Supreme Logo

supreme logo

Simple as it is, the Supreme logo has its unique niche. It has been very successful, from the commercial point of view, some of the items selling for more than $1,000 on the resale market.

Supreme logo meaning and history

supreme logo

The emblem was introduced in 1994, when the first Supreme store opened on Lafayette Street in New York. According to Jebbia, it cost $12,000 to open it. The store was to sell such brands as Zoo York, Shorty’s, and Spitfire, but Jebbia also wanted to mark the opening day with a unique T-shirt designed specifically for the occasion.

He had three T-shirts to choose from: one of them featured a 1970s skater, another sported Travis Bickle, the main hero of the Taxi Driver thriller (1976), while the third one was decorated with the simple box logo of the Supreme store.

The emblem wouldn’t have appeared if not for a friend of James Jebbia, the company founder. The friend didn’t like the original designs claiming they lacked identity. So, he gave the designers a book describing works of Barbara Kruger, one of the US most known conceptual artists and collagists, to use as a source of inspiration.

Primary logo Supreme

logo supreme

The final logo drew inspiration (or, as some people put it, was “lifted) from Kruger’s poster created in support of legal abortion. It featured a woman’s face divided in two parts with the lettering “Your body is a battleground” in white against a bright red background. The style of the Supreme logo copied the style of the lettering.

Such “inspirations” in street culture have been a matter of heated discussions for decades. Take, for instance, the Stussy brand and its logo clearly based on the Chanel’s interlocking “C’s”.

New versions of the symbol Supreme

supreme symbol

The brand makes T-shirts with modified versions of its logo for some occasions. For instance, it produced a BOGO benefit tee in 2011 after the earthquake in Japan and donated all the sale proceeds to the country’s Red Cross.

In 2017, the brand dedicated a new version of its box logo to the late writer and cultural scholar Gary Warnett.

Emblem controversy Supreme

supreme emblem

The connection between the brand’s logo with the recognizable style of Barbara Kruger is obvious. Moreover, James Jebbia, the company founder, actually confirmed that the Supreme logo was borrowed from her work.

The artist herself hasn’t filed any lawsuits against the brand. One of the reasons could be that she didn’t have intellectual property rights on it. She did make a statement in this respect, though. It was when Supreme sued Leah McSweeney, the founder of Married to the Mob, for her parodical logo “Supreme Bitch” based on the Supreme wordmark. Barbara Kruger called both the parties “uncool jokers” and said she won’t be surprised if eventually they sued her for copyright infringement.

As for the Supreme’s lawsuit against McSweeney, it ended with an agreement that MTTM could use the words “Supreme Bitch,” but the design should be different.

Font of the Supreme logo

supreme logo font

The logo is based on the rather popular font called Futura Heavy Oblique. It is a sans serif italicized type created by Paul Renner in 1927.