Kate Moss: The Brand
With her first line of clothing due to cause riots in Topshop at the beginning of next month, plus other projects in the pipeline, Brand Moss has arrived, her new image sealed by an identity masterminded by Peter Saville, in collaboration with typographer Paul Barnes.
"Kate is in an exceptional territory of her own," explains Saville. "She is an icon to everyone, in that young women can relate to her and aspire to be her. She's an accessible icon, and similarly she's not intimidating. She's synonymous with possibility for young women – she's not impossibly beautiful, or alluring, or mannered. It's that that's made her such an astonishing role model for her times. Plus Kate has never denied or denounced her roots; she hasn't moved on to another world. All this has endeared Kate to a generation. She's a brand. And this next stage for her is the inevitable product realisation of that brand."
Moss' collaboration with Topshop has been well documented, but her brand power won't end there, and Storm, her modelling agent, realised the necessity for a single identity to be used across her various products. "Storm realised that the graphic responsibility of the brand was theirs, that we must bring it in house and then licence it to our partners, there must not be different representations of an identity of Kate Moss," continues Saville.
"We needed something that was popular but quite boho. We didn't want it to be an exploration of a teenage girl thing as that's quite trite, and Kate can be a signifier of certain values for the rest of her life, I don't think she'll disappear. So we needed something that was right for now, but also had some longevity."
Saville originally experimented with variations of Moss' signature, but then abandoned this strategy and approached Barnes to discuss fonts. "He's a wonderful guide to letters and was able to fast-track us to the suspects. 'Kate' was really easy - there were lots of fonts that worked with that. But 'Moss' was difficult, it kept slipping into National Trust territory or Moss Bros and that was completely off-message."
Albro sample as posted on Typophile
"I rediscovered it by looking at an old type catalogue, and it's always been in my mind to use it for something," he explains. "I tried it for this almost as a kind of joke, but the actual combinations of letters worked well, the words 'Kate Moss' looked really good. It embodies the spirit of Kate Moss, it's sophisticated yet modern. It has a quirkiness and modernity because it's almost geometric. It has a very modern feel, but also has heritage - it was designed by the principle art director of his time, if not all time."
Moss' involvement in the process came towards the end, when Saville presented her with 20 identity options to view in a meeting that gave him a taste of the model's paparazzi-hunted lifestyle, when the two were photographed smoking cigarettes out of Storm's office windows and ended up in the News of the World and on the cover of a French gossip mag, which questioned who Moss's "mystery new man" was. Despite such intrusions, the meeting couldn't have gone smoother, with Moss instinctively agreeing with the designers' favourite. "We presented the list of fonts to Kate, but when she turned to that page, she just said 'that's the one that I want'," says Saville. "She saw that it was right."
So if this is Moss, any suggestions for typographic representations of the other "Supers"? Psycho Vamp for Naomi perhaps? "A little bit crazy, a whole lot dangerous"...
A few years ago, Paul Barnes designed a typeface for Björk's single "Pagan Poetry".
The typeface he designed has a few similarities with the Kate Moss identity.
It's a great "k" an awkward "e" and the challenge of dealing with that double "s", but it's not just the typeface that has obvious Björk similarities... the katemosstopshop site feels very Vespertine to me as well.
I'd love to see that “mystery new man” photo though. Brilliant.
This looks like a shoddy pastiche of the m/m type they first created used about 5 years ago. I realise Saville was working with the same typographer but surely thats no excuse. It all just feels a bit lazy and old hat. Is it just me or is Saville a bit rubbish these days?
This font is SO UGLY! They should have just used Brodovitch Albro as it was. and yes I agree, Saville is rubbish. Kate Moss wouldnt know any better.
Darlings I had a look. Its just Brodovitch Albro, looks like its straight out of the can. I heard that its part of the new Photo Lettering thing that those kooky guys at House Industries are doing. So maybe M&M are the ones doing the pastiche of Alexi? I think its kinda cute, but then again I just adore Kate Mosss
Does this typeface make me look fat?
So does this mean we'll have a crusty, sweaty-looking font called Pete, soon?
Sorry, I can't look beyond the unbalenced 'K', this goes against all my territorial Northern pride, it appears Saville has 'screwed the pooch' on this one. Naughty boy!
Maybe an inventive ligerture could have solved the 'ss' problem, just a thought, but an original one I should mention.
kate good idea ..............top shop
If the designer "didn’t want it to be an exploration of a teenage girl thing" why is it so swirly, curly and...girly?
Kate Moss the brand may be mass market, but surely it didn't have to LOOK mass market too?
Wait. Are you people sitting around and talking badly about Peter Saville?
Am I reading the above words right?
Design wouldn't look the way it does without him.
Please, Creative Review, edit this, I dare you.
Take these words away.
You sad people sit around and actually bash one of the most forward-thinking, sophisticated, and educated designers alive? We should feel lucky to have someone so dedicated and caring.
I hope your sleep is disturbed.
I hope you have pits in your stomachs.
In the cold light of day, you are nothing.
I'm astounded at your comment jennyrusks and by the fact you've linked to your blander than bland "work". shall we look at savilles work next to yours?
this does not suit her at all. i hate it.
What's all the fuss about Kate Moss? She's not pretty, she's totally skinny and repulsive. She sure as hell shouldn't wear short skirts with those legs - and doesn't her bum look big in the new ad?
I like the Kate Moss identity because it reminds me of Alice in wonderland. Strangely even her perfume bottle kind of alludes to the mad hatter. When you look at it like this the identity fits because it's a sweet story of a girl and all that, with a lot of trippy, almost druggy, connotations (eating weird things etc.)
Odd but with a special place in most people hearts. Also a very unique story.
Maybe it's just me :)
Am I correct in thinking Saville has just written Kate Moss in an already exisiting font? I don't see what's so creative about that. We see this rediculous practice over and over in the design word.
Where can I download the typeface AL-Bro (type from Alexey Brodovich) ??
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