Examining the Typeface Origins of the Supreme, Thrasher & Life of Pablo Logos - Freshness Mag

Examining the Typeface Origins of the Supreme, Thrasher & Life of Pablo Logos

An essential primer on a trio of streetwear logos
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Image via: Coveteur

Image via: Coveteur

When it comes to streetwear, it's all about the visuals, and an arresting logo is paramount. Coveteur recently explored the story behind three of the most relevant names in the industry today: Supreme, Thrasher and Kanye West's The Life of Pablo. If you've got a hoodie bearing the logo representing any of the three brands, you can consult the primer below to get a quick history lesson. 

SUPREME

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Typeface: Futura Bold Italic

Established: Inspired by artist Barbara Kruger’s work in 1979. Reimagined by Supreme in 1994.

The 101: The story is actually a bit murky, but Supreme has admitted to co-opting Kruger’s font, recognizable by its typeface over text block format, in a legal document. That document, by the way, wasn't revealed in a lawsuit by Krugert. Rather, it was derived from a copyright infringement court document in the case of Supreme vs Leah McSweeney, whose Married to The Mob brand had issued parody “Supreme Bitch” merchandise.

THE LIFE OF PABLO

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Typeface: Gothic Typeface

Established: By Cali Thornhill DeWitt, a writer/designer/DJ/photographer/artist who designed the distinctive typeface for Kanye's The Life of Pablo merch.

The 101: DeWitt didn't take credit for his creation for almost an entire year. The creative has an interesting backstory himself, working as a roadie in the '90s for Courtney Love and her band Hole, and also appearing in drag on Nirvana's In Utero album art. In the aughts he started a record label, Teenage Teardrops, and cofounded Hope Gallery in 2008.

THRASHER

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Typeface: Banco

Established: In 1951 by French typographist Roger Excoffon.

The 101: Excoffon’s Branco typeface has appeared on the windows of butcher shops, hair salons, and bookstores throughout Europe. It had grown stale from overuse Bob Marley used the font for his Natty Dread album in 1974, making it cool again. Its cachet was solidified in 1981, when skateboard magazine Thrasher appropriated the font for itself, eventually appearing on skate rats and fashionistas the world over.