Monday, December 4, 2023

Some Even Less Heraldic Heraldry-Adjacent Logos

Plus, the dreaded "empty cartouche"!

Following on our last post containing some "heraldry-adjacent" business logos, today we're going to visit some even less heraldic, but vaguely heraldry-adjacent" business signs.

First up is the roughly shield-shaped logo of The Star Inn:

The shield itself is shaped rather like a turret on a city wall, complete with embattlements on top. This makes some sense, really, since it's not that far from the old city walls of York.

And the design is really nearly blazonable in heraldic terms, discounting the angle and embattlement of the tope of the shield: Or a pale sable overall a mullet of six points argent, or perhaps, gyronny argent and sable.

Next, we have the "well, if you put it on a shield it might be heraldry" shop sign of the Mali Unisex Hair Salon on Colliergate in York:

Again, it's an arrangement that could be blazoned if it were placed on a shield: An open pair of scissors points downward surmounted in base by a straight razor chevronwise inverted [or, reversed] all proper.

In any event, it is a shop sign in the classic tradition, a visual means of advertising the services offered quickly and understandably, without the need for words or explanatory text. I mean, I knew what the shop offered just from the sign, without even knowing its name or having to look in the window to see.

And isn't that the underlying premise of all good heraldry?

And finally, we come to the frequently seen, but to a heraldry enthusiast, highly annoying, motif: the dreaded "empty cartouche".

This one is on the façade of the Grand Hotel, part of which we have looked at before because of its very colorful North Eastern Railway heraldry.

But higher up, we find this:

An empty cartouche. Complete with a carved frame and flanked by palm fronds.

A blank canvas, really, just waiting for someone to come along and put some heraldry into it.

It's a shame, really, but I've complained about such empty shields and cartouches here often enough in the past. And the temptation remains, to get a tall ladder and some paint and draw a coat of arms into the frame.

But, alas, my wife will not let me climb up on tall ladders anymore, and the civic authorities look upon such improvements as a form of "vandalism", so all I can do is stand and ground level and think about what might have been, or what could be with a little daring willingness.

So much potential for a wonderful display of heraldry, only to be let down by what is effectively a blank wall.

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