About Our Logo

We are sometimes asked about our logo. Just what is eloquentia, exactly? What's with the hands, espcially that threatening fist?

The woodcut we use as our logo is taken from a Renaissance text on rhetoric and illustrates a common metaphor for approaches to communication.

The open hand represents a welcoming, gregarious invitation to conversation and debate. It’s the open hand that’s ready to wave hello or shake the outstretched hand of another in greeting and direct connection.

Eloquentia is Latin for eloquence and was often used to stand for rhetoric, one of the key subjects of the trivium, the foundation of a medival liberal arts education.

The closed fist of logica represents careful, systematic, scientific, professionalized discourse that packs a potentially powerful punch.

The juxtaposition of the open hand and the closed fist is a reminder that effective persuasion often must make use of both approaches to communication.

The logo also embodies another less obvious juxtaposition.

The woodcut that began its life as part of an ink-smeared plate on a hand-powered press is here represented electronically: a good old idea in contemporary digital clothing.

The juxtaposition of old and new is a reminder that while we have Twenty-first Century tools, we still have First Century brains. Effective communication requires an artistic blend of old and new.

We live in an age where it’s easy to be distracted by breathless proclamations of the next big “innovation” or “disruption” illustrated by fearsome statistical salvos documenting the latest trends that, if left unaddressed, threaten distruction.

We refer to such warnings as sea monsters because they remind us of the fearsome, imaginary animals that decorate many old maps of the world.

A renaissance-era map of the eastern Atlantic showing seamonsters. Credit: National Library of Sweden.

Make no mistake, it is important to be properly oriented to the current culture and marketplace. Research and data are essential to finding one’s way, but to stay on the right path one must be diligent in separating signal from noise. It's important to keep in mind that the map is not the territory.