Coinciding with COP26, HRH Prince Charles’ Sustainable Markets Initiative and LoveFrom unveil the Terra Carta Seal, recognising private sector companies that are leading the way in creating sustainable markets. Designed by Jony Ive and his team at LoveFrom, the seal embodies Terra Carta’s values and its aim ‘to reunite people and planet, by giving fundamental rights and value to Nature’. 

The seal is presented as Prince Charles and the Sustainable Markets Initiative host the Terra Carta Action Forum (taking place 3 – 5 November 2021 at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow). 

Terra Carta Seal by LoveFrom

The Terra Carta Summarium, printed on white paper in green ink using LoveFrom Serif

Forty-four private sector companies (including L’Oréal, Siemens Energy and AstraZeneca) have been awarded the inaugural, annual Terra Carta Seal for their commitment to an accelerated action to limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2050. The Sustainable Markets Initiative partnered with Corporate Knights, whose 100 Most Sustainable Corporations Companies were invited to apply to receive the seal. 

The Terra Carta Seal design features an illustrated composition of flora and fauna, embodying the charter’s vision and ambition to set a recovery path ‘For Nature, People and Planet’. The circular design includes an intricate pattern of oak leaves and acorns, fern, magnolia, phlox, ladybirds, monarch butterflies, birds and honey bees, surrounded by the Terra Carta motto of ‘concordiae naturae, hominum et planetae’ – for the harmony of nature, people and the planet. 

‘The Terra Carta Seal recognises those organisations which have made a serious commitment to a future that is much more sustainable, and puts nature, people and the planet at the heart of the economy,’ comments Prince Charles. ‘We all need to make changes if we are to preserve the planet for our children and grandchildren and these businesses have pledged to make it easier for us all to do so.’ 

LoveFrom’s design process

A black and white graphic showing the Terra Carta Seal in development, from type only version to a final version with illustrations of flora and fauna taking over the design

The seal design is sincere, modest and beautiful, its intricacies conveying the complexity and weight of the meaning behind it. Initially conceived as a black and white graphic, the core of the design is defined by typography: LoveFrom’s own bespoke serif, not commercially available and used exclusively for special projects such as this, surrounded and taken over by nature. 

‘We spent all this time creating a typeface that we would use for our identity: we didn’t want a logo, we wanted something far more modest, more similar to a dialogue,’ says Ive of creating the LoveFrom Serif, inspired by John Baskerville’s letterforms and based on studies of his original punches and matrices. ‘We thought we would use this typeface for our friends; we couldn’t think of a better way to take advantage of a few years of work around the Terra Carta, and I think it works really quite well. You can see the typography is clearly central to the seal, but I was seduced by the gentle, slightly anarchic dominance of the natural references.’

As well as the flora and fauna that can be seen in the seal, the team was also inspired by patterns and compositions found in the work of William Morris, Josef Frank, Nick Knight and Christopher Marley, and in the sacred geometry of nature, from shells to the structure of plants, galaxies and meteorological phenomena.

A digital version of the Terra Carta Seal in colour, with a green background and gold type

‘We have reinforced the resilience and fertility of nature by allowing these natural elements to gently take control of the image,’ says Ive. ‘This is a visually lush celebration of the power of nature, and far from being superficial decoration, these natural forms are what gives the design life.’

The Terra Carta Seal design has been designed with a series of different chromatic treatments, including monochrome green and blue, and multicoloured versions that speak of the natural elements featured within the circular design. 

A paper seal in collaboration with James Cropper

The paper Terra Carta Seal hanging from a strip of white paper

In addition to the digital seal, LoveFrom has created a paper seal in collaboration with British paper mill James Cropper. Used for the commemorative summarium, the paper-engineered seal was crafted using a combination of printing, embossing, die-cutting and micro-perforation.

The text is letterpressed onto handmade paper made by James Cropper’s Paper Foundation at its mill in Burneside, Cumbria – a workshop using solar and hydro power and with a connection to Prince Charles, who visited the location in 2018. ‘For this project it would seem natural and obvious to work with them, it was a natural partnership.’

The project reflects LoveFrom’s creative process; Ive describes the team’s aim ‘to be heavy with our thinking and light with our implementation’. 

‘For decades at Apple, one of my preoccupations has been this idea that if we have discipline in our thinking practice we hold ourselves accountable with our thinking, and the result is that we can be light with our implementation,’ he continues. ‘This really has become such a central part to the way that we see problems and the way that we practice.’ §

As part of the Terra Carta Action Forum at COP26 in Glasgow, on 4 November 2021, Wallpaper* editor-in-chief Sarah Douglas will be speaking with His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and Jony Ive on the subject of design and sustainability.