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SANS CAP is Martijn Mertens’ answer to the recent blanding controversy in the High-Fashion industry. It’s a different take on what branding can mean, and how it can end up limiting creativity. Blanding is a recent phenomenon in which multiple companies within a specific industry start to look and feel the same. They often fall back on the same colors, style of typography, and same kind of illustrations, to list a few. A similar thing is happening in the fashion industry. Brands like Burberry, Diane Von Furstenberg, Berluti, and Balmain went through a re-blanding, where they went from expressive and unique typographic logotypes to less unique, sans-serif all-caps wordmarks. For Thierry Brunfaut, founder of Base Design and author of the article that started this conversation, this is a bad thing. Brunfaut proposes that brands re-introduce personality into their logos. Branding is meant to differentiate, not to blend in. With this in mind, Mertens tried to look at what effect branding had on the fashion industry. Mertens’ conclusion was that branding is responsible for a limitation or dejection of creativity. People tend to buy garments because of the feeling that a well-considered mark conveys. Sheeple would likely buy the Balmain name displayed on the chest area rather than the shirt itself. Summed up, brand-named clothing is often merely a medium to carry a logo. Sans Cap is an hypothetical research where the industry is to use one universal typeface. Whereas CAP SANS is generated out of the glyph sets from these new and bland fashion logotypes. By constraining the industry to one typeface and prohibiting usage of it as a landmark on garments, we oblige fashion designers to be creative with silhouette, graphic, and stitch. Through eliminating branding, the clothing becomes the primary goal again.


Martijn Mertens