The Girl Scout social movement develops leadership skills and active citizenship among its members. At the same time, it is outside politics and any religious movements. Its goal is to support girls’ physical, intellectual, and spiritual education who seek mutual assistance. Scouts have fun, learn, compete, hike, organize cultural events and receive symbolic awards for their achievements.
Meaning and History
What is Girl Scout?
Girl Scout is a GSUSA youth union formed in the spring of 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low. The idea of founding the organization came to her after meeting with the initiator of the scout movement Robert Baden-Powell.
The beginning of the Girl Scout organization is considered to be 1912 when the Girl Guide movement appeared in the United States. Its participants had the opportunity to develop in the fields of science, business, and art. Modern scouts pay a lot of attention to environmental and tourism issues, although they are best known for their cookies. The tradition of selling baked goods dates back to 1917 when the youth association wanted to cover some costs and teach financial literacy lessons.
But cookies aren’t the only thing Girl Scout is famous for. This organization differs from other social projects with its unique identity system, and it can be recognized both by the trefoil symbol and its characteristic green color. But identity does not stand still – it is constantly changing. Updating the logos is part of a deliberate strategy that attracts modern girls to the scouting movement.
1912 – the 1920s
The original Girl Scout emblem dates back to the last century. It looks like a hybrid of a three-leaf clover and a fleur-de-lis. The vegetable symbol is colored white with a bold black outline. Inside, an eagle’s dark silhouette holds objects like arrows and an olive branch in its paws. The designers simply copied the centerpiece from the Great Seal. The letters “G” and “S” are depicted to the right and left of the head of the US national bird. This logo was invented by Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the social movement.
1920s – 1940s
In the 1920s, the brand name has been redesigned. Inside the large shamrock, a second, slightly smaller, appeared. They differed not only in size but also in shape because the designers did not observe strict symmetry. The font of the letters “G” and “S” has also changed. The central element has been detailed: now it is obvious that an eagle is depicted in the middle – the personification of victory and strength. He carries on his chest a triangular shield consisting of four white stripes and three black stars. It is a reflection of confidence and national pride. Four arrows are clamped in the bird’s left paw – a symbol of greatness, and in the right, there is an olive branch, which denotes peace. Altogether, it says that the Girl Scout organization educates the patriots of their country.
1940s – 1960s
In the middle of the 20th century, the logo moved away from political aspects. The artists focused on the shamrock by removing any mention of the Great Seal and enlarging the letters “GS” to take up the vacant space. The main element is surrounded by a rectangular frame of 16 small white clover leaves.
the 1960s – 1978
Over time, there were even more shamrocks. They formed five concentric rings extending outward from the black circle. Inside this circle is a central sheet with a white outline and the letters “GS,” which is an acronym for the full name of Girl Scout.
1978 – 2003
The most famous version of the logo was designed in 1978 by graphic designer Saul Bass. This man approached the task professionally: he drew an exquisite and stylish symbol by hand, unlike all the previous ones. The emblem retained the traditional shamrock shape, but inside it appeared the profiles of three female faces. The artist achieved this by alternating filled and empty areas. He encoded a deep meaning in his drawing. Three united silhouettes represent unity, the desire for mutual assistance, and mutual assistance – that is, the core values of Girl Scouts.
For the first time, a full-fledged inscription is used on the logo, located under a stylized shamrock. Saul Bass chose the unusual ITC Korinna Bold typeface, with asymmetrical letters and short pointed serifs. In addition, the designer assigned the organization a new corporate color – a rich shade of green.
2003 – 2009
In 2003, the legendary Girl Scout symbol was redesigned. The graphic has been shrunk and moved to the left. The case of the inscription has changed: only “G” and “S” remain in capital letters. The font has also been updated: the elegant serif has been replaced by a minimalist sans serif. At the same time, both the emblem and the name of the organization acquired a blue-green color.
2009 – present
The current logo was introduced in 2009 as part of a new development strategy. This modernization occurred shortly before Girl Scout’s centenary and was intended to bring the brand closer to modern standards. Identity modernization is aimed at the younger generation. Its goal is to attract girls’ attention to relevant events and to interest them enough to join the ranks of the organization.
The marketing department entrusted the redesign to the Original Champions of Design agency. The process was led by Bobby Martin and Jennifer Kinon, who worked with two illustrators: Jasper Goodall and Joe Finocchiaro. They decided not to deviate from the original Saul Bass concept but only to fix the outdated elements slightly.
The artists changed the shape of the stylized shamrock, making it symmetrical and adding a semicircular bang to one of the girls. On all three faces, the noses and chins have become larger to match the actual appearance of the scouts. The necks are straightened, the lips are enlarged. The underside of the leaf has a slight sharpening and now resembles a heraldic shield.
The shamrock is located in the upper right corner of the inscription, which has also noticeably changed. The designers chose a new sans-serif font (Avenir Black) for the organization’s name, repainted the phrase in black, and converted all letters to lowercase.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The main element of Girl Scout’s identity has always been the shamrock. The creator of the scout movement, Robert Baden-Powell, claimed that this symbol is associated with the Pole Star: in ancient times, it personified a compass needle pointing north. That is, it can be interpreted as a guiding sign that leads in the right direction. In the modern context, each side of the shamrock embodies the scout’s oaths: to abide by the organization’s laws, come to the rescue in difficult situations, and serve their country.
The designers have slightly modified the Avenir Black font to adapt it to the current logo. They removed the left side of the horizontal stroke from the “t,” so there is approximately the same distance between all the letters. The use of lowercase letters helps make Girl Scout’s name both friendly and trustworthy.
The main colors of the organization and its symbols are green, white, and black. Moreover, green must have a bright shade # 00AE58, which became a brand after the redesign in 2009.