Know Your Meme

Life | 00s | 90s

The Story Behind The "S" That We Drew On Everything In School

Know Your Meme

No one is sure how long this cool "S" has been around for, but we can all agree that we saw this stylized "S" everywhere in the late '90s and early 2000s. But what exactly was it and where did it come from?

It wasn't rocket science, but everyone who could draw the fancy-looking letter somehow had a little more prestige than those who couldn't. Why this was, I don't know. It was literally the simplest, and most addictive, thing to draw. These 14 lines of awesomeness were even better if you had that letter in your name.

If you didn't know how to make that masterpiece of a pointy "S," someone would slip you paper that looked something like this:

Once you got the hang of it, your notebooks, textbooks, and the back of your test sheets were filled with this stylized "S". Some schools had bathroom stalls dedicated for the famous doodle.

But what the heck was it called and where did it come from?

According to research done by Julian Morgans, an online editor with Vice, the "S" may have first emerged in the early '60s.

And it wasn't just a North American phenomenon, it was present in almost every continent (of course, not including Antarctica).

"There were theories that it was the symbol of some 80s hair metal band. Other people thought it was the original emblem for the clothing brand Stussy. Others thought it was an incarnation of the Superman logo. No one was sure," Morgans wrote.

Pop Culture Primer / Newbury Comics

As you can see from the images above, the Stussy "S" and the Superman "S" don't look anything close to what we drew.

Once those theories were debunked, some people were convinced it had to be from the Suzuki car logo. It's possible that it was inspired by it, but it still doesn't look like our beloved "S" symbol.

Maybe there's no special story behind the cool "S"? Perhaps it's something that came about when a handful of artistic kids at school were utterly bored in their classes while doodling in their notebooks. They unknowingly created the most popular symbol for a generation!

Just be glad that you were able to draw this, some schools banned or punished students from drawing the "S" because they believed it was some kind of gang sign.

In what year did you learn to draw "The S"? Do you still draw it today, for old times's sake?