An illustration of 16th century Florentine goldsmith, sculptor and soldier Benvenuto Cellini (1500-71) in a roundel surrounded by the words ‘British Antique Dealers’ Association’, has been BADA’s logo since the early 1920s.
In 2016 it was replaced with the abbreviation ‘BADA’ as part of the modernisation of the 100-year-old trade association ahead of its centenary in 2018.
However, the decision to streamline the logo has proved divisive, with some BADA dealers continuing to use the Cellini version on fair stands and in marketing materials.
BADA chief executive Marco Forgione wrote to members last week, acknowledging the difference of opinion: “Some members prefer to use the traditional Cellini logo, while others prefer an alternative approach.”
Now, as part of an overall review of future strategy, BADA’s council has asked members to vote on the “essential elements” they want incorporated in a revised logo, and then to choose the final version.
BADA strategy review
In the email to members, Forgione wrote that “council has undertaken a review of BADA’s development and aspirations. In light of this, and taking into consideration feedback we have received, one issue we’d like to review is the BADA logo.”
Ahead of a designer being commissioned, members have been asked to choose three aspects of the logo “you feel must be included”.
Members can opt to keep the main elements of the existing Cellini emblem or an updated version, to abbreviate the association’s name or not, and include the words “Established 1918”.
Tim Bryars, of book dealers Bryars & Bryars, favours the Cellini emblem.
"Cellini is such a distinctive figure, so much so that I still have the old logo in a glass plaque displayed proudly in my shop window," Bryars said. "I'm happy to be represented by a polymath like Cellini, but I'm also glad that Marco and BADA are willing to have a debate about it."
'BADA's longevity is important'
Others believe that BADA's long history needs to be emphasised above all else. Nicholas Gifford-Mead, a dealer in architectural antiques, has taken part in the poll. "I've commented that I don’t think it's necessarily important to keep Cellini there but certainly on the BADA logo everyone should be aware how long the association has been in existence," he said.
After collating member feedback, BADA will commission a designer to create a number of versions for a final vote. The association plans to launch its new logo later this year, in time for the autumn fairs.