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The History of and Story Behind the Hermes Logo


Hermes is one of the most famous luxury brands that can be found in the entire world. It started out as a manufacturer of bridles and harnesses for European nobles. However, Hermes has long since expanded beyond its initial niche, as shown by the sheer range of its products. Regardless, it is natural for people to wonder about the Hermes logo.

What Is the Hermes Logo?

For starters, interested individuals might wonder whether Hermes is connected to the Greek God Hermes. In short, the latter was the son of Zeus and a nymph named Maia. When Hermes was still a baby, he snuck out of his mother's home, turned a turtle's shell into the first lyre, stole his half-brother Apollo's cattle, and then reversed their hooves using magic in order to confuse pursuers. Still, Apollo eventually managed to find Hermes, at which point, he was so charmed by the music of Hermes's lyre that he forgave him in exchange for the musical instrument. Indeed, Apollo even gifted Hermes with the snake-entwined herald's wand called the caduceus.

Said wand is but one of the symbols of Hermes. Others ranged from roosters and tortoises to his winged helmet as well as his winged sandals. Hermes possessed the last two items because he was the herald of the gods, meaning that he was someone who traveled throughout both the world of mortals and the word of immortals. As such, he was the patron of heralds, merchants, and other travelers. Moreover, Hermes looked out for thieves, which makes sense because he was a figure of cunning. Combined, these roles made him one of the most memorable Greek gods, so much so that signs of his story can still be seen everywhere in modern times. Something that makes it very natural to wonder if a brand named Hermes is connected with Hermes in some way.

History of the Name

Unfortunately, Hermes isn't named for Hermes. Instead, it is named thus because it was founded by the Hermes family. Furthermore, it should be mentioned that the southern French name Hermes isn't connected to Hermes but is instead topographic in nature. To be exact, it means someone living in either a deserted place or some kind of wasteland. Amusingly, Hermes does have Greek roots, though to be fair, southern France has had a connection with Greeks for a very long time. For those who are curious, the ancient Greeks sent out numerous expeditions to set up coastal colonies. Thanks to this, there were Greek colonies throughout the ancient Mediterranean, with southern France being no exception. Due to this, the Gauls who lived in what is now France were very familiar with the ancient Greeks, who were one of the paths by which they were connected to wider trade networks. Something that can be seen in how they were known to have sometimes written in Greek.

In any case, the Hermes logo came into existence in the 1950s. When people see it, chances are good that the first thing that they notice will be the carriage. It is interesting to note that the basic concept of the carriage is very old. For example, the chariot showed up in Mesopotamia in the second millennium BC. Soon afterwards, it became the fighting tool of the elite, who would use it as a stable platform from which to shoot their enemies. However, there were other ways that chariots were used for war making, with an excellent example being the heroes of the Iliad who used their chariots to move about but would step out of them to fight. Over time, the relevant civilizations bred bigger and bigger horses, with the result that cavalry replaced chariotry for most purposes related to war. As for the New World, well, suffice to say that its inhabitants developed the wheel. However, the lack of candidates for domestication meant that they never managed to develop wheeled vehicles before the Colombian Exchange.

Regardless, just because chariotry became obsolete on the battlefield in ancient times, the same can't be said for wheeled vehicles in other contexts. For instance, the Romans used a wide range of wheeled vehicles for a wide range of purposes, which included closed-top carriages for transportation. Later, medieval Europe made extensive use of carriages. Something that carried over into the early modern era and even to the not so early modern era for a time. There were plenty of carriages that were made available to interested individuals who could pay for such services. However, the ownership of personal carriages was definitely a sign of elite status. After all, just a single horse was an extremely expensive asset, as shown by how horse-related crimes could be treated with deadly seriousness. Never mind the ownership of what could be multiple horses plus the carriage with which to make use of them.

The Clientele

Hermes was aimed at a very well-off clientele from the very start. As such, it should come as no surprise to learn that its carriage isn't exactly the pre-automobile version of a taxi. Indeed, it has been said that the image is based on a painting called "Hitched Carriage, Waiting Groom," which is a name that strengthens that impression. In any case, the carriage is a neat way for Hermes to recall its roots while evoking the sense of luxury that often goes hand-in-hand with elite status. Besides this, interested individuals should have noticed the grave over the second e, which is useful for guiding pronunciation but even more useful for stressing the brand's French origins. Something that can help out with the intended impression because France is seen as a cultured, sophisticated place by a lot of people, both of which are very useful characteristics for luxury products. Color-wise, the Hermes logo is often seen in a soft shade of orange. This started up with the brand's boxes, so when it started using its logo, the choice of color was a natural continuation. By this point, the Hermes logo has been in use for decades and decades. It seems unlikely that it will be changed anytime soon, particularly since it continues to build brand power with every passing day.

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Lily Wordsmith

Written by Lily Wordsmith

Lily Wordsmith is a freelance writer who has had a love affair with the written word for decades. You can find her writing blog posts and articles while sitting under a tree at the local park watching her kids play, or typing away on her tablet in line at the DMV. In addition to her freelance career, she is pursuing ebook writing with an ever-growing repertoire of witty ebooks to her name. Her diversity is boundless, and she has written about everything from astrobotany to zookeepers. Her real passions are her family, baking desserts and all things luxe.

Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith

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