Burberry Group Inc is a fashion house, based in London, England. Initially, the shop focused on outdoor attire and remained prosperous, thanks to the introduction of gabardine, a hardwearing, water-resistant, yet breathable fabric used on jackets they sold. In 1891, Burberry opened its second shop in the Haymarket, in London and which still exists today. In this article, we explore the history of the iconic Burberry logo.
World-renowned as a designer of luxury products, the brand is instantly recognizable through its signature tartan prints, applied to outerwear, accessory, fragrances, and cosmetics. The company was founded in 1856 by Mr. Thomas Burberry and as a result of its connection with British culture, it has even been granted Royal Warrants by Queen Elizabeth II. Also drawing on British culture is the Equestrian Black Knight.
The Evolution and Changes to the Burberry Logo
Being an iconic fashion house that has existed for more than 150 years, the logo has remained an integral part of the brand since its early inception. The icon was designed in 1901, with the Latin text “Prorsum”, which means “forwards” in Latin. The idea of ‘moving forwards’ can also be seen in the design of the logo, as the equestrian knight is seen moving or lunging forward in a typical battle stance of a medieval equestrian night. This movement implies the future-oriented brand.
Emblazoned upon the shield is the letter ‘B’, obviously harkening back to the founder and name of the fashion house. This letter can also be seen emblazoned upon the flag, where, in a traditional design, the letter or arms of the knight’s lord may have been emblazoned. The shield represents protection. Burberry was originally an exclusive designer of outerwear.
For this reason, the shield represented protection from the unstable and stormy weather that is associated with the home of Burberry, the British Isles. The equestrian represents pride, purity, and grandeur. As Burberry was founded during the apex of the British Empire, this symbol represents a potent force in a Britain with worldwide influence and power that it embodied during the early 20th century.
The design of the Burberyy knight has not changed much since it was trademarked in 1904. The logo has been simplified, losing some of its details. The word “Prorsum” has been dropped, as well as the “B” from the shield. Often, the knight itself is no longer featured on Burberry products. Instead, they use only the brand name.
The Burberry logo has almost always been rendered in black and white. Occassionally, the Burberry logo has been rendereded in a softer grey or gold. However, this is not the norm. The black and white Burberry logo is perfect in most contexts and doesn’t really need to be adaptated.
The Burberry font is similar to the Linotype Didot Bold. The Burberry font is, however, flatter and wider than the Didot Bold font. The serifs are thinner by contrast in the Burberry font. It is also straighter and less flowery than the Didot Bold. Much like the rest of the logo, the Burberry font has not changed much since the 1900s.
Burberry was the original outfitter for Roald Amundsen, the first man to reach the South Pole.
A Burberry gabardine jacket was worn by George Mallory on his attempt to climb Mount Everest in 1924.
The signature trench coat was an adaptation from wartime garments designed for British soldiers by Burberry during the First World War.
Burberry sponsored the “Burberry Plane”, which was flown by A.E. Clouston and Betty Kirby-Green. This flight broke the world record for the fastest flight from London to Cape Town in 1937.
The iconic logo represents the values and quality that are drawn upon and represented by the Burberry brand. While the signature Tartan pattern has been an integral part of the Burberry design concept for over a century, the black equestrian knight logo has also followed the brand since its early inception onto the fashion scene. Bearing trappings of traditional British knights and moving forward with strength, purpose, and durability, the Burberry brand is perfectly represented by the Knight. For more fashion logos explained, check out the history behind the YSL logo and the significance of the symbol.