Fast fashion brand Zara is no stranger to criticism over its manufacturing and waste issues. But a social media backlash brewing against the company today has come from a surprising source: typography pedants.
The biggest fashion brand in the world, owned by Spanish giant Inditex, has revealed a new logo featuring the four-letter brand in a more tightly kerned, overlapping design. And the people, most likely including a great many graphic designers, are not amused.
To understand the revolt, one needs to appreciate the conventions around kerning (the space between letters in print). As any newspaper subeditor (or reformed subeditor) will tell you, we are all guilty of “squeezing” a headline from time to time beyond the limit set. The idea, of course, is that the letters should be easy on the eye and not resemble some ink-blot drawing.
But Zara’s latest effort has even those blessed with 20:20 vision reaching for the headache tablets. And the internet is asking: what’s the point?
The company is yet to make a public statement about the reason for the logo refresh, its first since 2010.
But we all know the fashion-loving public isn’t shy about panning a logo it doesn’t vibe with.