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Our 'Icons' Explained in Glorious Detail

When we created our Christmas game, inspired by a well loved favourite, we added a sprinkle of emblems that revealed a part of the Icon personality.

Here are a few interesting snippets behind the recognisable designs that make conversation starters this season.

Icon views around the Chapel

  1. The snowglobe

Our studio is home to a family (or pack?) of snow globes. Thanks to our intrepid team who bring back these orbs of loveliness from their travels, it's fair to say that the studio exhibits snow scenes showcasing destinations from Niagara Falls through to sunny Nice.

Did you know?

Launched at the Paris Expo in 1889, the first snow globe featured the Eiffel Tower. Soap flakes and semolina were used to create the artificial snow with the initial idea hailing from Vienna, Austria.

Although plastic has been the snow 'go-to' for years, this has been increasingly replaced by more eco-friendly, plant based materials. (and yes, we do have a snowglobe with the Eiffel Tower in!) Currently a stocking filling snow globe from Louis Vutton will cost you a cool £7,500.

  1. The paper clip

The humble paper clip is a design feat of genius. Dating back to Victorian times, its simple curved design hasn’t changed for over 130 years. Although a few variations are out there, none can rival the 3 curved edged design of the Gem for functionality and form! Our Office Manager, Stacey has a stack of these to hand at all times!

Did you know?

The Gem paper clip has been featured in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Vitra Design Museum in Germany.

In World War II, the paperclip was also worn as a symbol of resistance by the Norwegians under Nazi occupation. A symbol of unity, this small, almost invisible clip was a perfect tool for subtle, non-violent resistance in the early 1940s (also, one of the versions of the paperclip was designed by Norwegian inventor Johann Vaaler). “Vi holder sammen” = we are bound together

  1. 1870 (our keystone)

Celebrate Christmas like a Victorian!

Although the design of Christmas cards originated as far back as the 1830s (Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol was written in 1843), posting them was prohibitively expensive and sending cards didn’t take off for several years.

However, in 1870 the half penny postage rate was introduced, kick starting the mailing of affordable Christmas cards and the UK hasn’t looked back since! We wonder if any cards were exchanged when the Chapel opened in 1870 for the local community?

Christmas crackers also made a familiar appearance about this time. Originally called ‘cosaques’ as the noise they made was similar to Russian Cossak horsemen cracking their whips. Christmas crackers were also sold under the name ‘Bangs of expectation’ and by the 1870’s the snap was joined by jokes and paper hats.

  1. The Apple Mac

It’s been almost 40 years since the Apple story began.

But before the Apple Macintosh (so beloved by graphic designers & creatives), there was the Apple ‘Lisa’,

Hugely innovative, the Apple Lisa developed in 1983c was seen as the first personal computer to feature a GUI (Graphical user interface) and mouse.

Named after Steve Job’s daughter Lisa, it retailed at an astronomical $10 000 (equivalent to c.$27 000 in today’s money). Needless to say, the cost was one of the main reasons (apart from a few technical weaknesses) why it was surpassed in 1984 by the Apple Macintosh the following year.

Did you know?

It was also reputed that LISA stood for Local Integrated Software Architecture but doesn’t sound so catchy!


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