Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Electricity Board for Northern Ireland - logo with the Red Hand of Ulster

It is well known that the Northern Ireland Tourist Board logo, from around 1950–1995ish, featured the Red Hand of Ulster. In March 1997 I joined the design company (GCAS) which had scrapped it, due to international consumer research the NITB had carried out which said it visually communicated "stop, no entry" and "don't come here". Over this past summer I came across these old Electricity Board for Northern Ireland logos, also with a Red Hand, from the 1960s and 1970s.

Symbols have no meaning, it's our perceptions of them that give them their meaning. So, in our era a generation later, maybe the Red Hand might be re-thought of as a friendly 'High Five" rather than an intimidating stop sign.