VISUAL SENSE & SENSIBILITY—THE GREAT LOGO HUNT—AND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BLOODY HAND
The impact and significance of a logo—of a visual image which announces your identity--and of house styles in general is truly amazing.
Today, a logo is typically the brand identifier of a corporation—but in the past, it was more commonly associated with a tribe, or a guild, or a military unit, or a leader, or a country. Frequently, it was in the form of a coat of arms, but it could also be a banner or a flag. But, whatever be the form, a logo—typically in the form of a single visual image—makes a statement.
The strange thing is that a well designed logo frequently has power and significance in its own right. This doesn’t always apply to corporate logos, although it does to many, but it certainly does to traditional coats of arms. Incidentally, the story behind the hand in the O’Reilly coat of arms is as follows:
“The story goes that a great Celtic King, set on conquering Ireland, told his 7 sons that the first to lay hand on land would rule it all. They raced their ships each vying to be the one to claim the Island. My ancestor had led in much of the race, but towards the end his brother surpassed him. Realizing in the final moments that he could not make it first, he grabbed an axe chopped off his right hand and threw it to shore making the O’Reilly clan the rulers of the Kingdom.
In fact, the O’Reillys did not get to rule all of Ireland—the country was split into multiple kingdoms until the Normans invaded—but they did carve out a useful territory covering what is now counties Cavan and Meath.
I have been trying to evolve a personal logo for some time—largely at the behest of my good friend, Tim Roderick, who as a military man and decorated combat veteran, has persuaded me of the importance of such a symbol. Actually, I did not need persuasion, as such, but more a push to give it a more prominent place on my priority list.
That, it now has.