With Denmark being a design nation and all that — my kids have design classes in third grade at school — and with all the focus on Danish Design, I’ve noticed that royal branding has been in play since at least 1426.
Generally, in Denmark, the bar is raised high when it comes to graphics and visuals. An average plumber will have a logo cool as you like on the side of his white van. I’ve always fancied the Dutch when it comes to typography, but Denmark has a great gameface on for general branding.
King Christian IV design (1577–1648) was one of the more prolific Danish kings regarding building loads of stuff. He put Denmark firmly on the map as a European power. Back in the day, the King was a developer. As a result you royal monograms on many buildings and Christian IV’s monogram is wonderfullly simple in its design.
It’s the one in red in the graphic, above. All of those royal types had their fancy monogram — basically just a logo for their self-important regal brand. I thought it would be interesting to slap all the logos of Danish kings and queens together for comparison. Here are all the logos of Danish monarchs since 1426.
It’s interesting to see the uniformity of their personal branding in the design across six centuries. Christian IV, however, nailed it. A logo that is timeless and that could easily be something a company or boy band came up with in 2015.
Back at the beginning, King Kristian I just used a simple K. Christian was spelled with at K back then. He was the first of this line so he could do whatver he wanted. Hans went with an H and from then on, a style was cemented. After Hans, all Danish kings are called Christian or Frederik, which provides us with a easy comparison.
Christian III and II just went with the basic C, without their designated number, which was either cheeky or just bad legacy branding.
After Christian IV hammered out a bold logo, Frederik III stuck to the programme but then Christian V went all squiggly and giggly on us. This stuck around for awhile. Frederik VII went back to the logo roots, but only until Christian IX took squiggly shit to the next level.
There was a desire for simplicity with Christian X — which caused those after him to calm the hell down a bit.
Queen Margrethe II had the luxury of not having to bother with an F or a C so her M stands alone.
The current Crown Prince Frederik, bottom right, had his heart set on a return a simple design, it seems, but he diplomatically nods his head to the squigglys in a hybrid between the two schools of thought.