Kate Spade New York is an American fashion design house founded in January 1993 by Kate Spade and her husband Andy Spade.
In 1993, Kate Brosnahan Spade, a former accessories editor at the magazine Mademoiselle, set out to design the perfect handbag. Debuting with just six silhouettes, she combined sleek, utilitarian shapes and colorful palettes in an entirely new way. Thus, Kate Spade New York was born.
Women and fashion editors alike appreciated the brand for its fresh, modern sensibility, as the first shop in New York City opened in 1996. As the company grew, they began to be known for their graphic approach and trademark wit, different from the other brands that dominated the market.
In 2007, Spade sold her company to design powerhouse Kate Spade & Company (formerly known as Liz Claiborne, Inc.). Shortly after, Deborah Lloyd took the helm as President and Chief Creative Officer, aiming to broaden the line while honoring the company’s rich history. Recently, the company was acquired by Coach.
Kate Spade New York is now a global lifestyle brand that inspires colorful living through their handbags, clothing, jewelry, shoes, stationery, eyewear, fragrance, home decor, bedding and gifts. Although the company’s ownership has changed hands, the logo still reflects the originality and creativity of the founder. Their logo design marries the luxury retail space with the company's spirited approach to fashion, commitment to curiosit, and passion for sharing a colorful world.
The logo design is simple, minimal and quirky. It features a small spade symbol -- exactly the same one as the shape found on the suit of spades in a pack of cards. The logo is representative of not just the surname of the brand’s founder, but also the label’s love of simple shapes and unique designs.
The small black spade is centered at the top of the logo, followed by black lowercase lettering that states the label’s name. Underneath, in smaller uppercase letters, the words “New York” are printed, rooting the brand in its heritage. The font of this lowest line in the logo is also very well-spaced, but is more defined than the font used above.
All three elements are contrasted against a white background, and combine together to create a clean, crisp, and minimal logo that accurately expresses the brand identity.
The logo is also scalable and flexible, which compliments the label's love of colors and allows the design to adapt to each product and use differently.
More colorful versions of the logo it printed in white against bright backgrounds like green, pink and orange. Additionally, the brand often uses the spade symbol alone as a playful, understated logo.
The Kate Spade logo is an excellent example of a design that aligns with a company's personality, scope and goals. It is unique and memorable, contemporary and meaningful, and fully grounded in its personal history.
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