What's the story behind the Guinness logo?
There are a couple of images some consider to be the logo of Guinness, but the true logo is the harp, which was standardized on Guinness bottles in 1862.
"The design of the harp we use is based off the Brian Boru Harp," he said. "Brian Boru was the high king of Ireland in the 11th Century. His emblem was the harp. So, in many ways, it represents Irish unity, freedom, and expression. Guinness used it as a way to show themselves as a product of Ireland."
The harp, sometimes call the Trinity College Harp, can also be seen on the state flag flying outside the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. The major difference between these harps and the Guinness logo is that the flat edge of the Guinness harp is on the left, while the flat edge of the Brian Boru Harp is on the right.
The other image often considered an unofficial logo for Guinness is the iconic toucan, created by artist John Gilroy. "All of these illustrations were done by Gilroy when he was commissioned to create a family to advertise the brand," Ridgeway says. "It's said that he was inspired by the events of the circus to create a cast of animal characters instead. Starting off with the seal in the 30s, the cast grew and grew."
The toucan, of course, became the most recognizable of the series that also includes pelicans, turtles, kangaroos, and ostriches.
"It's important to remember," Ridgeway noted, "that this was the infancy of color newspaper advertising. So, when it came to putting a toucan with the word Guinness on a page, you would get the bright orange beak, that black contrast of the bird, and you'd immediately associate it with the branding."