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Of Interest:

No Bones About It

An interesting article in the International Herald Tribune regarding the history and changing perception of one of the western world’s earliest and most easily recognized logos or brands - that of the skull and crossbones.

The terror associated with the mark taps in to a primal fear of death, and the symbol was used to indicate death well before it started showing up on pirate ships - we note the tombstone of a Colonial-era governor buried nearby dating from 1680, featuring a primitive and spooky version. Nowadays, we see little skull-and-crossbones prints on baby blankets and clothes, or dog collars, and the like. The design has been sapped of its capacity to sow fear, and where once its display was cause enough for hanging, it now seems to indicate not much more than a wee bit of naughtiness.

While there has been much written about
semantic drift in words, it’s pretty cool to see a visual brand change meaning across time...
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