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A History of the Iconic Chanel Logo

Boldly emblazoned across dresses, forged into handbag hardware, or discreetly positioned on perfume bottles. The Chanel logo is one of the most iconic fashion symbols of the modern age.

Chanel is adored by fashion connoisseurs across all continents — bar Antarctica. They consistently release collection after collection of covetable garments, handbags and jewellery — each envisioned by the worlds greatest designers and created by the world’s best craftspeople. The brand has an incredible heritage, and one of the best branding guidelines ever created.

The logo has been copied, imitated, mimicked, and has likely inspired countless other brands and designers for over a century. 

Chanel Perfume and Chanel inspired Biscuits! | Photo by Henri Lajarrige Lombard on Unsplash

A logo or brand mark is a critical part of any business, and particularly a luxury fashion house. It must be versatile, perfectly executed, and of course timeless, if a brand hopes to stay relevant and adored.

So what’s the history behind the Chanel logo? And why is it so desirable… read on to discover the origin story and significance of the Chanel logo.

The Components of the Chanel Logo

The Chanel logo is known in the world of graphic design as a combination mark. It consists of a wordmark logo— the capitalised Chanel name — and a lettermark — the interlocking CC.

The CC is occasionally enveloped within a circle, for example on most Chanel perfumes. However, it usually stands alone, as a simple yet iconic statement.

The tiny CC lettermark visible on the No. 5 perfume | Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

The font style is a sans-serif typeface which is unique to the Chanel brand. The rounded C’s and clean geometric lines of the remaining letters create a minimal but instantly recognisable image. 

There were no colours used in the original logo, with Coco preferring the simplicity of a logo that could be elegantly displayed in black or white. Today, however, the individual logo marks have been woven, embossed and printed in a wide array of thread, fabric and metal colours.

Chanel Pink Jelly Tote Logo Shopper Bag from Timeless Vintage

The Origin Story: Who Created the CC Chanel Logo?

The entire logo that we know and love today was created by Coco Chanel herself. Coco created the simplistic ‘Chanel’ wordmark logo before formally opening her boutique in 1910.

The two interlocking CC’s came later, in 1925, and are thought to be a simple association to the first letters of her nickname and surname, Coco Chanel. Although alternate stories do exist, however, as some suggest the opposed CC letter idea was gifted to Coco by an old French wine estate called Château de Crémat.

The logo perfectly emulates the image that Coco wished to create for her brand — minimalistic and bold, yet effortlessly elegant. After all, simple always stands the test of time.

Coco Chanel on a bookcover | Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

Has the Chanel Logo Changed?

The applications of the logo have changed, but the wordmark and CC symbol have remained the same for over a century. With Chanel’s creative directors realising there’s no need to add or remove anything from a logo that remains so effective to this day. A rebrand is unlikely to be on the horizon anytime soon.

Initially, the wordmark ‘Chanel’ appeared on woven clothing labels and also the iconic Chanel perfume bottle, alongside the interlocking CC. Today, however, the imaginations of designers run wild as they discover creative new ways to display this iconic symbol.

What Chanel’s Logo Means Today

The Chanel logo truly is an iconic symbol that is coveted by fashion following individuals throughout the world. It’s instantly recognisable and is synonymous with elegance, luxury, and exclusivity.

3 rectangular Chanel shopping bags. White with the black wordmark 'Chanel' printed in the centre.
Chanel Shopping Bags with the Chanel wordmark | Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

Today the CC is most frequently found on hardware adorning handbags, shoes, sunglasses and jewellery. It also features on the neck of the iconic Chanel No. Perfume bottle. The wordmark logo ‘Chanel’, is reserved for labels, boxes and occasional patterns on clothing and accessories.

Featured Image | Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

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