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English Heritage

Last modified: 2018-09-09 by rob raeside
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[English Heritage] by Eugene Ipavec, 24 June 2007

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Description of the Flag

"The extraordinary collection of buildings and monuments now in the care of English Heritage began to be amassed in 1882. At that stage heritage was the responsibility of the Office of Works, the government department responsible for architecture and building. In 1913 an Act of Parliament was passed that gave the Office new powers.

English Heritage (officially the English Heritage Trust) is a registered charity that manages the National Heritage Collection. This comprises over 400 of England's historic buildings, monuments and sites spanning more than 5,000 years of history. Within its portfolio are Stonehenge, Dover Castle, Tintagel Castle and the best preserved parts of Hadrian's Wall. English Heritage also manages the London Blue Plaques scheme, which links influential historical figures to particular buildings.

When originally formed in 1983, English Heritage was the operating name of an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government, officially titled the "Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England", that ran the national system of heritage protection and managed a range of historic properties. It was created to combine the roles of existing bodies that had emerged from a long period of state involvement in heritage protection. In 1999 the organisation merged with the "Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England" and the "National Monuments Record", bringing together resources for the identification and survey of England's historic environment.

On April 1, 2015, English Heritage was divided into two parts: Historic England, which inherited the statutory and protection functions of the old organisation, and the new English Heritage Trust, a charity that would operate the historic properties, and which took on the English Heritage operating name and logo."
Sources: and

Here's an image of the square flag: (source). The date of the image is August 29, 2016. However there's a previous image (source) taken on September 2009, that might lead one to think there is also a horizontal version. The logo is seen here: (featured slightly off-center in the middle of the white background, without the organization's name).

Now, regarding the origin of the logo: "The English Heritage symbol was adopted in 1984 when the organisation came into being. It functions as a corporate marque and as a sign to indicate the locations of the historic properties in its care. English Heritage concentrates on more ancient works: pre-historic henges, hill forts, stone circles, Roman archaeological sites, monuments, abbeys, monasteries, priories, fortifications and castles. And this difference in emphasis is clearly reflected by the English Heritage symbol. It suggests the plan of an ancient building with the buttresses shown as square protrusions around the exterior; or the surrounding notches may recall the robust battlements and crenellations of a defensive structure. It is also possible to see four capital letter Es facing right, left, up, and down, to create an enclosure. I am not sure if this last effect is intentional, or a happy accident, but, once you know the Es are there, you cannot ignore them.

When used as a corporate device, the symbol appears in red and when used on traffic signs it is shown in white on a brown ground. It also features on the famous blue plaques that English Heritage applies to buildings with connections to significant persons or events." (source:

"Michael Abrahams August 1, 2018 at 22:14:
The English Heritage logo was designed by Negus & Negus. Dick Negus, Mike Abrahams (official website:, Phil Amis, Mick Thorpe, Geoffrey Adams, David Baldock and a few others whose names I sadly cannot remember. We came up with the name as well as the symbol. The organisation was originally called something like the Commission for Historic Buildings in England… we wanted to make something as memorable as the National Trust… hence shortening the name and the (not so) simple symbol that reminds of site plans, castle crenellations, windows! Negus & Negus were one of the great design studios of the 70s and 80s, but who seem to have been forgotten by most design historians. We created the original British Airways identity and many others that are still out there after too many years!"

"There are four elements to the English Heritage identity (page 5):
1. The English Heritage Logo
2. English Heritage colours
3. The English Heritage type
4. English Heritage imagery

The definition of the symbol is a red crenellated square.

The square symbol appears deliberately off-centre, to compensate for the horizontally centred nature of the identity (specially when the name of the organization is written below.

The colors are:
Red: PMS186 c10 m100 y80 k0
Black: c00 m00 y00 k100
White: c00 m00 y00 k00 (page 12)

Gill Sans (Gill Sans Light/Light Italic and Gill Sans Regular/Italic) is the organisation’s primary typeface. Charter (Charter ITC Roman/Italic, Charter ITC Bold/Bold Italic, Charter ITC Black/Black Italic) is to be used as replacement font when Gill Sans is not appropriate."
Source: "Corporate Identity Guidelines", which were laid out by Aqueduct (sources:, and in coordination with English Heritage "Creative Services" headed by Kirstie Holmes (Creative Services Manager) and Neil Collins (Creative Services)"

Here's an official response from the organization by Jessica Trevitt (Access to Information Manager) to a FOI (Freedom of Information, request) 10/1152, by Steve Elibank on May 16, 2010:
"Re: Freedom of Information request - English Heritage Branding

Thank you for your email. As Access to Information Manager for English Heritage, I have responsibility for responding to requests for information covered by the Freedom of information Act 2000 ('the Act'). In your email dated 16 May you have asked the following questions about English Heritage's logo:

1. When was your current logo, corporate style, graphics and branding implemented?
2. Who designed it?
3. How much were the designers paid for their services?
4. Were other designers consulted? Was there competition? If so, who was involved, and was any payment made to unsuccessful firms?
5. Are there any "alternate" versions of the branding (as in, any which were designed but not taken up), and if so, please supply an electronic copy.

I pleased to be able to provide you with the following information in response to your request.

Part 1 information
We believe the logo came into being when English Heritage was established in 1984. Then in 2005 a project to produce a set of brand guidelines and to assess the logo's suitability for use in new media platforms was completed. The project was conducted with Aqueduct (official website:, an external branding and design agency.

Parts 2 and 3 information
The brand guidelines, including the simplifications to the design of the logo, were made by Aqueduct, who were appointed through a pitch situation. In total, Aqueduct received £67,550 for the work.

Part 4 information
A pitch situation was conducted between four agencies and, as far as we are aware, a pitch fee wasn't paid.

Part 5 information
I can confirm that no alternative versions of the of the branding (as in, any which were designed but not taken up), were produced and so I am unable to provide with them.

I note that you also ask for a copy of our logo guidelines, branding manual or equivalent document and I am pleased to be able to attach a copy of English Heritage's Corporate Identity Guidelines (

Yours sincerely
Jessica Trevitt
Access to Information Manager
Tel: 01793 41 4539"

For additional information go to English Heritage (official website):
Esteban Rivera, 27 August 2018