Vegan Logo: Evolution
- Evolution of the Design
To understand the evolution of the design, please see the illustration below.
At the simplest level, the logo was based on the two elements of the internationally known Vegan logo: the sunflower and the letter ‘V’.
The ‘Vegan Lotus’ design started by taking the key element of the ‘Vegan Sunflower’ logo and simplifying it to head of the flower. The actually image used is from a traditional symbol of a lotus with eight petals which symbolises harmony and the heart (center), as indeed does ‘green’ the primary colour used for Vegan graphics. Whereas the sunflower has little to no relevance or symbolism within the East, the lotus represents awakening, compassion, evolution and the pacification of our lower nature. Human values that the early Vegans were inspired by.
Referencing Gerald Holtom’s iconic ‘Peace Symbol’ seen second from the right, and the 10,000s of happy ‘V’ signs photographed in every day in Asia, a simple ‘V’ for Vegan was added. A positive and happy association.
It is a little know sidenote to the history of the ‘Peace Symbol’ that the artist later regretted his design. Holtom felt that peace was something to be celebrated and wanted the symbol to be turned downside upward.
The genesis of his Peace symbol idea had born been out of despair. A deep despair many felt during the Cold War period. The symbol represented an individual with their hands palm outstretched outwards, and downwards, in despair. In the ‘Vegan Lotus’ logo, the design is finally turned around, ‘V’ is for vegan, victory, vibrant … vivacious … (literally, from vivere to be alive).
The message presented is that Veganism is pure and beautiful, a growth towards the perfection of compassion in action, victorious, alive and the part of the ultimate peace movement. An idealistic peace not just amongst human beings but peace with other species and our environment.
The number eight is “lucky” and has numerous metaphorical significances in Asia, e.g. the ‘Eightfold Path’ in Buddhism, within Hinduism in chakras, the Taoists’ 8 Trigrams or “Eight Immortals”, and so on. The Chinese character is thought to means “to prosper” or “wealth”. The font used was ColaborateLight.
After correspondence with a European Vegan Society, a second proposal was offered of an internationally shared and accepted logo seen above using a more simplified design.
The ‘Vegan Sunflower’ logo was been a historical flagship symbol for the movement. The logo indicates that the product it is on has been made to widely achievable ‘vegan standards’ … “as far as is reasonably practicable”. There have been a number of criticism of the current British Vegan Society design and trademark. The foremost has been made by Plamil Ltd (UK). Plamil is one of the oldest and most ethical vegan companies. It is a long time supporter of the Vegan Movement and the British Vegan Society. This is discussed on the Vegan Trademark Controversy page.
From a design point of view, the current ‘Vegan Sunflower’ logo has a number of problems:
- It is a complex design that is difficult to reproduce, e.g. in ‘fan art’
It is a complex design that is difficult to reduce, e.g. for use on products which use small packaging such as supplements and cosmetics.
It is an irregular design that would clash with design elements of other products and manufacturers, i.e. its use would be unattractive to some manufacturers.
The choice of font and design is now dated.
The logo uses only English or the Roman script, i.e. it is limited to English speaking worlds.