Friday, August 12, 2011

A History of Stick Figures


I was walking to the store the other day, when I passed a news stand and spotted an anthology on the "History of Stick Figures"


To my surprise, I learned that genetically we are made of lines and dots, and that our heads are representative of a circle. 

Much debate on the evolution of our neck has taken place, and varies from artist to artist. The general consensus is that stick figures do not require necks. I am under the belief that neck's are better, as are shoulders, joints, hips, elbows, and knees. 


Throughout history, we stick figures have been scratched with sharp objects onto hard surfaces such as stone or concrete walls. Our earliest roots are in prehistoric art. 


Our Egyptian ancestors used stick figures to convey the concept of laughing or making someone smile...and that's what we've been doing ever since!







The first international use of Stick Figures was in the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. 

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We've been synonymous with simplifying people and other objects as linguistic symbols for many years now. In 1972, we were back on the Olympic scene again.  Otl Aicher is my great-great grandfather. You may know him as the grandfather of Helvetica Man...





Following the Stick Figure Movement in the 1970s




We rose again to fame, becoming unionized when the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) commissioned us for the DOT pictograms - 50 public domain symbols for use at transportation hubs, large events, and other contexts in which people would know a wide variety of different languages. Many of the great stick figures you've come to know and love got their start with the DOT. 

My father was the famous good samaritan who disposed of waste into garbage bins kicking off the first Earth Day in 1970. 


My aunt Lucy was well-known in the world of Stick Figure Comedy...


Even though my sister was always a bit anxious...

Stick Figure's have been admired throughout history...


We've even starred in famous films like the movie, Jaws... 


...and the movie, The Matrix

Today, we stick figures have come a long way and are often employed in animations supported by the folks at Adobe Flash. 


As for me, my friends and I just hang out all day and post random pics on Facebook


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