Updated: Dec 22, 2022
We were very proud to share our new logo with you all a few weeks ago. The starting point for our new brand was change. Change because that’s the reason we come into work in the morning and leave at night satisfied and hopeful for tomorrow. And here she is:
Ultimately, this is a nice shape that has elements of a leaf, an F and an S, is cyclical and green so can be interpreted in many ways but is always going to be a logo that suits a sustainability company with the initials F. S. This blog entry however is a deep dive, so we will be going into the logo’s symbolism (and beyond).
The logo shape is inspired by the Greek letter delta, used in maths and engineering to denote change. I used the uppercase letter delta (the triangle below) a lot in thermodynamics calculations and always loved how active the shape was: one, it’s an arrow and two, it sometimes looks like a door or portal which your numbers would step through changing state. We settled on the lowercase delta because it holds dimensions of our initials. The lowercase is still used in calculus to denote change (Wikipedia).
The two shapes contrast nicely with the uppercase representing structured, methodical, human change and the lowercase representing cyclical, chaotic, natural change. It’s an obvious choice to go for the lowercase symbol because true sustainability must conform to nature’s rules of order.
This ramble is to do with how we see the world only in the context of human understanding, especially in maths, engineering but most importantly in economics and business. We do this, I presume, because we’ve never been very good at calculating anything that is changing – there are just too many added complexities. In a very similar way, we simplify almost everything into heuristic models (tools for thinking) that we can easily wrap our brains around.
I heard a great example of this in a Reith Lecture (1967) called Only Connect by anthropologist Edmund Leach (pictured above in an early mirror selfie) about jellyfish and watches. This bizarre comparison was made to explain that our society: businesses, institutions, governments, fac**ook groups, are understood within our human brains only in ways that we can fully grasp, not in ways that are necessarily true. That is, when we think of a watch, one can imagine the cogs and springs fitting together and ticking along nicely. But when we get to a jellyfish – whoah! There is absolutely no way that anyone can configure all of the connections that allow that jellyfish to tick… or pulse rather.
We then see businesses (and I’ll keep to this example as a section of society) as ‘well oiled machines’ and ‘ticking like clockwork’ and never a ‘well fed or energetic jellyfish’. We, and our interactions, are of course far more complex than clockwork and it is to dumb down the true beauty of human society to put it in the same category as springs and cogs. We are dynamic, flexible and utterly resilient, and this is something to be admired and remembered, especially in the context of societal projects like climate justice and biodiversity regeneration.
“All the way through I have been urging you to keep on remembering the total interconnectedness of things as distinct from their separate isolated existence. But there is more to it than that. In most cases the connectedness is dynamic, not static” Edmund Leach (1967)
I write about ‘the total interconnectedness of things’ in a blog post about how Bhutan and Buddhism look at sustainability and interdependence.