Prudence – the face of our business

Prudence has been the public face of Prudential since 1848, when her image was used for the company seal.

Prudence is one of the four cardinal virtues; Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance. Since Greek and Roman times Prudence has been personified as a woman holding a serpent and a mirror. She may also be shown with compasses, representing her measured judgment, a book or a spindle.

A prudent act was considered to combine memory, intelligence and foresight, thus showing awareness of past, present and future. In Renaissance art Prudence is illustrated as having the faces of three animals: the wolf, which devours the past; the lion, which has the courage required in dealing with the present, and the dog, which soothes man's thoughts about the future.

The image used for the Prudential company seal in 1848 was based on the painting of Prudence by Sir Joshua Reynolds. The seal was designed by the first Chairman, George Rogers-Harison, who was officer of arms of the College of Arms. Since then many versions have featured on company stationery and publicity material, but most commonly that by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

The current corporate mark, designed by Wolff Olins and launched in 1986, is of a much more stylised Prudence but remains faithful to the traditional symbolism.