On the eve of the fourth edition of LGBT History Month (read more here) we take a look back at the original logo and website which were designed by Dr. Gillian Spraggs, a cultural historian. Here is some of what Gill had to say about her designs:
The design of the site and masthead draws inspiration from the work of the artist Charles Ricketts (1866-1931), especially his typography and his design for bookbindings. He was a Friend of Oscar Wilde and designed bindings for several of his books.This was published on the original website which is now unfortunately thought to be lost.
Between 1896 and 1903 Ricketts ran a publishing house, the Vale Press. The leaf and flower designs used in the side masthead and navigation panel are based on fleurons (printed ornaments) designed by him for use with the Vale type.
Ricketts was heavily influenced by Renaissance typography. The font used for the masthead and navigation panel, High Tower Text, is a modern recreation of a typeface used by the fifteenth-century French printer Nicolas Jenson. Ricketts based the letter-forms in his Vale type closely on Jenson's work.
The design of this site, then, looks back at the eighteen-nineties, and by way of those years to the Renaissance. Both are times of great importance in the cultural history of Europe. They are also important periods for the history of variant sexualities.
Ricketts was born in Geneva to a French mother and an English father. He grew up mainly in France and Italy. He began his studies in art at the City and Guilds Technical Art School in Lambeth, in 1882, after both his parents had died.
At the Art School he met Charles Shannon (1863-1937), painter and lithographer, who would be his lifelong partner in both his artistic and personal life.
* Gillian Spraggs
* Charles Ricketts