Burberry Group PLC is a British luxury fashion house headquartered in London, England. Established in 1856 by Thomas Burberry -- and originally focusing on the development of outdoor attire -- the fashion house has moved into the high-fashion market.
A manufacturer of high-end clothing, it is noted for its popular checked tartan pattern, fashion accessories and perfumes. As a result of its connection with British culture, it has even been granted Royal Warrants by Queen Elizabeth II. The brand's logo draws on that culture further with its black knight illustration.
As part of 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. Designed in 1901, the intricate logo features an equestrian black knight on a battle horse. The horse and rider carry a flag with the word “Prorsum,” which means “forwards” in Latin. The idea of moving forward is reinforced in the illustration itself, as the knight and horse are seen lunging forward in a typical battle stance. This movement implies that the future-oriented brand is ready to tackle any challenges thrown at it.
Emblazoned upon the shield carried by the knight is the letter ‘B,’ -- a reference to the founder and name of the fashion house. This letter is also printed 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, or protection from weather. Additionally, the shield represents protection from the unstable and stormy weather that is associated with the home of Burberry: The British Isles.
Meanwhile, the equestrian knight represents pride, purity and grandeur, all traits associated with the luxury brand. 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 logo is in black and white, a classic palette that evokes a luxe and sophisticated feeling. The knight illustration is in black, with delicate patterns in white ink. Beneath this design is the name of the brand -- Burberry -- in bold upper-case letters that are well-spaced and easy to read. The graphic takes up most of the space on the logo, and the text is much smaller, although wider in length. The result is an iconic logo design on a white background, which creates an aesthetic contrast.
The logo is also sometimes used in gold font and lettering, against a black background. On many of the brand’s products, the logo is often featured without the knight, and simply has the name of the company printed along with the word “London” underneath it.
The Burberry logo symbolizes not just luxury and power, but also strength, protection, durability and purpose. It is rooted in heritage but also contemporary, and is flexible and scalable. All these elements combine to make the Burberry logo iconic.
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