The Sainsberry logo

the sainsberry logo as used on a 1920s product
The Sainsberry logo. 70Kb.

The Sainsberry device is the logo of Sainsbury's Archives, Britain's leading retail history collection. It was devised by Laurence Evamy, who from 1886-1928 was private secretary to Sainsbury's founder, John James Sainsbury. The logo shows the letters 'AINS' within the letter 'S' entwined around a bunch of holly berries - hence 'Sains-berry'. It was registered as a trade mark in 1909, but was probably used well before this date.

The logo was used on all manner of own brand items - canned fruit labels, butter wrappers, bloater paste jars, and even on the lids of Sainsbury's jams. Before the First World War, Sainsbury's ran a savings scheme whereby customers could collect the logos from Sainsbury brand products to save up for 'gifts': table linen, cutlery or even a tea set.

The Sainsberry continued in use on Sainsbury brand products until the Second World War and remained a registered trade mark until 1951. Recently it was revived for use as an embossed seal on Sainsbury's award-winning Blackfriars gin. There may indeed, be more to the use of the logo than was originally intended: it's said that holly was used by the druids to ward off evil spirits. Sadly Sainsbury's Virtual Museum's teashop has yet to acquire a virtual liquor licence, but we hope you enjoy your visit nonetheless!