Andy Robertson burst into the office to present his grand new company logo. That much I recall from the mid-1970s. He proudly explained that the two lines represented two soil or rock strata, and that the kind of inclined line represented a drill rig pushing into the strata, and the zig-zag of the strata represented the changes wrought to the strata by the expertise of Steffen Robertson and Kirsten.
For in those far of days of yore, we called in by its original name: Steffen Robertson and Kirsten. Afterall they were all young, vigorous, and in active charge. Now the company goes by the name of SRK, becoming yet another of those faceless entities, characterized by three, seemingly random letters—just another acronym in the sea of modern shortening of the attention span.
No longer do Oskar Steffen, or Andy Robertson, or Hendrik Kirsten work for the company. For in those days, sixty-five was considered terminally old and the three of them decreed that you retire and sell all your shares by 65. None of them could envisage or imagine that at 68 and 70 and older they would still be able and wanting to consult. Now the Steffen, the Robertson, and the Kirsten still lead active consulting lives and do it on their own recognizances. In full disclosure, I still work with Andy in his resuscitation Robertson GeoConsultants.
Thus it was with a pang of the flood of memory that I received an email telling me of the new logo seen in the picture above. The email was from the Santiago SRK office, so I am not sure if this is a universal change or just a Chile, chilling change. Although a quick look at their website and there is this new orange along with the following picture–enough to blind you with orange:
Is this why they choose orange?
In 1974, orange was the color of revolt, or ill-manners, or poor discipline. It was a garish color associated in South Africa at least with Apartheid, the Orange Free State, and all the intemperance that entailed. The Prince of Orange would now be proud to see his color hoisted to respectability and corporate responsibility.
Then there is the loss of capitals! In the 1970s, lower case was childish, puerile, uneducated. Then we went through that phase where all consultants had double-word names with double capitals in one word. Just like Robertson GeoConsultants or GeoSyntec. Now that fashion has faded and we are back to the simplicity of lower case and the honesty of intent it denotes.
Regardless we must wish them well with their new logo, but remind them that it is too trendy to last and outlast new fashions as they sweep mining and consulting.