You might have seen the barber pole vector in movies outside the barbershops. If you haven’t seen it you might have at least read its reference in famous books, one of which is Canterbury Tales. This is the most common visual vector icon for barbershops. You can identify a barbershop merely by seeing this red white and blue pole outside.
Why Do Barbers Use This Barber Pole Vector?
The culture of using barber pole vector dates back to the Middle Ages. At that time most of the people were illiterate even the barber themselves. So they started using this vector to advertise their service. For anyone who could not read, this pole enabled them to recognize the shop conveniently. It was also a reminder to them for their bloodletting.
Previously Barbers used to put the bowl of the blood of their patients in the window. Also using it as a reminder. But since they got banned. So they came up with this barber pole vector.
Today, the Barber Pole Vector is used outside even the most modern barbershops as a legacy of the long-gone era. These poles now only signify the grooming services.
History Of The Barbershops
In the medieval era, people didn’t just go to the Barbers for shave and haircuts. The barbershops also provided the service of bloodletting and other medical procedures. Bloodletting involves opening a vein with a cut, allowing the blood to drain. This procedure was used as a treatment for various diseases.
However, Barbers weren’t the ones who performed this procedure on the sick. Monks who cared for the ill performed it using sharp tools and assistance of the Barber. These barber-surgeons also extracted teeth, pulled bone and treated wounds.
This practice was later banned by Alexender III and the Catholic Church. As these surgeries were done under no supervision or regulations. But the physicians, on the other hand, felt that performing bloodletting was beneath their practice.
What Do The Colors In The Barber Pole Indicate?
The colors in the Barber Pole Vector were used as a reference to this practice. Red in the barber pole represented blood. And white represented the bandages that were used to stem the bleeding. The shape of the pole itself is said to symbolize the stick that the patient used to squeeze. So that the vein would become more prominent for the procedure.
About the blue color, it is said to be representing the vein that is cut during the procedure. This vein carries non-oxygenated blood and is blue in color. While another theory suggests that this color represents patriotism and was added as a nod to the nation’s flag.
However, the downward spiral of the barber pole vector symbolizes the aortic flow of blood in the body.
Hence, the barber pole vector isn’t a casually chosen vector. It has a lot of history associated with it. The incredible history of middle age or medieval era. This vector is as important as the golden arches to McDonald’s and the swoosh to Nike.
What was your theory for this barber pole vector? Let us know in the comments.