Lululemon’s Logo Is An Exercise In WTF

lululemon logo meaning

WTF is that thing?

The Lululemon logo was actually designed for a different brand name – and it shows. According to the company’s website, “The lululemon name was chosen in a survey of 100 people from a list of 20 brand names and 20 logos. The logo is actually a stylized ‘A’ that was made for the name ‘athletically hip’, a name which failed to make the grade.” This makes for one of the most confusing symbols in modern logo design.

When I noticed a friend carrying a Lululemon bag, I asked her what she thought the logo meant (after all, the consumer’s impression is a brand’s most important quality). She said it’s an ‘A’ for the Athletica in Lululemon Athletica, and it also represents a woman’s hair and face outline – because the brand’s core demographic is young women. However, the connotation of a woman’s hair is a bit of a stretch, and was clearly unintended.

The Lululemon brand describes their demographic thusly:

Our primary target customer is a sophisticated and educated woman who understands the importance of an active, healthy lifestyle. She is increasingly tasked with the dual responsibilities of career and family and is constantly challenged to balance her work, life and health. We believe she pursues exercise to achieve physical fitness and inner peace.”

Lululemon deserves a visual identity that truly reflects that consumer.

lululemon logo meaning

Greek Omega symbol

When I asked another friend what she thought the Lululemon logo was, she said, “I think it’s something to do with math.” That association comes from the Lululemon logo’s resemblance to the Greek letter Omega (pictured). But what does that have to do with anything? The company’s bizarre logo just feels cryptic and quizzical: it makes the audience wonder, am I missing something here? 

I’m reminded of The Church of Scientology – which also used symbols that incorporated the Greek alphabet. That’s not a positive brand association, and I don’t think the Lululemon logo’s similarity to the Omega symbol does any favors for an athletics brand that has been accused of cult-like behavior. The Omega has nothing to do with Lululemon, of course – that’s the point. It just goes to show how muddled and confused the Lululemon logo is. It’s a big bowl of WTF.

Related: What Does The Apple Logo Mean?

The bottom line: this logo doesn’t bear much relation to Lululemon. The ‘A’ doesn’t represent their primary name, the ‘woman’s hair’ interpretation is a bit of a stretch, and the logo doesn’t communicate anything about athletics. In short, it feels like it was designed for a different name – because it was.

Lululemon has recently survived public fiascos (i.e. the sheer pants recall) and the feuds of embattled CEOs. It’s 2018 and their stock is thriving. They deserve a refreshing new brand identity to reflect their new beginnings – one that truly represents their customer for the first time.

If CEO Laurent Potdevin wants to consider a redesign, here’s another suggestion: jettison the lowercase ‘lululemon’ spelling that the brand favors in its marketing. It’s a cutesy brand affectation that makes the word seem too meek to perform even a beginner’s yoga pose.

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