistakes that ultimately bankrupted the store six years later.
But the end of People’s Place did not spell the end for Hilfiger. In 1979, he created a design team by the name of “Tommy Hill.” A few years later, he met Mohan Murjani, an Indian textile mogul who was looking to wear menswear. With Murjani’s backing, Hilfiger launched the Tommy Hilfiger Corporation, debuting its exclusive menswear collection in 1985. The 1980s and 1990s established Hilfiger as one of America’s top local talents. But not everything has been smooth. Along the way, there have been challenges, setbacks, and risks that haven’t always been worth it. But somehow, Hilfiger and his namesake label have prevailed. As it has that iconic logo….
Introducing the logo
When Hilfiger launched its first collection in 1985, it did not do so quietly. After hiring advertiser and graphic designer George Lois to help come up with a campaign to accompany the launch, the couple settled on a massive billboard in the center of Times Square. After making the bold decision to buck the trend of featuring models in advertisements, Lois and Hilfiger made the even bolder decision to feature the names of three of Hilfiger’s competitors.
“In most homes, the first three names are familiar words. Prepare for another. His name (clue) is Tommy. The second name is not so easy. But in a few months everyone in America will know there is a new look, ”said the hangedman-inspired campaign.
Accompanying the words was the first visual representation of the Tommy Hilfiger logo ever seen. With its patriotic red, white and blue color scheme, here was a logo that not only whispered America, but took the brand’s American heritage and placed it front, left, and center. “When the brand was launched, I joined Lois for a series of ads that compared me to the designers I had always idolized,” Hilfiger recalls ever since. “I would be lying if I said that I am completely comfortable with that. But George convinced me to do it. It worked.”
In fact, it did. As anothermag.com comments, the bold logo and the hangman game (around which the ad revolved) proved to be a simple and compelling image that caused enough of a stir in the fashion press to achieve the desired object: Hilfiger had arrived and the the world was left in no doubt as to what it represented.
H is for Hilfiger
As 1000logos.net comments, anyone familiar with the International Code of Signals will have a flash of recognition when they see the Tommy Hilfiger logo. The white and red fields in the central part of the logo are taken from the “H” flag of the International Code of Signals (“Hotel”). When used together, it means “I have a pilot on board.” In this case, of course, the …