A chance encounter in the summer of 2008 brought me the opportunity to work with a local coffee retailer who was working out of his three wheeled tuk-tuk on an rocky out crop of Malin Head. Almost ten years later, I wanted to revisit this brand and give it a refresh, as well as look a bit deeper behind its unusual name.
The name Banba (pronounced BAHN-va) is a Celtic Goddess of the spirit of Ireland. When the Milesians arrived in Ireland and conquered the Tuatha de Danaan, Banba and her two sisters, Ériu and Fodla, all asked that the island be named for them. Ériu won the contest because she made the most generous offering. Her name then became Éire (Ireland). Banba is also a Celtic War Goddess who extends safety to those who follow her, wielding magic in their support. In Irish tradition, where she hails from, she protects the land from invaders.
Banba’s Crown is Ireland’s most northerly mainland building. It was built by the British in 1805 as a Napoleonic lookout tower to help defend against a possible French invasion. It’s location was vital for daily shipping reports, as the coast line around Malin Head, is some of the most treacherous waters in the world. Then, Llyods Insurance Group of London used it to contact ships – especially during both World Wars.
Banba’s Crown looks down upon her sister Éire, a man-made sign of white stone, which was used to alert WW2 aircraft of the location they flew over as Ireland’s was neutral.
The revised logo is a nod to Banba, her crowning position of protection on a remote Irish headland, the tower that now symbolises Malin Head and to her two sisters - completing the trilogy of Irish Goddesses.