Design and History of the Northface Logo
By Kaye Nemec
Northface is a performance apparel, equipment and footwear company that started over 40 years ago. Although most of their products are geared towards mountaineers, climbers and hikers, the company was, ironically, started on a beach. In 1966 two young men with a passion for hiking were living in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood; they decided to turn their hobby into a living by starting a small, mountaineering retail business. Today, they are known around the world as a leader in endurance products among outdoor performance enthusiasts.
The name North Face was chosen because the north face of a mountain is the coldest and most treacherous side and the goal was to create gear that would assist climbers in successfully traversing these conditions.
The logo they chose for the The North Face company is an interpretation of Yosemite National Park’s Half Dome, a rock formation rising 8,800 feet above sea level. In 1865 Half Dome was declaredto be completely inaccessible to anyone and this was believed to be true until 1875 when George Anderson was the first person to successfully reach the summit.
Today thousands of people reach the summit every year and several of them are likely using North Face gear while they do it.