Do You Know The Real Story of the HMV logo dog?

HMV logo dog

Of the myriad medleys in the music world, many owe their origin to us dogs. Be it, Pink Floyd or Cat Stevens. And how can we forget Fiona Apple‘s heartwarming letter sent to her fans when she cancelled her tour to take care of her ailing dog.

But do you know that one of the most famous logos in the world, His Master’s Voice (HMV) also has an adorable origin story linked to a dog?

The name of the HMV dog?

Nipper, the HMV logo dog, is recognized by music lovers across the world. The iconic logo featuring a phonograph and a dog staring at it has featured on hundreds of millions of records.

The story of Nipper, the HMV logo dog

Francis Barraud was an English painter who had a brother named Mark. When Mark passed away, Francis inherited a bunch of his stuff: A phonograph player, recordings of Mark’s voice, and Mark’s dog, Nipper.

Francis observed that when he played the records, Nipper would run over to the phonograph, puzzled, as to make out where the voice came from. The scene remained so etched in Francis’s memories that even after 3 years of Nipper’s demise, he painted the same, calling it “His Master’s Voice”.

He tried selling the painting but record companies turned him down as they thought there was no connection (read brand connect) between a confused dog listening to a gramophone and a music label.

Little did they know that this painting was to become an emblem for the music aficionados.

The Gramophone Company purchased the painting for £100. Fast forward to eight years, and the hugely popular logo made the company change its name to HMV after the painting.

dog HMV logo
A 1910 disc from Sweden with the HMV logo.

His Master’s Voice” logo was used around the world, and the motto became well known in different languages. In Europe these include “La voix de son maître,” (French), “La voz de su amo” (Spanish), “La voce del padrone” (Italian), “Die Stimme seines Herrn” (German), etc.

Having featured on hundreds of millions of records produced by the HMV label over more than a century, Nipper was immortalized with his own blue plaque in London in November 2014.


Nipper’s legacy lives on not only in the HMV logo but also in giant statues across the globe, a testament to the enduring power of a dog’s love for music (or at least, the intriguing sounds coming from a new invention)!

Now if you’d excuse this dog, I have some songs to croon to, tag along 🙂

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7 thoughts on “Do You Know The Real Story of the HMV logo dog?”

  1. am a very passionate music over of both old and new heard long time ago about the HMV Dog story but was not sure of the whole thing it was very touching besides I am very close to dogs love them like I love my kids.

  2. David Vincennes

    Totally knocked out by this blog entry. Surprised to see it was by an Indian. Love for dogs?! Mention of Pink Floyd and Cat Stevens! Cheers, mate!

  3. Satish Chandra Tiwari

    Five years ago i retired. What next ? I got enrolled as an Advocate and started to attend court. Very soon i came to learn that i am not made this profession. Then i turned to my first love of journalism & free lance writer. Here , I saw that profession of journalism was totally changed from pen to computer & camera. It is now an era of technology dominated test tube journalism. Suddenly one day a maggoty wounded dog fell down to my gate. His was breathing his last. I surprised why did dog fell to my gate ? Answer was love. It came to my notice that my son & daughter are very passionate to feed and care all stray anlmals specially stray dogs , puppies. This incident brought a spritual change in my life to serve stray, hungry, ailing dogs. Care their puppies. I do not remember any good work than this ever done in my last 60 years old life. They are my master & loveguru to transform me being human.

  4. I’m 86, I have two little china dogs that belonged to my mum, I look at them often when I think of my mum and dad and wondered where these characters came from, hence I googled Toby, Nipper and HMV and so ended up here! I was never allowed to have a dog when I was little but a few years ago I saw the plight of hundreds of dogs in Romania and the amazing dedication of Anna at Last chance 2 Life. Looking at the pictures of her ‘now rescued charges’ about 400 (now, 700) I couldn’t resist adopting a year old bitch who sort of Trogened her way into the rescue ‘camp’ inside her mummies tummy, she was called Muffin, but is now called Rosie because it gave me an excuse to use my mum’s name often, Rosie is by my side as we speak and I love her very much! I am now housebound to some degree since lockdown and Rosie has kept me smiling and sane in my old age. Marié Martin.🐕🌈

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