The ampersand is an integral part of our brand.
It started off as a design element. A really cool design element that joined the two words , Copper and Kings together as a whole. And Ron Jasin did a fantastic job of creating an integrated and ownable design icon that has taken on a deeper role over time. The specific design reflects not only the grammatical joining of two words, but also of a potstill. The graphic above shows our ampersand logo and early unused concepts.
The ampersand is a “logogram”. How cool is that? There is such a word. Logogram.
The ampersand originated as the visual ligature (tying together of) the Latin word “et”. Which means “and”. (Lot of punctuation going on here). The word ampersand is a corruption of the phrase “and per se & (and)”.
Ok, there’s a lot of history to the ampersand. And this is not a historical post. So cheat and read wikipedia like the rest of us. It is pretty interesting actually. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ampersand
Ok, but beyond a cool design exercise. What does the ampersand mean to us culturally. What does it stand for beyond the visual. Is there something deeper to why we use it vigorously.
Well yes. Very much so.
To us the ampersand represents inclusion. The word and, at its simplest, represents inclusion. And = +. Importantly for us it represents non-discrimination. As children of apartheid we abhor discrimination – any discrimination – race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. We are an immigrant family. And proud Americans. And that America has included us and welcomed us is a treasure, and this represents all that is good with America. Lest we forget, almost everyone in America is descended in some way from immigrants. This is something to be proud of. To cherish. And we are proud to stand by these values.
The ampersand also represents invention. It stands for curiosity. And? is as imaginative a question as why?
The ampersand represents momentum, it represents never standing still. The symbol in of itself is open-ended, like life, like learning, without something attached it is incomplete.
It also looks fucking cool.
Here are our two favorite places for ampersand inspiration:
Don’t forget to celebrate National Ampersand Day September 8th.
There’s a classic cocktail that appears in The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book called The Ampersand and it contains Brandy. Here’s our recipe.
Be sure and listen to this wonderful song by one of our favorite bands with an ampersand in their name: Shovels & Rope: Perfect Day (Lou Reed) w/ Preservation Hall Jazz Band.