Getting L'eggy

Nothing beats a great pair of L'eggs (or the logo, for that matter). This logo has charmed me ever since I was a child and saw it printed on the little rounded boxes that littered my mom's bed while she would be getting ready to go do some shopping. These boxes held hose, all crammed in tight - it always seemed that once the hose were taken out of a fresh package for the first time you could never get them back in the box as neatly as they had been. Sadly though, the hose I saw were packaged in cardboard boxes instead of the cute "eggs" that they came with for so many years. They were discontinued only a few years after I had been born (that statement may make some of you out there feel old if you still remember those plastic egg boxes). However, the logo and packaging are more than just cute: they represent creativity, ingenuity, and are the product of, what many designers today would agree, a marketing fairy tale come true.

The branding behind L'eggs was created by a designer named Roger Ferriter working for the agency of Herb Lubalin Associates in New York. The year was 1969. Hanes was wanting to launch a new line of low cost panty hose, and Roger was there to pitch his ideas.  However, he felt that these ideas were not creative enough, and so on the morning of the presentation he tried to re-experience the panty hose. He tried squashing the hose into a ball, compacting them, and then realized that this form resembled an egg. He then thought of how leg rhymes with egg, and added an apostrophe after the "L" to give it a French flair. Hanes Corporation liked the sketches of his egg-influenced logo that he developed, and they ran with it.

In conducting my research I found out very little else about Roger Ferriter except that he wrote a book titled "Typerformance" in 1983 (if we are to believe that this author is indeed the same Roger Ferriter who designed the L'eggs branding). As disappointing as this might be, the purpose of this entry is not to discuss the designer but rather the theory behind the logo. The descending strokes of the "g"s form the egg-shapes in the logo, and all other letters except the "L" are based off similar rounded forms. These forms are mirrored in the egg packaging that was discontinued in 1991. Below is the font that the logo was loosely based off of.

Interestingly enough, this font, called "Kabel," was used in the ad below and treated as being practically identical to the logo's font despite subtle but still noticeable differences. Notice how the copy spells out the name "L'egg's" in Kabel, instead using the true logo underneath.

Unfortunately, the Hanes Company decided to stay more "relevant" and abandon the egg packages in favor for rounded-top cardboard boxes in 1991. Such a close, working relationship had been established between logo and package in the previous years that a tie had been severed, in my opinion, and the logo never again had the same impact. Nonetheless, it can be said with confidence that this is another example of the Creative Use of Type.