DMU’s lion logo has a long history and originates with the City of Leicester coat of arms. As you can see below the City arms have two lions holding up a shield which is decorated with a cinquefoil (a French word meaning ‘5 leaves’). A helmet with decorative mantling sits on top of the shield, crested by a wyvern. Often mistaken for a dragon, the wyvern is similar but only has two legs. The motto ‘semper eadem’ means ‘always the same’.
Below is an example from the 1897 prospectus showing how elements of the City arms were used by DMU’s predecessors.
Leicester Polytechnic was granted its own coat of arms, which still incorporated elements from the old coat of arms including the lion and the cinquefoil. A kestrel was added and the motto changed to ‘excellentia et studium’, meaning ‘excellence and zeal’.
In 1992 it was decided to create a new logo for the De Montfort University, but still maintain continuity with the old coat of arms. Therefore a lion was chosen, with the cinquefoil embedded in his mane. The lion is sometimes mistaken for a griffin, but griffins are beaked like birds.
Elements of the logo are incorporated into DMU’s ceremonial mace and staves, used during graduation ceremonies.
The mace was designed by Nigel Kenwood and made in the silver-working department of the Polytechnic. The ceremonial staves were also designed and made in-house, by Neil Harding.