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Original poster inspiration by Danilo Boer, Modern logo design by Jones Knowles Ritchie (2011/2005)

On December 31st, 1759, Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease and started brewing ales at the St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin. The harp, which serves as the Guinness emblem, is based on a famous 14th century Irish harp known as the “O’Neill” or “Brian Boru” harp which is now preserved in the Library of Trinity College Dublin. The harp device has been synonymous with Guinness since 1862 when it was used as a symbol on the first bottle label for Guinness, and was registered as a trademark in 1876.

The harp is also the official national emblem of the Republic of Ireland and can be found on the Republic’s coinage. However, there is a difference between the Irish government harp and the Guinness harp. As Guinness had trademarked the harp symbol in 1876, the Irish Free State Government of 1922, had to turn the official government harp the other way to differentiate between the trademarked Guinness harp and the official State emblem. (source:

Guinness has a long and storied history, one highlight being that they pioneered several quality control efforts after hiring the statistician William Sealy Gosset. In 1899, he achieved lasting fame by devising the “t-test” as a cheap way to monitor the quality of stout. The T-Test is used to determine if two sets of data are significantly different from each other, and in the case of Guinness it was being used for the selection of the best yielding varieties of barley.

Parts Used: Rusted Chain, Clean Chain, Derailleur Cable, Washer

  • Date: July 10, 2014
  • Filed under: Design