The logo of the 2017 SVPCA meeting features a pterosaur clinging to one of the faces of the clock of the iconic ‘Old Joe’ tower, which lies at the heart of the University of Birmingham (UoB) campus. The logo was designed by Dr Plamen Andreev, a postdoctoral researcher in vertebrate palaeontology at UoB, and the pterosaur was inspired by and redrawn from a reconstruction of Eudimorphodon by Todd Marshall.
Old Joe is the tallest free-standing clock tower in the world, a well-known landmark in south Birmingham, and much loved by UoB students, even having its own Twitter account. The logo also pays an indirect homage to the work of one of Birmingham’s most famous literary figures, J. R. R. Tolkien, who grew up in what are now the nearby Birmingham suburbs of Kings Heath, Moseley and Edgbaston, and attended the King Edward’s School adjacent to the UoB campus. Tolkien is believed to have drawn inspiration from a number of landmarks in the city when writing his Middle-earth novels, and Old Joe is reputed to have inspired the Eye of Sauron. The fell beast ridden by Sauron’s servant, the Witch-king of Angmar, was acknowledged by Tolkien to be ‘pterodactylic’, much like the pterosaur shown here.