Why “Renaissance Monkey?”

cartoon monkey using a pointer to point at a pull-down movie screen on which there is an image of a squirrel monkey walking on all fours on a large rope.I’ve been a fan of monkeys (and apes) since I was no bigger than a chimpanzee. Monkeys are surprisingly intelligent, versatile, dexterous and just plain adorable. I was first introduced to monkeys when I was 3 and my mother helped me read a Curious George book for the first time. From that moment I was convinced that monkeys were, by far, the coolest animals on the planet. In later years that belief was reinforced by frequent exposure to various types of monkey business, especially on the television, including Cheetah ofTarzan fame, Grape Ape and Magilla Gorilla from Hanna Barbera, Gleek from The All New Super Friends and, of course, The Monkees (not really apes but they certainly were fun).

On the big screen there was Mighty Joe Young, King Louie (The Jungle Book), King Kong, the winged monkeys in The Wizard of Oz (scary but cool), the entire cast from Planet of the Apes, and  later, Dexter (Night at the Museum), Rafiki (The Lion King) and everyone’s favourite ape with an attitude, Clyde (Every Which Way But Loose).

Being an avid comic book reader, I was also exposed to DC Comic’s Congorilla, Gorilla Grodd, Beppo the Super Monkey, Bobo the Detective Chimp and more recently the capuchin Ampersand in Y: The Last Man. And let’s not forget the ever-present ads for Sea Monkeys.

But the main reason I’m so fond of monkeys is because of a squirrel monkey named Joey that my parents gave to me when I was 10. He was the most amazing pet a young boy could imagine. We spent almost every minute together. It’s almost unbelievable how close a monkey and his boy can become in a short time. But unfortunately it wasn’t to last. Within the year my mother developed a serious allergy to Joey (or so I was told) and we had to give him up. He went to a new family who made him very welcome. But the lasting connection had been made and I have been ridiculously fond of monkeys ever since.

So when I started my own business it made sense to include ‘monkey’ in the name. Being a fan of puns I couldn’t resist the play-on-words for Renaissance Man… after all the Renaissance period represents the most famous joining of art and science in history (two elements essential to graphic design) and it seemed appropriate to call the company Renaissance Monkey Design.

I’m sure Joey would approve.

Sincerely, Lionel Morise