Although Australia had been producing wines since the mid-1800s, the result of efforts of immigrants from Western Europe, Australian wines took decades to establish themselves as even worthy of note. After all, who, in the 1960s, would have considered an Australian wine to be comparable to, much less rival, the wines coming out of France, Italy and Germany, wines that had centuries of tradition behind them and formidable reputations. But the sustained efforts of Australian vintners to promote and expose their vintages to one of the most clique-ridden, snobby and hard-to-please markets in the world have, in recent years, finally paid off. Australian wines are frequently cited as some of the best in the world. Seldom is there a year in which Australian wines leave major international wine contests empty-handed.
Which brings us to Lindemans …
Born in 1811, Henry Lindeman of Egham, Surrey, England graduated as a medical doctor, but while travelling through Europe in the late 1830s he encountered wine making and a passion was born. In 1840 he and his wife Elizabeth decided to make a new home for themselves in Australia and acquiring an 816 acre property in the Hunter Valley in NSW, called “Cawarra”, an aboriginal word meaning “beside running water”. He planted his first vines of Riesling, Shiraz and Verdelho grapes in 1843. In 1850, he suffered a major setback when an arsonist set fire to his cellars, destroying his first stock of wines. Not a man easily broken, Henry spent a few years working as a doctor in nearby gold mines, rebuilt his fortune and by 1853 he was able to re-establish his winery. Whatever Henry Lindeman was doing, it work. By 1863 he and Eliza had produced 10 children – it wasn’t only the wines that were fruitful. Exports began in 1858 and by 1881, when Henry passed away at the age of 70, he had established a business and a dynasty that was so successful that in 1956, Lindeman’s was the official sponsor of the Melbourne Olympic Games. Perhaps their most iconic brands within the brand are the 1965 Hunter River Burgundy Bins 3100 and 3110. Some Australian brands take longer than others to establish themselves than others but there’s no doubt that great trees from little acorns grow. And no matter how well known you are you still need trademark protection. Lindeman’s registered the trademark shown above in December 2017.
The brainchild of young Leslie Joseph Hooker (later Sir Leslie – 1903-1976) this real estate icon was almost immediately successful – growing to five offices in 1937. Leslie was a rather extraordinary person. The only son of an unmarried mother, Ellen “Nellie” Tingyou, Leslie was orphaned at the age of 8 when his mother died of tuberculosis aged only 25. Leslie was raised by his Chinese grandfather James Tingyou. As unashamed of his heritage as he might have been, Leslie nevertheless decided that in the climate of racism that then existed in Australia it would be prudent to camouflage things somewhat, so he changed his name to the much more Anglo-sounding “Hooker” in 1925. “Hooker” was probably inspired as an Anglicised version of his step-father’s name of Hookin. Leslie’s Chinese background was to remain a secret until after his death.
Leslie had worked since he was 13 and in some way, real estate must have been in his blood, purchasing his first two blocks of land in Blacktown when he was only 16. Although his first real estate business failed he wasn’t about to be defeated, thus, one of Australia’s largest real estate brands started off in a single office Sydney’s eastern suburbs in Maroubra in 1928. LJ Hooker’s expand or die strategy continued until 1947 when it floated on the Sydney Stock Exchange and in 1953 became the largest real estate agency in Australia – later branching out into property development and management. It now has interests in almost every aspect of domestic and commercial real estate, with 730 locations as of 2019.
From the very beginning LJ Hooker’s characteristic yellow and red signage was prominent. Perhaps this too is a homage to Leslies heritage. Yellow was the colour of Chinese Emperors and red has traditionally been the colour of prosperity in Chinese culture. LJ Hooker is an interesting case study in the development of a brand and it’s trademark, each iteration being separately conceived with its own registration overseen by qualified, specialist intellectual property lawyers in Sydney and all its other locations. Yet, each iteration maintaining a core character and colour scheme to provide tradition and continuity.
LJ Hooker Logo 1937
LJ Hooker Logo 1969
Modern LJ Hooker Logo