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New history book on medieval trademarks visible in Norwich

Logo Rewind: Trademarks of Medieval Norwich is a unique and captivating history book that delves into the medieval merchants and their impact on the city. Authored by designer, researcher, and educator Darren Leader, the book focuses on the medieval logos, which are some of the oldest examples of company logos. Leader has painstakingly collected and digitally remade over 200 of these trademarks, shedding light on their meaning, representation, and location.

During the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries, Norwich was a hub of regional and continental trade, with products defined by merchants’ marks. These marks were emblems stamped onto goods and carved into the city’s buildings, distinguishing different craftsmen and city artisans. The book brings to the fore the historical significance of these marks, serving as a reminder of Norwich’s rich material culture and trade history.

The book also underscores the importance of these marks, which remain carved above entrances, engraved in stone, and displayed in stained glass within churches to this day. Through Logo Rewind, Author Darren Leader highlights the artistic and creative spirit of Norwich, as reflected in the modern and strikingly creative medieval logos. The book aims to bridge the gap between the city’s past and present, reconnecting Norwich with its rich history.

As part of the launch of the book, a touring exhibition will be held at the Enterprise Centre on the UEA campus, showcasing merchants’ marks at various city center locations, including Colegate, Cinema City, St. John Maddermarket church, the Museum of Norwich, and Strangers Hall. The Book Hive on London Street in Norwich has also commissioned its own bespoke merchants’ mark, reflecting the book’s effort to bring diverse audiences closer to Norwich’s history through a range of events, exhibitions, and workshops. The book, priced at £35, is available for purchase at The Book Hive and Jarrolds in Norwich, as well as online.

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