“Legend has it that a young designer scribbled the now iconic signature on a paper napkin. Richard Branson loved it for it’s ‘in your face’ simplicity, attitude and energy.”
Read more on the Virgin website. Via Saniya Haroon.
It reads as Virqin (with a ‘q’) to me. I thought I’d see what it looks like with a slight curve on the descender of the ‘g’.
Perhaps the brand’s so well known that the mark is seen as a shape as much as a word.
Update: February 2015
I found this explanation on the blog You Never Told Us — stories from Brian Cooke’s days as a music business photographer in the 1970s and 80s.
“It was March 1978 and we had just redesigned our own logo. At a meeting about the [Virgin] logo Simon [Draper] remarked on how much he liked ours and maybe we could look at doing something similar for Virgin. The Cooke Key logo was our concept, which in truth was inspired by a lithograph by the famous Dutch graphic artist M.C.Escher, which depicts two hands drawing each other with pencils.”
From the archives: Stretching the Virgin logo.