In our last post, I spoke about meeting my my great friend and co-conspirator, Graham and how we settled on the name Melvill & Moon.

Along with us to this meeting we took an Army and Navy catalogue from 1900. Somewhere in those well-worn pages of the shopping bible for all military and other folk attached to the British colonial service was a promo for the Army and Navy hat department.  And there sat an illustration for ‘The Shikar’. In layman’s terms a pith helmet. The helmet part of that descriptor linked to its use not only in the military but also on the polo field.

We liked the polo helmet for a few reasons: our Blue Moon Company logo had been a polo player on a green field, our new idea involved a travel brand capitalizing on the Swahili term for a journey, Safari, and the hat itself stood as symbol of classic African adventure.

A designer working for Graham Warsop designed our polo helmet logo from this reference image of a Shikar. Set in a sterling silver oval (that was the original idea–sterling silver logos on the bags) with ‘Melvill & Moon Safari Equippers’ written across the top of the curve, somehow it needed something along the bottom to balance it all off. Perhaps a motto?

Things were happening for us at The Blue Moon Company – Sue and I were selling out leading to some capital to start Melvill & Moon, and Graham was in the midst of his stratospheric rise globally as an award-winning creative director with his agency The Jupiter Drawing Room. Graham has a surprising academic background for a creative in advertising, he has a top end law degree from Cambridge and qualified as a barrister. It was drawing on his background where fluency in Latin is a requirement that he came up with the slogan that would not only fill the bottom of our boiler plate, but was also destined to become our true north in the wayward seas of product and brand development.

He never really thought about it, it just rolled off his tongue as if he was speaking his first language:

‘Laudator Tempors Acti’: The Romance of an age gone by’.

The Army and Navy hat dept catalogue of 1900.

Left: The polo Pith Helmet connection. The legendary Indian Tiger team lead by Count John De Madre. Shikars (pith helmets) were making their way in. He was just short of our 3 Right: Lord Mountbatten (rt) and the King of Spain at the Malta Cup, 1930’s. Pith helmets half in, half out.