Our choice of the ‘Unicorn’ for the Scottish GovTech Cluster is not a decision made lightly, but a deliberate alignment with powerful symbolism, heritage and a commitment to innovation.
The unicorn, a mythical creature of grace, purity and power, is not just a fancy of fantasy, but a potent symbol deeply rooted in Scottish history. It has been the national animal of Scotland since the 12th century and has graced the Royal Coat of Arms for centuries, representing strength, freedom and transformation. Just as the unicorn breaks the bounds of reality with its captivating allure and impossibility, our technology venture aims to transcend the conventional and explore the uncharted frontiers of technological possibilities.
Notably, in the contemporary world of technology start-ups, the term “unicorn” has taken on a new significance. It’s used to describe a privately held start-up company valued at over $1 billion. The term was coined in 2013 by venture capitalist Aileen Lee, choosing the mythical animal to represent the statistical rarity of such successful ventures. Our aspiration is to become a ‘unicorn’ in this sense, embodying the spirit of innovation, agility and remarkable growth that characterises these rare and successful enterprises.
To honour the Scottish heritage and infuse it into the Cluster’s identity, we chose to depict the unicorn in the style of a Charles Rennie Mackintosh stained glass window. Mackintosh, the iconic Glaswegian architect, designer and artist, was a pioneer of the Art Nouveau movement and a beacon of innovative thought. His work, particularly in stained glass, embodied a unique blend of function and form, intricacy and simplicity, tradition and modernity. It exemplifies a revolutionary spirit that dares to redefine aesthetics, just as we strive to redefine technology.
The unicorn, rendered in Mackintosh’s distinctive style, showcases not only our respect for tradition and heritage, but also our commitment to innovation and avant-garde thinking. It brings together the ethereal beauty of the mythical beast and the exquisite complexity of Mackintosh’s artistry. The intricate linework, the interplay of light and colour and the stunning visual harmony reflect our pursuit of technological excellence, innovative design and user experience.
The chosen font colour, a hue close to Saltire blue, is a nod to the Scottish national flag, the Saltire or St Andrew’s Cross. This shade of blue, while representative of the Scottish skies and seas, is also symbolic of steadfastness, loyalty and truth. It anchors the Cluster’s identity in Scottish roots while conveying our core values and commitment to our users.
In essence, the unicorn rendered in the style of a Mackintosh stained glass window, set amongst the Saltire blue, is not just a logo, but a powerful visual narrative. It encapsulates our journey, our vision and our roots. It is a symbol of our ambition to lead, innovate and inspire, just like the unicorn that dares to dream and the artist who dared to redefine. It is a testament to our commitment to honouring our heritage while pioneering the future, bridging the past and the present, the mystical and the practical, the artistic and the technological. It is our badge of honour and our promise to you – our Cluster membership.