The original Roycroft logo was trademarked by Elbert Hubbard in 1906. Its inspiration comes from a symbol used by monks in the middle ages at the end of their illuminated manuscripts, signifying “The Best I Can Do Dedicated to God.” The double barred cross and circle was used by the Roycroft artisans to identify their handcrafted, high-quality arts and crafts products. Hubbard inserted an “R” standing for “Roycroft” and symbolizing “Royal Craft” inside the circle, and began placing the logo in highly visible spots on the artisan’s products. The logo would be carved into handcrafted furniture, affixed to leather goods, and added to certain patterns used on china and glassware.
The Orb trademark came to signify the Roycroft movement, and products carrying the symbol were determined to be authentic, high-quality, handcrafted Roycroft pieces. Today these items with the orb and single “R” are highly collectible and usually quite valuable.