Michael Bierut, a partner at Pentagram, describes the process behind the development of an identity with more variations than there are electrons in the known universe.

“Saks approached us in 2004 about designing a new identity for their stores, seeking a graphic program that would encompass signage, advertising, direct mail, online and, most importantly, packaging.

“We understood quickly that this was more than a logo design project. The current Saks logo, shown above, had been in use since the mid-nineties, but had done little to create a profile for the brand, particularly as part of a gray-on-gray packaging program that was recessive to say the least. Terron Schaefer and the leadership at Saks were looking for something that could be ubiquitous and iconic, immediately identifiable when glimpsed across a busy street. But, unlike Tiffany, the store has never had a signature color; unlike Burberry, no signature pattern. On the contrary, examining their history we found the store had used literally dozens of logos since its founding.

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