The Illum shop logo- a Danish design classic


Illum’s signage

Illum is arguably Denmark’s most sophisticated department store. Established in the 1890s, it is situated in the heart of the Copenhagen city centre and sells high end fashion, beauty products, home decor and food.

The store’s branding is quite brilliant. A fantastic design brilliantly executed. The shop sells the world’s top fashion and beauty products from designer brands, with some of the best and most expensively created branding. The Illum logo within the shop, and online presence, needs to act as an umbrella to these world famous brands.

Notably, in the cosmetic and perfume department, each world-famous brand occupies its designated section, employing a consistent white-on-black branding scheme, mirroring the Illum. This simple but effective design solution stops the brands ‘fighting’ with each other for the customers’ attention and creates a harmonious beautifully designed shopping space, branded under the Illum umbrella brand.

The Illum shopping bag, the mobile advertisement, the personal branding for the shopper, a beautiful black, environmentally conscious, minimalist design that is worth re-using, as it is a really nice bag.

the bag. A remarkable fusion of minimalist aesthetics, environmental consciousness, and a touch of class, the white-on-black design serves as a mobile advertisement, contributing to the brand’s visibility on the streets. This thoughtful approach reflects Illum’s commitment to not only elegance but also environmental sustainability.

The brilliance of the design team is evident in every aspect, from the seamless blend of modernity and heritage to the strategic use of black and the clever incorporation of the double ‘l’ in the logo. The success of this element of the design is paramount, as any misstep in the execution could have compromised its integrity. The fact that the name and location of Illum are iconic to the Danish audience mitigates any minor concerns about legibility, emphasizing the design’s effectiveness within its cultural context.

Illum is not just a department store; it is a masterpiece of design and branding. The current iteration of its logo stands as a design classic, embodying a perfect balance between contemporary aesthetics, historical reverence, and practical functionality.

About Illum from the Visit Copenhagen website.

Just to be absolutely sure, this is NOT sponsored content. I am not connected to Illum in any way, or the design of their branding, this is purely a designer’s appreciation of some great design. Yes, I have spent way too long just staring at the shop’s signage, analysing and appreciating it. I’m a designer, it is what we do!


This photo is copyright of Illum – The bag