‘So what is the logo about?’ asked a friend recently. So, friend, here’s the answer.
‘People might think you are English’ is how a very polite host commented on my sartorial crimes. I was going through a phase of wearing mixed patterns and wearing such mixtures in Oviedo in the north of Spain was at least ill-considered if not downright gauche.
I had arrived in Oviedo in late May 2012 with semi-formal clothes that would suit the hot, dry weather forecast. The trip was a weekend break for me but a working conference for my wife.
I arrived with a bow tie just in case I was invited to a formal university dinner. I suspect this tie will be the subject of a memoir one day. It was a hand painted silk bow-tie that travelled the world to be included, like a stolen garden gnome, in documentary portraits that I shared with the kids in our lives.
There were the printed brown socks that I liked so much I bought them several times. Appearing to wear the same socks everyday was a little joke, like shaving everyday can make it seem like you have no beard growth.
I also had a woven kangaroo skin belt that I acquired while working in Western Australia. It worked reliably and outlasted my changes in girth.
Regrettably, I had a thing for checked shirts at the time and brought a short sleeved blue check I really liked.
I had a lemon-brown suit with stripes. I wore it for years and indeed, I have it still. Both shirt and suit travelled well and suited the warm climates I tended to visit. I was journeying far and wide at the time and clothes that crumple are vital on whistle-stop business trips.
In short, I was a very comfortable traveller who was a visual nightmare to people who care about colour and texture coordination. I had pockets for passports and tickets and pens. I wore a shirt that was casual but could take a tie on demand. I recall that I was enjoying the airs of eccentricity that were at odds with the rigours of my professional life.
It so happened that I was concerned at the time to protect my photographs. I had been adding copyright symbols and dates on the advise of photographers and an intellectual property lawyer I knew. And I had a brainwave. Why not make the sartorial crime pay? And so I made an image of the clashing clothing with which to brand my herds of imagery. Which has since evolved to my current stylised signature as tattoo logo.
And that’s the logo story. Goodnight.