Double click here to edit Header component
Signpost is empty.Double click here to edit it in Header component
Parsys 1
Parsys 2

The Spread Eagle emblem has featured prominently throughout the history of Barclays. In the late seventeenth century a goldsmith-banker called John Freame was living in the city of London.

The exact date he started his business is not known, but in 1690 he was a partner in a banking business which traded at premises in Lombard Street. In those days very few people could read and write and business houses used pictorial signs so that their customers could find them easily.

The sign of the Black Spread Eagle

The sign of the Black Spread Eagle, from 54 Lombard Street

In 1728 the partnership moved to 54 Lombard Street at the sign of the Black Spread Eagle, and in 1736, Freame's son Joseph, took his brother-in-law, James Barclay on as a partner. The business expanded over the years and other properties in Lombard Street were acquired, many with their own signs, but the Spread Eagle was to remain associated with the Barclay partnership.

In the 1930s Barclays Bank Limited sought and obtained a Grant of Arms. The bank naturally wanted to keep the eagle it had used for so long but, because other ancient and royal houses carried it in various forms, the College of Arms ruled that it must be “differenced”. This was done appropriately by adding three silver crowns (since numbers 43 and 55, both part of the head office site, bore the signs of the three crowns and the three kings), and the Grant of Arms was accordingly made in 1937.

In May 1926 the first edition of the Barclays staff magazine was published which was known as 'The Spread Eagle'. The editorial states that:

For purposes of brevity, the word 'Black' has been omitted from the title of the magazine

The eagle was consistently used on the front covers of early editions.

In 1938 it was decided to incorporate the eagle in the design of the banks cheque forms to replace the monogram. “In these and many other ways it will become familiarly known in conjunction with the name of Barclays Bank” (The Spread Eagle, January 1938). The eagle emblem first appeared on the bank's annual report and accounts of December 1948.

The College of Arms having said that they had no objection, a Board Resolution in 1947 authorised the closely associated Barclays Bank (Dominion, Colonial and Overseas) to use the arms, with the addition of ‘D.C.O.’ In practice, this addition was usually placed on a scroll beneath the shield, as if it were a motto.

The 'Barclays blue' colour was gradually introduced during the 1960s and was made official when it was approved by the board at its meeting in May 1970.

As Barclays grew and expanded over the years, many different versions of the eagle appeared, so in August 1981 a woodcut design by the celebrated engraver Reynolds Stone was adapted and simplified by John York to produce one authorised version for the whole of the Barclays Group.

In 1999 design agency Interbrand Newell and Sorrell were briefed to update the Barclays brand including the eagle. The new design had to be warm, open and highly accessible but reflecting the stature and heritage of a world respected bank. The ‘eagle globe’, designed to be less imposing and aggressive than the heraldic version, took Barclays into the new millennium. However, the design proved technically difficult to reproduce on paper, so in 2004 the brand was refreshed to designs by Williams Murray Hamm, and a new visual identity created incorporating a simpler style of eagle and standardising the 'Barclays blue'. 

Parsys 4
Parsys 5
Parsys 6
Parsys 7

The evolution of the Barclays logo

Parsys 8
Parsys 9
Parsys 10
Parsys 11
Parsys 12
Parsys 13
Parsys 14
Parsys 15
Parsys 16
Parsys 17
Parsys 18
Parsys 19
Parsys 20