Origins of the Q Name

If I’ve been asked it once, I’ve been asked a thousand times, why Q?!

Mid 1970’s – Refurbishment was already underway. I didn’t want to use the name of the first salon “Just Hair” as I wanted to diversify away from just hairdressing.

We were going to put a much greater emphasis on retail and also include a salad bar, houseplants and beauty rooms.

The idea came one evening as we were camping in the attics, which were being converted into a flat. The only paper I had was a large sketchpad and a marker pen (this is significant). I’d always liked the name Elle, a clothes boutique in London and Brighton and I felt a good logo was important.

I wrote out the alphabet, as it happens there were five spellings of Q. A friend, who was also my architect called in to check progress of work and I showed him the list and asked for his first impressions. I was already favouring Q but spelt Que. He thought I’d done an oval with a curl of hair through (the broad marker pen). He took the idea and incorporated a Kentia Palm and a bamboo border.

“Nine months after opening a client remarked it was clever as Q is a long braid of hair in French and also a waist-long, braided pigtail worn by Chinese men, these were once cut off as a punishment.”

The sad thing is that as time went on the name Q was also used by a magazine, car dealer, even a pub in Chichester.

It’s interesting that the branded large carrier bags are sought after by school kids. We had clients on holiday abroad say “snap” with t-shirts and although we’ve changed the colours the logo has remained distinctive.

I am always being asked where Q came from – now you know!

Nine months after opening a client remarked it was clever as Q is a long braid of hair in French and also a waist-long, braided pigtail worn by Chinese men, these were once cut off as a punishment.

Anthony Barnes-Smith

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