To apostrophe or not to apostrophe… that is the question!

In the news today, our namesake, Land’s End in Cornwall has officially had an apostrophe added to its name. This is a topic very close to our hearts, as the apostrophe in our name, Lands’ End, is actually in the wrong place, and always has been.

Previously, some Cornish road signs and businesses had featured the apostrophe, whilst others had not and it caused much debate. We’ve always had one in our name, (albeit in the wrong place), and it has sparked many a debate. The story is a lovely one and goes back to the very beginning, and our founder, Gary Comer…

The mistake we’ve embraced

A marketing copywriter by trade, Gary started up Lands’ End in 1963. By 1965 the company had begun to show a small profit, enough to enable him and his partners to print their first catalogue. On the front was the name Lands’ End – complete with Gary’s, and every copywriter’s nightmare, a typographical error! Unable to afford a re-print, the misplaced apostrophe stayed – as it does to this day (prompting a few raised eyebrows among English teachers). But we have grown to love our misplaced apostrophe, it is part of our heritage and something we are proud of. We think it’s good to be a little bit different sometimes!

Our Cornish connection

We’re often asked why the company was called Lands’ End and what the association with Britain’s most south westerly point might be. The truth is, none… at least, not literally anyway. When Gary was asked the question, he said… “It had a romantic ring to it, and conjured up visions of a point to depart from on a perilous journey”. A rather poetic visual analogy, but hardly surprising when you consider, Gary was an adventure-seeking, world class racing sailor with a successful advertising career, setting out on his own ‘perilous journey’ from award-winning copywriter to inspirational new clothing company.

And our lighthouse logo?

Again, no link to Cornwall, Gary’s lighthouse logo was simply inspired by his love of the sea – though we are sure, had he stood atop the granite cliff tops, surrounded by the untamed beauty that is one of Britain’s most famous landmarks, gazing on the famous Longships Lighthouse lying just off Land’s End’s coastline, he would have agreed that the comparison seems almost seamless. Nonetheless, both are simply happy coincidences. Land’s End Cornwall, Lands’ End the clothing company, the name fits both equally well.

We’re celebrating our 25th anniversary in the UK this year, find out more here.