Saturday, September 17, 2011

It’s “devoid of heraldic devices”

But, but, it’s not!

In a news article on September 14, 2011 in the drinks business on-line newsletter, entitled “Fairview Celebrates Workers With Rebrand” (, Fairview of South Africa has rebranded itself with a new, allegedly non-heraldic, logo. It is, however, one that looks very much like an achievement of arms (though placed on an oval rather than the standard heater shield shape.

Fairview owner Charles Back said that he had been working on the redesign for a little over a year and the new emblem incorporates everything the farm is involved in. He believes the new logo to be the only one in South Africa that visibly makes reference to farm workers.

A press release from Fairview stated: “The crest [they mean the oval, or shield] which forms the heart of the new label is unpretentious and devoid of heraldic devices, ribbons or shields. It has a distinctive agricultural feel and conveys the essential elements that encompass Fairview.” (emphasis added)

The quartered shield includes a key, a basket press, an olive tree and a scroll, which are said to represent the Back family values, the importance of family, and growth and the artisanal nature of vintning and cheesemaking. The crest is an escallop between three stars, taken from the imagery on the gable of the Fairview manor house, completed in 1722.

In other words, it’s everything that heraldry is and is supposed to be, but it’s “devoid of heraldic devices” because, you know, that might be seen as "pretentious" or something. Phooey! It’s heraldic.

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