Brooks Brothers is the oldest men’s clothing store in the United States. The early script logotype conveys class and quality, though it is anything but the stereotype of “masculine.”

BrooksBros1969_logo

Today, Brooks Brothers sells home goods, as well as clothing and accessories to men, women, and children.

A few weeks ago I was in New York’s JFK airport and this storefront caught my eye. A script logotype overlaid by a serif version.

BrooksBros

The script is curvy, soft, and subdued with its darker yin. The serif face is strong, heavy, and very bold with its bright yang in all caps. The store sells both dresses and ties.

The sign conveys a confident, sophisticated, dressy, yet practical look. Just like the clothing it sells.

Would this have worked as effectively if the serif face were in the back?

Try it out yourself. What do you think?

Hints: The serif face is Century Schoolbook Bold. The script logotype can be found online as a transparent .png file. Make a background in blue #0b0a63, set the serif face in bright blue #1731be on top, and place the script logotype in white #ffffff in front.


To me, it doesn’t work as well when the logotypes are reversed in position. Even with the serif face made blue, and I found the all-caps too short and too heavy to recede quietly in the background. Unlike the script face, the serif face doesn’t function as a subtly sophisticated background; its chunkiness competes for our attention.