Arc’teryx is a Canadian company founded as Rock Solid in 1989, in North Vancouver, British Columbia. The enterprise specializes in manufacture of high-quality cloths and equipment for mountain sports and track racing. Both the name and logotype of the company are a reference to Archaeopteryx, a prehistoric genus of bird-like dinosaurs.
Meaning and history
Arc’teryx, which originally produced rock-climbing equipment, was founded by David Lane and financier Jeremy Guard who became the chief executive of the company. The brand won its popularity through the Vaporc rock-climbing rope using the technology of hot lamination. Later, Arc’teryx started producing sports cloths using the licensed Gore-Tex fabric.
Renaming the company after the 140 million-year-old creature in 1991, the founders were willing to highlight the theme of evolution. Just like the Archaeopteryx, that was a transitional form between dinosaurs and birds, made an evolutionary leap, being the first reptile to develop feathers, Arc’teryx is aiming to focus on radically improving its image for customers.
What is the Archaeopteryx?
Archaeopteryx is an extinct vertebrate animal that lived in the late Jurassic, about 150-140 million years ago. It was as big as an ordinary crow, occupying a transitional position between reptiles and birds. All the specimens of the Archaeopteryx were discovered near Solnhofen, South Germany.
Reflecting the company’s name, the Arc’teryx logo depicts the fossil of the Archaeopteryx as it was discovered by German archaeologist Jakob Niemeyer in 1877. The emblem was created by designer Michael Hofler, based on that “Berlin specimen”.
2015 – now
The Berlin specimen is the most complete remains of the prehistoric bird that have been discovered to date. In the Arc’teryx logo, the skeleton is placed horizontally, with its head up. Such a flying posture of the Archaeopteryx gives a perception of dynamism, corresponding with the strategic message of the company. The emblem also features all-caps wordmark “Arc’teryx” in a stylized typeface distinguished with clear and bold letters, including an “A” without a bar as well as a triangular apostrophe. The Arc’teryx logotype usually marks all the products of the company, being embroidered on them in different colors.
Fonts and colors
The overall brand design of Arc’teryx is rather conservative. The logo is mainly reproduced in black for printed and digital materials, while the brand’s clothing and equipment items may have it in other colors. As for the Arc’teryx typeface, it is likely based on the ITC Elan font.