What’s In a Name?
Starting a new business is a bit like having a new baby – full of hope and promise. And at the birth a name is chosen that you trust is inspirational, meaningful, and will influence people’s perception of its recipient.
The reason we started our wine business was because of our ability and experience in the wine industry. John was an experienced winemaker, which is of course the most fundamental skill involved in a wine business. It is earthy and manual, but with an element of science and relies heavily on experience. Whilst we wouldn’t be the only skilled winemakers around we had our own sense of style that would set us apart.
And so we searched for a name that would encompass these ideas. We wanted a name that described us as winemakers, was traditional, unassuming and unique. We liked the idea that the name should be simple, but with a deeper meaning. And so after some thought we began to search for a Latin name, because of its ancient roots and timelessness. We looked at the Latin names for wine and grape and cellar and so on but didn’t find anything special or inspiring.
We loved the concept of craft – a skill, a trade, to make. That was exactly how we saw ourselves and wished others to see us. The Latin word Faber means skilled, ingenious or craftsman, artisan. Fabri – a worker, craftsman. This was what we were looking for! A traditional name, simple and unique, meaning craftsman. Faber is us!
We were thrilled by the name and we wanted to develop a logo to do it justice. We wanted our logo to project the idea of craft, so we researched writing itself. We discovered palaeography, the study of writing of the past. The Romans developed the first ‘modern’ letterforms. These were largely replaced by uncial script by the sixth century, and British monks developed and used Insular from the seventh to the twelfth century. The monks were the custodians of history at this time and developed their writing and illustration skills to record it in Latin. It became apparent to us that writing was itself a craft in this period and therefore by using this style of writing we could create a logo that was well suited to our concept of Faber.
We studied the collection of early manuscripts held by Oxford University to understand the style of these craftsmen and engaged a calligrapher, Gaye Godfrey, to replicate such a style and hence our logo was created.
Of course after our logo came our labels. The printing press was invented after medieval times in 1452 and was a great influence on the spread of writing and reading. Originally each letter was carved and cast in lead, locked into a frame and placed in the printing press. Hand composition is considered a craft in itself.
Have you noticed this font? Of course it is the same as our labels – Baskerville! This is a typeface from the transitional period in the eighteenth century when science and mathematical study gained sway over religious influences. Reflecting this, Baskerville typeface is more regular and precise than earlier ones. Given our location Baskerville was a logical choice for us to use.
We hope you have enjoyed the story of our name, our logo, and our label, but best of all you know you will enjoy our wine!