“The need for a single universal image for wool quality was the driving force behind the creation of the Woolmark. In 1997, the International Wool Secretariat changed its name to The Woolmark Company to associate its corporate identity more closely with the brand.”
— From Michael Evamy’s Logo
Did you know that the Woolmark symbol can only be used on products made of 100 percent wool? According to a study commissioned by Woolmark owner AWI, less than half of those who recognise the symbol globally know its purpose.
The Woolmark Blend symbol is for products containing a minimum of 50% new wool, and the Woolblend symbol represents products with 30-49% new wool. More info on The Woolmark Company website.
In the words of Ben, “This is one of the best logos in the world. OK? It’s simple, elegant, memorable, complex (looks like wool!) and it works three ways up!”
Thanks for the Merino link, Tjeerd.
Well, the buttons don’t have to be wool.
“This is one of the best logos in the world. OK?”
I totally agree with Ben. It is like it couldn’t possibly be anything else. Which to me, is a sign of a great logo.
I agree, one of the best. But for me there’s an emotional dimension. Seeing it again brings back memories from nipperhood, going clothes shopping with mum, itchy jumpers, the smell of wool…aye happy days.
I too have an emotional attachment to this mark. Growing up in hand me downs and school clothes being as uncomfortable as possible. I love this logo! Wonderful mark.
David, Giles, although it didn’t occur to me when putting this together, I suppose there an emotional attachment in many of us. Maybe it’s subconscious, or maybe it’s pronounced enough to make you mention it, but either way, there are very few marks with such a widespread use.
i wonder how this would look if it was designed today? a little bit more abstract? less twists? easier? what if another, worser logo had been used, would we all think of it as an as good one just because of the imprinting of decades?
where can i get a shirt with this logo printed on? i mean on the front, not in the inside …
I am part of the less than half that recognize its’ purpose. Actually, truth be told, I cannot relate to even that half, b/c I don’t even recognize the logo, so I am not feeling the nostalgia love. Does that indicate SES? Age level? Both? Now the Cotton logo, yes. :)
The Woolmark logo, particularly the earlier ones, remind me somewhat of the three-arrow recycling logo that takes on the triangle shape. I think it’s more self-explanatory to simpy use “Wool.” Or at worst, “Wool Mark.” I like “wool” standing alone. “Woolmark” is too brandy, as in a business brand rather than a mark for a material that is used across brands. Brandy as in Hallmark.
I’m afraid I don’t recognize the logo well enough to share the nostalgic feelings of some of you, but I really like the different logos used for the various materials.
I really like this logo and the intelligent idea of having the simplified versions for the changes in fabric. I have not looked at this logo for some time but looking at it now I really appreciate the logo as an excellent piece of design. Great post, thank you for sharing.
I love the logo. To me it symbolises Australian wool, and an assignment as a graphic design student back in the day was to redraw the logo in black ink — not an easy task, but once you figured it was based on intertwining circles it was pretty easily replicated. 😍
I have to admit that I don’t actually readily recognise these logos at all – perhaps a result of the lack of wool in my wardrobe or my lack of attention to detail when doing the washing…
I think as a family of logos which serve to communicate their association with each other these designs seem to work well. They are great. However, I think the results of the study reveal where they unfortunately fall down; although each design is distinct in a visual sense, there is a lack of distinction in the communicated meaning. The text obviously adds the dimension needed to ‘explain’ the logo, so that once a user has grasped the distinction, the image meaning becomes memorable through repeated exposure (and thus the text becomes superfluous).
The difficulty and challenge therefore seems to be creating visual marks which can function universally without words. I guess Woolmark is an example of where ‘branding’ and ‘information graphics’ are competing, with the latter losing out? Thoughts?
I’ve never really thought about it but now you point it out, yes I agree that it’s an excellent design.
Simple, yet bold, and not abstract (ie..the sort of logos that only designers get), it’s clear in it’s intended meaning of the graphic.
Just a quick note to thank you all for commenting. I’ve got some tight deadlines approaching for submitting book chapters, so apologies that I can’t respond to you individually. Regardless, I hope things are good your side.
It is grate to learn what a logo we all take for granted actually means.
I think you forgot to say the designers involved in this project were two: Francesco Saroglia and the great Franco Grignani.
Too hard to draw!
I am writing to share information about plagiarism of Woolmark logo (mentioned on this site). The plagiarism was made by one of the graphic designers in Poland, Amarant Felidae. Me and my friend-mentor, Andrzej-Ludwik Włoszczyński were really shocked that someone like him didn’t know about such a recognizable logo and a trademark.
We’ve tried to talk to him to withdraw this sign but:
– he claims that he didn’t know the Wollmark logo (and he made a perfect copy of it – yeah, right…);
– he says that he (literally) doesn’t give a shit about this fact.
I am considering writing to Woolmark about this situation but Andrzej told me to contact you first – maybe this will work and Amarant will remove this work of shame and apologize for the obvious lie/mistake.
I’ve attached some screenshots with conversation about the Amarant’s logo (unfortunately it is in polish) but he is stubborn. So Andrzej wrote a note on his blog here http://www.alw.pl/2012/08/duza-wtopa-z-welna/ (the google translate link is here: http://translate.google.pl/translate?sl=pl&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=pl&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.alw.pl%2F2012%2F08%2Fduza-wtopa-z-welna%2F&act=url ).
I hope you’ll help to spread the word.
Screenshots of conversation on facebook:
When are we going to see the 100% recycled wool mark? What innovations are necessary to be able to re-use wool fibres in new products and what are you doing to drive innovation in this area?
Can a carpet retailer use the wool mark symbol.
I have some memory that the origin of the Wool mark has something to do with the Institute of Launderers and Dry Cleaners back in the 1960’s. My father was a member, and I remember him telling us that the logo had been decided on and accepted.
I was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, the centre of the wool trade. I have recollections of it coming in in the 1960’s but not who created it. Probably created via a competition. The Telegraph & Argus newspaper could be a source of knowledge, along with the name of Woolcombers/Bradford Combing Company.
Good luck in your search.
Peter N Sugden
Francesco Saroglia is a friend of Grignani but the logo is by Grignani.