Nordstrom Logo

Nordstrom Logo
The chain of luxury department stores Nordstrom has gone through at least three distinctive logotypes since 1901 when it was founded.

Meaning and history

Nordstrom Logo history


In 1930, when Nordstrom was a Seattle-only shoe store, it had a playful logo based on the Futura type. The Futura family was developed by Paul Renner in 1927 and was inspired by Bauhaus typefaces. While the original Nordstrom logo may look somewhat dated now, in the 1930s it was a state-of-the-art design.
The most eye-catching glyphs were the “O’s” – they were higher than the standard height of capital letters. Also, the “O’s” were circles and looked very wide in comparison with other letters, which seemed to have been squeezed between the “O’s.” The “N” and “M” were also slightly higher than the normal cap height, due to which they looked more prominent than all the other glyphs.
Also, the 1930 logo featured an apostrophe and “S,” which were removed only around 1955.

Symbol in 1973-1991

Nordstrom symbol
In 1973, a completely different wordmark was introduced. There were only lowercase letters. Their shape was also unusual, but all the letters seemed to fit each other in terms of the proportions and style. The logo was given either in black and white or in brown and white.

The 1991 emblem

Nordstrom emblem
The current logo is simple and timeless. Its unique style is the result of the style of the type by which it had been inspired.

Font

Nordstrom Logo
The logo appears to have been designed using one of the fonts from the Optima family. Most likely, it’s a customized version of Optima Pro Medium.
While the glyphs on the Nordstrom logo have pretty much the same recognizable shape as the letters from this font, they have slightly different proportions. Due to the somewhat elongated shape, the wordmark appears slimmer than if it hadn’t been customized. One of the possible reasons is that the modifications have made the logo less wide, which could be good for a signboard, for instance. Another possible reason is that the elongated letters better fit the modern understanding of beauty with its slimmer and higher shapes
The Optima family, which includes 24 fonts, was developed by Hermann Zapf and published by Linotype. The unique style of Optima results from the fact that this is, in fact, a serif type from which the serifs have been removed. In other words, it’s a combination of a serif and sans serif font.

Colors

Nordstrom
The classic combination of black and white contributes to the timeless elegance of this logo.