This month I’m going to delve into some iconic logos in skateboarding, as graphics on boards are such an important aspect skateboarding. It seems as if brand logos have become more important in skateboarding than in any other industry, with people vehemently defending their favourite brands
as if their life depended on it. I’m not looking to debate if brand A is better than brand B, I’m just gonna talk about how awesome their logos are, as well as a little bit of the brand history sometimes, as there’s only so much I can talk about a picture. Hope you enjoy! Let’s start the list with;
Santa cruz: screaming hand
I’m going to start with possibly the most iconic one on this list; screaming hand. Out of all the different logos Santa Cruz use the screaming hand is perhaps the most iconic. Originally drawn by Jim Phillips, the artist responsible for most of NHS distribution’s logos this one in particular has made its way well outside of skateboard culture. It has been parodied, copied, stolen, tributed, varied, tattooed, changed and redrawn by countless other companies and artists including Santa Cruz themselves. You’d be hard pressed to find a skateboarder who has not came across this logo in one form or another. There has been countless documentaries and discussion blog posts about this logo so I don’t want to go into it too much and will leave it with a link to this 4 minute video where Jim Phillips talks about it.
Independent truck co.
Another logo designed by Jim Phillips for NHS. Possibly the most well-known truck company, and possibly the company with the widest range of trucks. Beloved the world over by street skaters, bowl skaters and vert skaters, the company are well aware how good their products are as one of their taglines is “ride the best, fuck the rest”. Indy used to pride themselves on being made in the USA but recently moved to production in China, which upset a lot of their long-time fans, but in my opinion (and many others) the quality of the product actually improved. Out of the six complete boards I have in the house three of them have Indy trucks on.
Back to the UK now with Nick Zorlaks death skateboards. While this brand may not be as familiar to people outside of the UK they are one of the cornerstones of British skateboarding and the genius behind the logo is that I didn’t even have to pay a designer as it is a copyright free image that you
may recognise from warning labels. If you are unfamiliar with this company I highly recommend checking out some of their DVDs, and it’s only a fiver. You can’t complain about the price.
A much more modern company that has managed to branch outside of skateboarding into the wider fashion world with such a simplistic logo using a simple font with white lettering on a red background. Mix this with the exclusivity of some of their products and you can charge a fortune
for stuff with supreme wrote on it. I don’t want to talk too much about supreme as all this will do will prove how uncool I am, I’m already aware of it and don’t need to broadcast it on the Internet.
Originally drawn by Court Johnson, Powell Peraltas iconic ripper logo has a similar legacy to the screaming hand. Well if this came out today I doubt it would be as iconic as it has become, mainly due to the fact Skulls aren’t seen as cool as they were 30 years ago. Thankfully this is a new graphic
and it has stood the test of time and Powell continue to print it on boards to this day. Similarly but not quite to the same extent as Santa Cruz, Powell have played with their own parodies and variations of this logo.
A company you don’t hear about as much these days, but they’re still going and their logo is still iconic and does a great job of representing the brand’s ethics of environmental care and protection. These guys were huge in the early 2000’s when Bam Margera was at its peak and shops struggled to keep his boards on the walls. Yhey were also great for their innovation in board compositions and have a great system for picking out what shape board you like, so once you found a shape you like you just pick that number again
I’ve decided to finish this list with the Spitfire wheels logo as similar to the ripper and screaming hand it’s had hundreds of variations, but hasn’t been around nearly as long, and the within the variations shape predominantly remains the same yet change the logo so much. Here’s a small selection I quickly complied without leaving the first page of Google;
This doesn’t even include all the simple colour variations.
Thanks for reading guys I know there’s loads I’ve missed out, but I’ll add some others in a later blog. Don’t forget to check out my videos on Urban Surfers YouTube channel here.
You can also send me a message over on Instagram with ideas for blogs you want to see me write about, or videos you want to see me make. Feel free to follow as well so you can also see clips of my skating and pictures of my cats, you can do that by clicking here or searching @breadskates.