Pentagram’s glossy Liberty Beauty logo draws from typographic history

After helming the 2020 Liberty rebrand, Harry Pearce returns to the store’s main logotype – this time, deconstructing it for a new purpose.

18 October 2023

Pentagram’s Harry Pearce and Jon Marshall have teamed up to deliver a new beauty brand for Liberty, diving once more into the design history of the almost hundred-year-old department store. The logo features letterforms taken from the main wordmark, fitting together neatly with a lovely use of levels and scale. That main wordmark – introduced by Pentagram in 2022 – can itself be traced back to the first sign hung above the Great Marlborough Street storefront.

The name of the new brand is Liberty Beauty, or Lbty. Even this very modern-seeming abbreviation references Liberty’s history. “Looking back into the visual history of Liberty we found interesting typographic shorthands for the name,” says Harry, “‘Lbty’ is therefore a continuation of that graphic behaviour in a new and unique manner.”

The first release from Lbty is a range of five fragrances. In addition to the overall identity for the beauty brand, the design of the packaging and bottles was handed over to Pentagram.

Liberty needed a “recognisable” design that wouldn’t require custom tooling for the glass bottle, a release explains. An oversized cap has been introduced which doubles as a stand and provides ample room for the Liberty print – a renowned element of the department store’s identity, with 50,000 prints present in its archive. Akzindenz Grotesk Extended appears on the labels, this time as a historic nod to the indexes of trademarked fabric names found in the archive.

“Since we re-designed the identity for Liberty we have continued to expand the visual language of the business. Firstly in the form of typographic patterns for fabrics (with Liberty Letters) and now into a pure beauty brand. On each occasion, archival discoveries are the springboard for the designs,” says Harry.

GalleryPentagram: LBTY, Liberty Beauty (Copyright © Liberty, 2023)

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Pentagram: LBTY, Liberty Beauty (Copyright © Liberty, 2023)

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Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

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