Local artist and former pupil, Rupert Denyer, was commissioned to create the school’s first officially sanctioned coat of arms for the quincentary year. Rupert had had experience of working with the College of Arms before, creating the designs for a set of English stamps, so he was well aware that strict rules had to be followed:
‘I worked under the guidance of the Richmond Herald of Arms, Dr Clive Cheesman. The essential elements were the ‘lion rampant’ and the eight ‘crosses crosslet’, while the book was suggested as a symbol of scholarship.
‘The first stage was to verify the school’s history with the College of Arms, who don’t take these things lightly, and then we discussed the unofficial shield we’d been using for many years. The crosslets represented Lewes Priory, and the overall design was similar to the arms of more than one great Sussex family, but a straight copy was out of the question – we were challenged to produce something unique that only LOGS could use.
‘It was apparently thought that I would produce a white lion, but the herald was perfectly happy with the gold I chose. What he did insist on was that the beast’s teeth, tongue and claws should be blue, as should the medieval book, which was to be quarter-bound with gold corners and metal clasps.
‘That sounds pretty prescriptive, but I could otherwise create whatever kind of lion I wished. We decided that it should be “bas relief” in form, and then I just got on with it – and enjoyed myself immensely! This type of commission doesn’t come along very often. It was wonderful to work on such prestigious and unusual project, and the fact that it was for my old school was an added bonus.
‘I even created my own typeface for the motto underneath. The Floreat Lewys scrollwork isn’t part of the official coat of arms, but of course the school will always use it in conjunction with the shield.’