The Vogue logo has evolved over the years, but Didone font styles are still at the heart of its appearance. Firmin Didot, Justus Erich Walbaum created Didone fonts, and Giambattista Bodoni, whose iconic fonts Didot, Walbaum, and Bodoni are still being used today.
History of the Vogue Logo
In 1892, Vogue magazine was launched as a weekly publication for high society in New York. The magazine’s inscription was limited to one font. Each issue had a hand-written logo made by their graphic designer, complementing the style of the cover.
Condé Nast had bought vogue magazine by 1909, and the cover image became more colorful, abstract, and theatrical. The illustrators made poster-like arts for the covers, incorporating the Jazz Age and Art Deco styles that were popular back then.
1920s — 1930s
Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, hand-drawn logos were the in-thing. In 1932, photographer Edward Steichen shot Vogue’s first color photo cover, with a logo executed in a minimalist collection of slim white letters. A year later, the designers still toyed with the logo. The styles of the Vogue logo were still highly varied.
What font is the Vogue logo? The Didot font made an appearance in 1947, although in a more condensed taller variant. Vogue still played around with fonts, switching between sans-serif and serif, and still working in scripts alongside illustrative picturesque letters.
In 1955, the All Caps Didot font, named after brothers Firmin and Pierre Didot (highly renowned printers, publishers, inventors, typeface designers, and intellectuals between the 18th and 19th century), became a permanent logo on Vogue magazine’s cover.
Present Vogue covers also utilize a bespoke sans-serif font known as Vogue AG, which mixes aspects of Avant Garde Gothic and Futura and was designed in 2004 by Terminal Design.
The History of Vogue Magazine
Vogue magazine is the most influential and most recognizable publication in the fashion world. But did you know when the magazine was first published and how the different publications have been issued through the years? Read on to learn more.
Early History: 1892—1905
Vogue was established as a weekly paper in New York by an American businessman named Arthur Baldwin Turnure and was funded by Kristoffer Wright. The first issue was released in December 1892 with a 10-cent cover price (equivalent to $2.88 as of 2020).
Since its inception, Vogue targeted the upper class of New York—recounting their habits, leisure activities, hangout joints, social gatherings, and clothes they wore—as well as everyone who wished to emulate them and join their exclusive circle. At the time, Vogue was mainly concerned with fashion, social affairs, and sports coverage. During the early stages, growth was understandably slow.
Condé Nast Ownership: 1905—1920
Vogue was bought by Condé Montrose Nast a year before the death of founder Baldwin Turnure in 1909. Condé Montrose Nast changed Vogue to a ladies’ magazine and started overseas editions in the 1910s. He also increased its price.
Under Nast’s management, the magazine increased its publications and profits dramatically. It kept targeting an up-market audience and branched out into covering weddings. According to Nast, when Vogue deliveries became impossible in Europe, Asia, and Africa due to World War 1, printing started in England. This decision turned out to be successful, prompting Nast to release the maiden issue of Vogue in French in 1920.
The Great Depression and World War 2 saw the number of Vogue subscriptions soar. During this time, Frank Crowninshield, a renowned critic and ex-Vanity Fair editor, served as Vogue’s editor, having been recruited by Condé Nast.
American Vogue put its first color photo on the magazine’s cover in July 1932. The photo, taken by Edward Jean Steichen, portrayed a female swimmer in the air clutching a beach ball.
According to Laird Borrelli, Vogue oversaw the dwindling fortunes of fashion illustration during the late 1930s once it started to swap its illustrated covers for photographic images.
Nast introduced the “two-page spread” and color printing. He’s been rightly credited with making Vogue the highly successful women’s magazine we all recognize today, having increased its sales volumes substantially until he passed on in 1942.
Vogue‘s most influential years were in the 1950s, when Jessica Daves was hired as editor-in-chief. Daves successfully steered Vogue through one of its toughest, most transformative, and richest periods in history. While the top priority remained fashion coverage, Daves also raised American Vogue’s written content, particularly championing stronger literature features and arts.
In 1962, Daves’s tenure at Vogue came to a close when Diana Vreeland was recruited by the magazine (initially as an associate editor before replacing Daves as editor-in-chief in December 1962). The duo had diametrically opposed methods of editing Vogue. While Daves believed that fashion was a really serious business, Vreeland believed that fashion was purely for entertainment. Vreeland subsequently led Vogue into an era of vitality and youth and “extravagance, excess, and luxury.”
In the 1960s, led by Editor-in-chief Diana Vreeland, Vogue started to attract the youth during the sexual revolution era by focusing a lot more on editorial features and contemporary fashion that openly talked about sexuality.
To achieve this goal, Vogue expanded coverage to feature East Village boutiques like Limbo at St. Marks Place and added features of “downtown” personalities like Jane Holzer’s favorite joints and Andy Warhol’s “Superstar.” Vogue also carried on turning models into household names, such as Suzy Parker, Twiggy, Lauren Hutton, Jean Shrimpton, Penelope Tree, Marisa Berenson, Veruschka, and many others.
Vogue was turned into a monthly publication in 1973. Under Grace Mirabella, the new editor-in-chief, the magazine went through extensive stylistic and editorial changes to keep up with the changing lifestyles of its audience. Mirabella says she was picked to change the magazine as women were not interested in just buying or reading about clothes since this didn’t make any difference in their changing lifestyles.
Mirabella was recruited to make Vogue appealing to “the free, “liberated” working woman of the 1970s. She changed Vogue by adding text in interviews, adding serious health articles, and covering arts. Mirabella was ultimately let go when that kind of stylistic change went out of fashion in the 1980s.
Anna Wintour Stewardship: 1988—Present
After Vogue had started to lose significant ground to 3-year-old startup Elle, Anna Wintour became the new editor-in-chief. Popular for her trademark sunglasses and bob cut, Wintour sought to revive the magazine by making it more approachable and more youthful. She switched focus towards fresh and accessible fashion concepts for a larger audience.
Under Wintour’s stewardship, Vogue was able to retain its high circulation, and its staff discovered fresh new trends that its wider audience could feasibly afford. For instance, the first cover of Vogue under Wintour’s leadership featured a ¾ length photo of an Israeli model Michaela Bercu, wearing a pair of jeans and an ornamented Christian Lacroix jacket.
This was in stark contrast to her predecessor’s inclination to only depict a woman’s face. At the time, The New York Times reported that this move gave greater importance to not only women’s clothing but also their body.
Throughout her tenure at Vogue, Wintour achieved her mission to rejuvenate the magazine and directed the publication of some of Vogue’s biggest editions. The magazine’s September 2004 edition was the biggest ever monthly publication with 832 pages. To this day, Wintour is still the editor-in-chief for American Vogue.
Among Condé Nast top brass, there was concern that the mother of fashion magazines was quickly losing ground to 3-year-old Elle, which had circulated 851,000 copies, compared to 1.2 million copies of Vogue. Therefore, Condé Nast brought in 38-year-old Anna Wintour, who via editor-in-chief roles at House & Garden and British Vogue, had become popular for her forward-looking visual sense as well as ability to completely revitalize a magazine.
Style and Influence
Vogue refers to “style” in French. According to book reviewer Caroline Weber, Vogue is “the most influential fashion publication in the world.” The magazine reportedly reaches 11 million U.S. readers as well as 12.5 million international readers. Moreover, Anna Wintour has been named as one of fashion’s most influential figures.
Vogue hosts the Met Gala every year to mark the opening of Metropolitan Museum’s fashion exhibition. It’s the most coveted annual event in the fashion world and is graced by politicians, A-list celebrities, fashion editors, and designers. Vogue has held the themed fashion event since 1971, when Diana Vreeland was editor-in-chief.
In 2015, American Vogue listed the “15 roots reggae tunes you need to know”. And during an interview at VP Records, the magazine drew viewers’ attention to an edited list of legendary reggae artists that recorded their songs in Kingston Jamaica, including Bob Marley, Gregory Isaacs, Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, Dennis Brown, The Heptones, Bunny Wailer, and Toots & the Maytals.
Apart from their coverage of legendary artists, Vogue provides the latest music news on musicians like Taylor Swift, Eminem, Jay-z, and Tom Petty, as well as playing the role of an influencer. For instance, Vogue was responsible for making American musician Suzi Analogue popular in 2017.
In the Vogue issue of September 2003, the magazine partnered up with Google to market Google Glass in a 12-page spread.
In the Vogue issue of September 2015, technology such as Amazon Fashion, Apple Watch, and Apple Music were all represented within the 832 pages of the issue.
In 2009, Anna Wintour launched the “Fashion Night” initiative with the aim of reviving the economy after the 2007-2008 financial crisis by attracting customers back to retail stores and donating the proceeds to a number of charitable causes.
Vogue co-hosted the event in 27 cities across the United States and 15 countries around the world and included online stores at the start of 2011. There was debate over whether the event was actually profitable in the U.S., leading to a possibly permanent break in 2013. The event is still held in 19 other venues internationally, though.
In 2006, Vogue drew attention to salient cultural and political issues by acknowledging the burga and featuring several articles about renowned Muslim women, their attitude towards fashion, as well as the impact of various cultures on women’s lives and fashion.
Vogue also funded an initiative known as “Beauty without Borders” to the tune of $25,000 and launched a cosmetology college for Afghan women. A Liz Mermin documentary, which highlighted the rise of Western beauty standards, criticized the beauty school, suggesting that it couldn’t be considered successful if it didn’t create the demand for U.S. cosmetics.
During the 2012 United States Presidential Election, Wintour made good use of her industry influence to host many huge fundraisers in support of Barack Obama. In 2010, the first fundraiser was a dinner that cost a whopping $30,000 for each attendee. Through the “Runway to Win” campaign, prominent designers were hired to create outfits to support the Obama Campaign.
In October 2016, Vogue declared its support for Hillary Clinton in her bid to become the U.S. president. In Vogue’s 120-year existence, it was the first time the brand supported a presidential candidate as one voice.
Summing Up the Vogue Logo and Its History
Established in 1892, Vogue is arguably the most influential and most famous fashion and society publication in the world. Throughout its history, the fashion magazine has churned out more than 400,000 article pages to a global audience, claiming to be read by 11 million people in the United States and 12.5 million people worldwide. With such a track record, it’s difficult to ignore the magazine’s dominance.
Although Vogue is a monthly publication today, it was established as a weekly newspaper for high society in America. It mainly carried news on the upper-class social scene, book and concert reviews, as well as social etiquette.
Vogue has definitely made a giant leap from its initial focus on elitism and etiquette, as demonstrated by its covers. With an emphasis on a “healthy body, sexual equality, and freedom,” the magazine has a key role to play in the world of fashion.
The British Vogue, established in 1916, was Vogue’s first-ever international edition. The Italian variant Vogue Italia is one of the world’s most popular fashion magazines. Currently, there are at least 26 international editions of Vogue. As simple as the Vogue logo is, It is recognized by millions across the globe.