Tolstoy once said, Art is universal if it expresses thoughts and feelings which can be experienced by every human being. Its also how branding works — if an image is loaded with meaning, one glimpse and your brain is flooded with imagery of what that stands for. In my travels, (and probably yours) I’ve come across several icons that definitely fit the bill — icons that, with the strength of time, only grow in meaning and symbolism. An instant glimpse, and the culture is instantaneously transmuted into a language that everyone just simply has to identify with — art.
These are our top 5 distinctive symbols:
5. Hammer and Sickle
This symbol has been adopted into the Russian flag, signifying the unity of peasants and workers. Some anthropologists are still in debate about the religious use of the symbol, as they believe it to be a permutation of the Russian-orthodox two-barred cross.
4. Star of David
Commonly associated with the Jewish Identity, the hexagram has been in the flag of Israel since 1948.
3. Maple Leaf
Getting its symbolism from the late 18th century, one look and Canada springs to mind. It got its name from Jacques Viger, the first mayor of Montreal, when he spoke of the trees abundance in their land: the king of our forest; … the symbol of the Canadian people.”
The anglicized version of the Irish word for clover, has been forever attached to Ireland, which is known for drinking, St. Patricks Day, and more drinking. But did you know that the shamrock is actually an Irish Christian symbol for the Holy Trinity?
1. I (heart) NY
Who hasnt seen one of these? It was designed by Milton Glaser (this guy even designed the old DC Comics logo!) in the late 70’s as commissioned by the New York State Department of Commerce to promote tourism in the New York State. (Not just the city, as most people believe.) It is still a popular design to this day, and is still being sold in several souvenir shops in New York. It also served an important purpose after 9/11, as it promoted unity among the populace.
Article by: Bea Scott