Barber shop pole logo

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Barber Shop logo best practices

Colorful Windows with Trees Indoors


Black and white are both popular base colors for barber shop logos. While some shops keep things monochrome, others add a pop of color with red or blue accents. Traditionally, red and blue were seen on barber’s poles, to signify the shop’s services. Today, not all barber shops have poles, but red and blue remain two of the favorite colors for this industry.

Phone Layout with Logo on Screen


Like the old barber pole, a good barber logo informs people about your services at a glance. To do so, your logo layout should be simple enough to look great across signage, social media, and anywhere else you use it. Simple symbols, short slogans, and large text work well here. If you do use a complex layout, you can always create a few logo variations for different mediums.

Large Letter A on Rusted Background


Barber logos often feature bold typefaces that suit their clientele, whether that’s hipster or no frills. For the hipster crowd, Serif and Script fonts can add a retro appeal. Meanwhile, Modern and Sans-Serif fonts are better suited to the straightforward sort. As you craft your logo, look for a font that reflects your barber shop’s clients, and ensure it's legible across mediums.

Elaborate Ampersand Symbol on Crowded Desk


Barber shop symbols typically take inspiration from the tools of the trade. Combs, scissors, barber poles, and razors are all choice symbols for barber logos. If you want your logo to stand out from other barber shop logos, try taking a more metaphorical approach. Animals and abstract shapes can tell customers about the spirit of your work, while also standing out from the crowd.

Lightbulb against dark background - logo ideas special features

Special Features

Keep your barber shop logo looking sharp, with the addition of a few special features. Containers and separators both add a sense of structure to your logo, framing its central elements. If you opt for either, look for designs with razor-sharp lines and strong geometric shapes like rectangles, circles, or simple lines. Add layers to your barber logo by stacking your symbol and text. This logo layout creates height for an immediate visual impact. Finally, round out the look of your logo with rounded text—a classic element of traditional barbershop signs.

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A logo is a symbol used to promote recognition of a business or product. It can be an abstract design or include text. Using a logo for a barbershop is vital to building trust in clients and for recognition.

The barbershop pole itself is a good example of how important a logo is. When someone hears the word “barbershop”, they picture the barbershop pole. Likewise, when someone sees a white, red, and blue pole they immediately connect it to a barbershop. Even though that icon was invented many decades ago it still represents and is recognized as a symbol for barbershops.

Creating a good logo can do the same for your business. Clients will be able to recognize your business instantly. A barbershop logo should also display the style and skill offered in your shop.

To start the process of designing a barbershop logo, look at the logo design of other barbershops. As you do, think about how you can distinguish yourself from those logo designs. Consider how you can advertise your brand’s personality through your logo. Then look to this article to learn about the fundamentals of barbershop logos.

Why have a Barbershop Logo?

Why have a Barbershop Logo?
Image source: Wade Ryan

The logo is the first interaction a barbershop has with potential clients. Whether they see it on the window of the shop, from a business card, or on the internet, it must attract them. A logo should impress so that potential clients become paying customers. A logo also fills the important role of encouraging regular customers to be loyal to the barbershop.

There are four main reasons why a barbershop logo is important. First, it makes a good first impression to attract new customers. Second, it helps a barbershop create a brand identity and encourages brand loyalty. Third, clients will remember the business better if it has a good logo. Fourth, it distinguishes one barbershop from another.

Fundamentals of a Barbershop Logo Design

Fundamental #1: Branding

Fundamental #1: Branding

Image source: Kirill Kodochigov

A logo is part of branding. Branding is a consistent style, color scheme, and font for all things related to a business. Whether using printed business cards, a website, social media, or something else, the branding style should be the same.

The branding of a business gives a potential customer an impression of what the company stands for. It also provides consistency so customers can recognize the company with a glance. The logo is the first part of the brand that customers will see.

To design a barber logo that is consistent with your brand, first decide what branding style you want for your business. Then, you can design a logo to fit the style of branding.

Fundamental #2: Appeal to the target audience

Fundamental #2: Appeal to the target audience
Image source: raul sigala

The most appealing logos are not the flashiest ones. They are the ones that resonate with your target customer. A barbershop is where men and boys get their haircut and their beards shaved. The logo design should appeal to that target audience.  When looking over the next fundamentals of a barbershop logo, remember the target audience and think about how to appeal to them.

Fundamental #3: Icons

Fundamental #3: IconsImage source: Zvucifantasticno

A logo can contain icons, drawings, or even text. The icon should represent the service that the barbershop provides and its environment. For example, barbershops located in urban areas will have a different logo design to those in suburban areas.

Common barbershop icons include:

  • A man with a beard
  • A skull with a beard
  • A razor
  • Scissors
  • Combs
  • The barber pole
  • A mustache
  • The company’s first initial

A popular barber logo is a vintage design with bold letters and curves.

An important aspect to keep in mind when designing a logo is that the icon should be versatile. It will appear on the internet, in profile pictures, in printed form, and more. The icon you choose should be resizable and still look clear no matter where it appears.

Fundamental #4: Typography

Fundamental #4: Typography

Image source: Pants Pantsley

If you decide to include text in your logo then choosing the right font is important. A barbershop is a place for men and boys and the font should reflect that. A good rule of thumb is to use a font that people can read at a glance.

Some good fonts to use for a barbershop logo include:

  • Calibri
  • Helvetica
  • Clarendon
  • Candida

Sans-serif fonts are more modern and would fit well with a barber who offers high fashion hairstyles. A more vintage font would present a more classic look thus be better suited to a traditional barber.

Fundamental #5: Color

Fundamental #4: Typography

Image source: AkumaOne

The color scheme of a logo is more important than it may seem. The color of a logo has to do with more than an aesthetic appeal. Colors have an impact on the emotions of humans. Psychological associations accompany each color.

Here are the effects different colors have:

  • Yellow and orange are playful and energetic.
  • Purple represents royalty
  • Red is a bold color that evokes excitement and energy
  • Black is a formal and elegant color
  • Gold is associated with luxury and pampering

Common colors seen in barbershop logos are black, white, red, and blue. Some use a black and white design to denote elegance. Black and white are also good colors for a logo that is displayed in a window. Other barbers use a white, blue, and red design associated with barbershops because of the familiar barber pole.

Some things to keep in mind while choosing a barbershop logo color scheme are:

  • Make sure the color scheme of the logo reflects the personality of the barbershop and represents your brand.
  • Remember your target customers are men so choose a color scheme that appeals to that target audience.
  • Decide how you want customers to feel when they look at your logo. Then research the psychological effects colors have on people.
  • Limit the color scheme to two or three colors.
  • Do not let the colors overpower the logo, instead, they should complement it and be relevant to the design

Fundamental #6: Keep it simple

Fundamental #6: Keep it simple

Image source: LANE PORTER

The main purpose of a logo is to be memorable and recognizable. A complex logo is hard on the eyes and hard to remember. Customers should recognize your logo as a trusted brand in the haircutting industry. Simple barber logos accomplish that goal.

The best logo designs in the world are simple and uncomplicated. For example, think of the Apple logo or the McDonalds logo. They are very simple and very memorable. A simple logo design will make your barbershop logo memorable, versatile, and timeless.

Fundamental #7: Create a distinctive logo design

Fundamental #7: Create a distinctive logo design

Image source: Joel Messner

Looking to other barbershop logos and drawing inspiration from trends is a starting point for designing a logo. However, the goal of a logo is to stand out from the competition. When creating your barbershop logo design, make sure that it is unique and distinguishes you from other barbershops.

Barbershop Logo Design Examples

Krasimir barber

Krasimir barber

Image source: Yuri Kartashev

Barber Shop Logo

Barber Shop Logo

Image source: Noah Langworthy

Borough Barber

Borough Barber

Image source: Gregory Grigoriou

barber shop

barber shop

Image source: Yuri Kartashev

Barber Buds

Barber Buds

Image source: Linus Kindstrand

Hell’s Barber Logo

Hell's Barber Logo

Image source: Michal Petergáč (.eu)

OBOB Barbershop

OBOB Barbershop

Image source: maDNA Design

Barber Shop

Barber Shop

Image source: Maxim Temchenko

Barber Logo

Barber Logo

Image source: Avoss

Barber Shop Logo

Barber Shop Logo

Image source: Sandi Caranovic

Woodman (barber shop)

Woodman (barber shop)

Image source: Yuri Kartashev

Barbershop Logo Design

Barbershop Logo Design

Image source: Tutul Hossain



Image source: Michael Browning



Image source: Yuri Kartashev

Vienna Barber Shop

Vienna Barber Shop

Image source: Alexandra Necula

Barber Shop

Barber Shop

Image source: matthieumartigny

Hillside Barber Shop

Hillside Barber Shop

Image source: Defaced

Rocketman Logo

Rocketman Logo

Image source: Leo



Image source: Max Iskra

Barbershop “Borodach”

Barbershop "Borodach"

Image source: Logo machine



Image source: Gregory Grigoriou

Barbershop logo

Barbershop logo

Image source: Sara Dam

TB Barbershop

TB Barbershop

Image source: Mario Milojevic

The Sharp Razor

The Sharp Razor

Image source: Federico Vaccarezza

Razor King Logo

Razor King Logo

Image source: Kim Hanson



Image source: TalgatNurdinov

Abalvi Barber Shop

Abalvi Barber Shop

Image source: Mooral

Old Train

Old Train

Image source: Yuri Kartashev

The Flying Barber Shop

The Flying Barber Shop

Image source: jumjum

Lighthouse / barber shop

Lighthouse / barber shop

Image source: Yuri Kartashev

Ending thoughts on these barbershop logo designs

A haircut is all about style and helps people look their best. A barber’s logo should reflect that. A good barbershop logo incites trust in customers and establishes a barbershop as a trusted business.

The logo complements and highlights the brand of the barbershop. So while choosing icons and colors for the logo, make sure they relate to the overall aim of the brand. Use icons that appeal and resonate with your target customer of boys and men. Make any text you have in your barber logo readable.

Above all, keep the logo simple, memorable, and distinct from the competition. By following the above barbershop logo design fundamentals, you can create an eye-catching logo that attracts customers and encourages brand loyalty.

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If you enjoyed reading this article on barbershop logo ideas, you should check out this one about beauty salon logo ideas.

We also wrote about a few related subjects like barbershop names, salon cancellation policy examples, best salon slogans, how to get more clients in a salon and beauty and hair salon statistics.

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Have you seen the red, white, and blue revolving barber pole outside your favorite Orangevale barbershop? Most people know that those poles represent barbershops, but did you know there is actually a secret oft forgotten meaning behind them?? You won’t believe what they really used to represent!

When we think of a classic striped barber pole, most of us think of barbershop quintets and clean haircuts. However, the true meaning of the barber pole is far darker than you might imagine.

Barbers Were the Original Doctors

It is believed that barbering dates back to Ancient Egypt days, circa 5000 B.C. Barbering could be considered one of the oldest skilled trades, as they had to be adept at using sharp tools, which eventually became razors, to perform their work. In fact, barbers evolved to do much more than just cut hair. During the Middle Ages, they were actually referred to as “Barber-Surgeons”.

The local Barber Surgeon was responsible for grooming, dressing, and styling men, as well as performing surgery and dentistry. Their skill and steady hand with a razor was indispensable in treating soldiers injured in the battlefield, and Barber Surgeons were often relied on to perform difficult and often gruesome procedures, like amputations, that physicians were not willing to do.

Blood Letting and Teeth Pulling

Around the Middle Ages, Barber Surgeons quickly evolved to become an important part of the community. In addition to having the skill to perform difficult surgeries, Barbers would perform “blood letting” and teeth pulling! Blood letting is a medical procedure that uses leeches to “cure” patients of blood disease. How effective it was is debatable, however, there is no denying that the job of a Barber Surgeon was bloody and messy.

United Barbering Co Orangevale-blood letting

Soon the “Barber Shop” became the place to go for everything from a haircut to medical help. This is where the barber pole comes into play.

A Bloody Good Time

One origin story of the barber pole says that Barber Surgeons would hang their blood stained rags out on a post to dry. People would see these red and white rags hanging outside a building and know that a Barber Surgeon was nearby.

It is believed that as this symbol became synonymous with the profession, it started to be used as a formal tool and display by Barber Surgeons. Barber Surgeons designed wooden poles with a bowl on top to hold leeches, and painted red and white to let people know of their services. Additionally, it is told that the pole was used for patients to grip tight during blood letting, which encouraged the flow of blood.

Some barber poles have red, white, and blue stripes. In America, people believe that the blue is included to represent the American flag. However, other historical records suggest that as the professions of “Barber” and “Doctor/Surgeon” began to split, blue was used to represent physician services.

Modern Barber with Classic Roots

Today, a Barber can no longer practice medical procedures. However, a “Barber” is still a very specific trade, that requires specific training, tools, and licensing, different than a “Hairdresser”, for example. In fact, only a licensed Barber can use a straight razor.

United Barbering Co. is Orangevale’s classic barbershop, complete with a classic barber pole, and modernized for today’s customer. While we can’t perform any dental work or bloodletting (thank goodness!), we can provide you with a clean, modern haircut and shave, as well as recommend hair products to keep you looking your best. BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT NOW

Barber Shop Badge - Illustrator Speedart - German - Wildfire Graphics

Barber's pole

A software rendering of a spinning barber pole
Barber shop in Torquay, Devon, England, with red and white pole

A barber's pole is a type of sign used by barbers to signify the place or shop where they perform their craft. The trade sign is, by a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages, a staff or pole with a helix of colored stripes (often red and white in many countries, but usually red, white and blue in the United States). The pole may be stationary or may rotate, often with the aid of an electric motor.[1][2]

A "barber's pole" with a helical stripe is a familiar sight, and is used as a secondary metaphor to describe objects in many other contexts. For example, if the shaft or tower of a lighthouse has been painted with a helical stripe as a daymark, the lighthouse could be described as having been painted in "barber's pole" colors.

Origin in barbering and surgery[edit]

Antique red and blue striped pole in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, United States

During medieval times, barbers performed surgery on customers, as well as tooth extractions. The original pole had a brass wash basin at the top (representing the vessel in which leeches were kept) and bottom (representing the basin that received the blood). The pole itself represents the staff that the patient gripped during the procedure to encourage blood flow.[3]

At the Council of Tours in 1163, the clergy was banned from the practice of surgery.[4] From then, physicians were clearly separated from the surgeons and barbers. Later, the role of the barbers was defined by the College de Saint-Côme et Saint-Damien, established by Jean Pitard in Paris circa 1210,[5] as academic surgeons of the long robe and barber surgeons of the short robe.

In Renaissance-era Amsterdam, the surgeons used the colored stripes to indicate that they were prepared to bleed their patients (red), set bones or pull teeth (white), or give a shave if nothing more urgent was needed (blue).[6]

After the formation of the United Barber Surgeon's Company in England, a statute required the barber to use a red and white pole and the surgeon to use a red pole. In France, surgeons used a red pole with a basin attached to identify their offices. Blue often appears on poles in the United States, possibly as a homage to its national colors. Another, more fanciful interpretation of these barber pole colors is that red represents arterial blood, blue is symbolic of venous blood, and white depicts the bandage.[7]

Prior to 1950, there were four manufacturers of barber poles in the United States. In 1950, William Marvy of St. Paul, Minnesota, started manufacturing barber poles. Marvy made his 50,000th barber pole in 1967, and, by 2010, over 82,000 had been produced.[8] The William Marvy Company is now the sole manufacturer of barber poles in North America, and sells only 500 per year (compared to 5,100 in the 1960s).[9] In recent years, the sale of spinning barber poles has dropped considerably, since few barber shops are opening, and many jurisdictions prohibit moving signs. Koken of St. Louis, Missouri, manufactured barber equipment such as chairs and assorted poles in the 19th century.

As early as 1905, use of the poles was reported to be "diminishing" in the United States.[10]

In Forest Grove, Oregon, the "World's Tallest Barber Shop Pole" measures 72 feet (22 m).[11]

The consistent use of this symbol for advertising was analogous to an apothecary's show globe, a tobacconist's cigar store Indian and a pawn broker's three gold balls.

Use in barbering[edit]

Possibly as early as the later Roman Empire, and certainly continuing through the Renaissance into Industrialization (maybe even until the 1700s in some places) a "barber-surgeon" also performed tooth extraction, cupping, leeching, bloodletting, enemas, amputations, etc. However, today's barber poles represent little more than being a barber shop that cuts hair and does shaves.[12] Barber poles have actually become a topic of controversy in the hairstyling business.

In some American states, such as Michigan in March 2012, legislation has emerged proposing that barber poles should only be permitted outside barbershops, but not traditional beauty salons. Barbers and cosmetologists have engaged in several legal battles claiming the right to use the barber pole symbol to indicate to potential customers that the business offers haircutting services. Barbers claim that they are entitled to exclusive rights to use the barber pole because of the tradition tied to the craft, whereas cosmetologists think that they are equally capable of cutting men's hair (though many cosmetologists are not permitted to use razors, depending on their state's laws).[13]

Use in prostitution[edit]

In South Korea, barber's poles are used both for actual barbershops and for brothels.[14] Brothels disguised as barbershops, referred to as 이발소 (ibalso) or 미용실 (miyongsil), are more likely to use two poles next to each other, often spinning in opposite directions, though the use of a single pole for the same reason is also quite common.[15] Actual barbershops, or 미용실 (miyongsil), are more likely to be hair salons; to avoid confusion, they will usually use a pole that shows a picture of a woman with flowing hair on it with the words hair salon written on the pole.

Visual illusion[edit]

A spinning barber's pole in front of a barber shop in Tokyo, Japan (video)

See also: Barberpole illusion and Strange loop

A spinning barber pole creates a visual illusion, in which the stripes appear to be traveling up or down the length of the pole,[16] rather than around it.[17]

Other uses of the term[edit]

Visual similarity[edit]

Referential naming[edit]

Animal husbandry[edit]

Haemonchus contortus, or "barber's pole worm", is the parasitic nematode responsible for anemia, bottle jaw, and death of infected sheep[23] and goats, mainly during summer months in warm, humid climates.[24][25] Humans may become infected by the worms.[26]


Stenopus hispidus is a shrimp-like popcorn kernel decapodcrustacean sometimes called the "barber pole shrimp". See also Stenopodidea.


In the insect world, there is the barber pole grasshopper, Dactylotum bicolor.[27] It is also known as the "painted grasshopper" and is said to be the "most beautiful" grasshopper.[28]


Because of its bright bands and colors, the redbanded rockfish Sebastes babcocki is referred to as "barber pole". Other pseudonyms include bandit, convict, canary, Hollywood, and Spanish flag.[29]


The old-fashioned American stick candy is sometimes also referred to as "barber pole candy" due to its colorful, swirled appearance. (See also candy cane.) "Candy stripe" is a generic description of the candy cane color scheme. Among many other names, the candy has been called Polkagris.[30]

Computer science[edit]

In user interface design, a barber pole-like pattern is used in progress bars when the wait time is indefinite. It is intended to be used like a throbber to tell the user that processing is continuing, although it is not known when the processing will complete.

Barber pole is also sometimes used to describe a text pattern where a line of text is rolled left or right one character on the line below. The CHARGEN service generates a form of this pattern. It is used to test RAM, hard disks and printers. A similar pattern is also used in secure erasure of media.[citation needed]


The strength and direction of magnetic fields and electric currents can be measured using a "magnetoresistive barber-pole sensor" (also called a "hermetic proximity sensor"), and its performance can be depicted using a mathematical formula.[31] Such a sensor interleaves a series of permanent magnet strips with a series of magnetoresistive strips. The "conductive barberpole strips are canted across the sensor and connect one magnetoresistive strip, over a permanent magnet strip, to another magnetoresistive strip." This is said to provide a "uniform magnetic field throughout the sensor" thereby enhancing its resistance to external magnetic fields.[32] The technology is used in wireless sensor networks which "have gathered a lot of attention as an important research domain" and were "deployed in many applications, e.g., navigation, military, ambient intelligence, medical, and industrial tasks. Context-based processing and services, in particular location-context, are of key interest ..."[33] (See Music (acoustic illusion), infra.)

Aviation and space flight[edit]

The term on the barber pole is pilot jargon that refers to flying an aircraft at the maximum safe velocity. The airspeed Indicator on aircraft capable of flying at altitude features a red/white striped needle resembling a barber pole. This needle displays the VMO (Maximum Operating Velocity) or—at altitude—the MMO (Mach Limit Maximum Operating Speed) of the aircraft.[34] This needle also indicates the maximum operating Mach number above the VMO/MMO changeover level. As the aircraft increases in altitude and the air decreases in density and temperature, the speed of sound also decreases. Close to the speed of sound, an aircraft becomes susceptible to buffeting caused by shock waves produced by flying at transonic speeds. Thus, as the speed of sound decreases, so the maximum safe operating speed of the aircraft is reduced. The "barber pole" needle moves to indicate this speed. Flying "on the barber pole" therefore means to be flying the aircraft as fast as is safe to do so in the current conditions.[35]

Barberpole is a phrase used to describe the striped output of indicators used during the Apollo and Shuttle programs. Typically an indicator was positioned below a switch. When the switch was activated and the activation indeed performed, the resulted activation was talked back via a separated electrical line to the barberpole indicator to show a grey and white striped pattern, thus verifying the action to the astronaut. Such switches with barberpole indicators were called talkback switches. Various indicators in the Apollo Command Modules indicated barberpole when the corresponding system was inactive. Astronaut Jim Lovell can also be found describing system indications as "barber poled" in the transcript of radio transmissions during the Apollo 13 accident.[36]

The phrase barberpole continues to be found in many subsystem descriptions in the Space Shuttle News Reference Manual,[37] as well as the NASA/KSC Acronym List.[38]

During World War I and World War II, the pattern has also been used as an insignia for aircraft identification.[39]Spad XIIIs of the 94th Aero SquadronUSAS in early 1919 used variations on barber pole patterns including: 'Barber Pole' of Lt Dudley 'Red' Outcault; S.16546 'Flag Bus' of Captain Reed Chambers; and 'Rising Sun' of Lt John Jeffers.[40]


Used in flyfishing, Au Sable River guide Earl Madsen's "Madsen's Barber pole" is a traditional Michigan fly in the form of a "Stonefly" imitation "with grizzly hackle tip wings tied in a downwing fashion".[41]Photo of Madsen's Barber Pole Fly, parachute form.


The phrase barber pole is derisive jargon in craps, and refers to the commingling of "gaming cheques of different denominations". Wagers that combine different denominations are "supposed to be stacked with the highest denomination at the bottom".[42][43]


  • The Screaming Eagles 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Command ParachuteDemonstration Team, which operates out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, executes a "barber pole maneuver" (also known as "the Baton Pass") during demonstrations.[44] Two jumpers leave the aircraft and fly their bodies together to link while in free fall. "Once together they will then exchange a wooden baton ... [and] maneuver their bodies ... to create the illusion of a giant barber pole in the sky."[44]
  • Alternatively, a "Four Man Star" can "Hook Up" and then the formation rotates to the right, creating a "Barber Pole" effect with use of trailing smoke.[45]
  • Another parachuting use of the term describes having a mess of lines tangled "behind your head and you have to cut away your main chute and pull your reserve."[46]



Red or rubric posts were sometimes used by booksellers in England prior to 1800. William Roberts reports in The Book Hunter in London that certain 18th-century bookshops in the Little Britain district of London sported such poles:

A few years before Nichols published [in 1816] his Literary Anecdotes, two booksellers used to sport their rubric posts close to each other here in Little Britain, and these rubric posts were once as much the type of a bookseller's shop as the pole is of a barber's ... Sewell, Cornhill, and Kecket and De Hondt, Strand, were among the last to use these curious trade signs.[51]

Border and lane markers[edit]

Canadian Naval group[edit]

The famous Barber Pole Group was originally a group of 120 Flower-class corvettes built in Canada during World War II, and charged primarily with protecting freighter convoys. The original group was Escort Group C-3. This group of ships, with its red and white barber pole stripes painted on the funnel, is still represented in the current Royal Canadian Navy: all Atlantic fleet ships wear this insignia. HMCS Sackville is the last remaining Flower-class corvette.[52][53][54]

Daymarks as a navigational aid[edit]


  • In the 1896–97 season, the Ottawa Senators first adopted the "barber pole" design for their hockey jersey, with which the team became identified. The design featured strong horizontal stripes of red, black and white; white pants; and red, white and black striped stockings. This basic design would be used for the rest of the organization's existence, except for the 1909–1910 season. In that season, the stripes were vertical and Montreal fans nicknamed the team derisively as les suisses, a slang term for chipmunk.[59] In the 1929–30 season, the club added the "O" logo to the chest of the jersey.[60] The "barber-pole" uniform was later adopted by the Ottawa 67's junior hockey team.
  • The National Hockey League's Montreal Canadiens had a barber pole or "barber shop" design jersey for the year 1912–1913.[61][62][63]
  • In the 1920s and 1930s, beginning in the 1927–28 season, the Senators, Boston Bruins, Montreal Maroons, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Cougars, and Toronto Maple Leafs had a barber's pole variation in their jerseys. Meanwhile, the New York Americans, wore "basically ... the United States flag as a jersey." The style endured, but in the 1938–39 season, the Blackhawks were the last to have a barber pole jersey in the traditional sense. The Hawks retired their barber pole at the end of the 1954–55 season.[61]
  • In junior ranks, the Chicoutimi Saguenéens and the Ottawa 67's use them in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) and Ontario Hockey League (OHL). During their existence in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association, the Seattle Metropolitans wore a red/white/green striped design: this has occasionally been brought back by the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League (WHL) to honor the history of hockey in the city.
  • The style remained dormant until the National Hockey League's 75th anniversary, when Chicago wore replicas of their barber-pole sweaters as part of the league's celebrations. Since then, Montreal has also worn barber-pole replicas during their centenary season, and the design has become popular with amateur teams. See NHL uniform and Throwback uniform.


The "Barberpole Cat" group, a/k/a "Polecats"—perhaps a portmanteau of "barber's pole" and "catalogue"—is an essential repertoire of 12 songs that every barber shop quartet should know.[64] The Barberpole Cat Program[65] was created many years ago and features popular Barbershop songs arranged and voiced so all singers can learn and participate. For decades these have been the standard arrangements where singers can meet at conventions and sing together having never met before.

The songs in this collection are:

  • "Give Me Your Hand; Ring, Ring the Banjo".
  • "Down by the Old Mill Stream" (by Tell Taylor)
  • "Down Our Way" (by Al Stedman & Fred Hughes, arr. Floyd Connett)
  • "Honey/Little 'Lize-Medley" (Traditional, arr. Floyd Connett)
  • "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" (words by Beth Slater Whitson, music by Leo Friedman)
  • "My Wild Irish Rose" (words and music by Chauncey Olcott, arr. Floyd Connett)
  • "On Moonlight Bay"
  • "Shine on Me"
  • "The Story of the Rose" ("Heart of My Heart")
  • "Sweet Adeline (You're the Flower of My Heart)"
  • "Sweet and Lovely" (by Norm Starks, arr. Mac Huff)
  • "Sweet, Sweet Roses of Morn" (Oscar F. Jones and Martin S. Peake 1915)
  • "Wait 'Til the Sun Shines, Nellie" (by Andrew B. Sterling and Harry Von Tilzer, arr Warren "Buzz" Haeger)
  • "You Tell Me Your Dream (I'll Tell You Mine)"

The Polecats have had a version 2.0 with additional songs added.

Music (acoustic illusion)[edit]

See also: Shepard tone, tritone paradox, and pitch circularity

See also Buchla 200 series Electric Music Box and Buchla 200e.


Barbasol cans use a barber pole motif.[71][72][73] The can's motif is a registered trademark of Barbasol.[74][B]

See also[edit]


  1. ^Used to keep the end of a rope from fraying and said to resemble a barber's pole. Though highly decorative, and historically one of the most common knots, on a modern yacht it is almost unused and unknown.[20]
  2. ^"Barbasol Co. v. Jacobs. No. 8969" (full text). 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, 160 F.2d 336. 1947. Retrieved 15 December 2010.


  1. ^"Barber Pole". Webster's New World College Dictionary. Cleveland: Wiley Publishing. 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  2. ^Smith, Kate. "Why Barber Poles are Red and White". Sensational Color. Archived from the original on 29 November 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  3. ^van Helmont, Chandler, Jan, J. (1644). Van Helmont's Workes, containing his ... Philosophy, Physick, Chirurgery, Anatomy... done into English by J. C. pp. 504–516.
  4. ^MacNalty, Sir Arthur Salusbury (1 December 1945). "The Renaissance and its Influence on English Medicine, Surgery and Public Health". British Medical Journal. London: British Medical Association. 2 (4430): 755–759. doi:10.1136/bmj.2.4430.755. JSTOR 20364730. PMC 2060364. PMID 20786422.
  5. ^Quesnay, François; Bellial des Vertus, François (1749). Histoire de l'origine et des progrès de la chirurgie en France [History of the Origin and Progress of Surgery in France] (in French). Paris: Ganeau. p. 41.
  6. ^Wallace, Robert (1968). The World of Rembrandt: 1606–1669. New York: Time-Life Books. p. 62.
  7. ^Nix, Elizabeth (25 June 2014). "Why are barber poles red, white and blue?". Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  8. ^"About Us". William Marvy Company. 2010. Archived from the original on 14 November 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  9. ^Censky, Annalyn (2007). "Last of Their Kind: From Barber Poles to Limburger Cheese, These 5 Companies are the Last Left in America Making Iconic Products now in their Twilight.". Archived from the original on 11 October 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  10. ^Tunis, Edwin. (1905). Colonial Craftsmen and the Beginnings of American Industry. Cleveland and New York: World Publishing. p. 42. ISBN . Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  11. ^Kirby, Doug; Smith, Ken; Wilkins, Mike (2010). "Forest Grove, Oregon: World's Tallest Barber Shop Pole". Novato, California: Roadside America. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  12. ^"History of the Barber - Barber Schools".
  13. ^"Banning Barber Poles at Michigan Salons? - Barber Schools".
  14. ^Moon, Katharine Hyung-Sun (1997). Sex Among Allies: Military Prostitution in U.S.–Korea Relations. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 45. ISBN . Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  15. ^Trecker, Jamie (2007). Love and Blood: At the World Cup with the Footballers, Fans, and Freaks. Orlando: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 13. ISBN . Retrieved 14 November 2010.
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  17. ^Massaro, Dominic W., ed. (Spring 2007). "Book Reviews: What Are Musical Paradox and Illusion?"(PDF). American Journal of Psychology. University of California, Santa Cruz. 120 (1): 123–170, 124, 132.
  18. ^Coe, Steven R. (2007). Nebulae and how to observe them. Phoenix, Arizona: Springer Science Media. p. 116. ISBN . Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  19. ^Powell, Kendall (15 July 2009). "Cell biology: Ahead of the curve – Cellular life is all slopes, arcs and circles – but there is much debate about how these curves are built"(PDF). Nature. 460 (7253): 460, 318–320. doi:10.1038/460318a. PMID 19606122. S2CID 205047888. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  20. ^"Double Matthew Walker Knot"(animation). animated knots by Grog. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  21. ^Ji, Q; Ji, S (1996). "On discovery of the earliest bird fossil in China and the origin of birds". Chinese Geology. 10 (233): 30–33.
  22. ^Stone, Richard (December 2010). "Dinosaurs' Living Descendants". Smithsonian. Smithsonian Institution: 60. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
  23. ^"Barber's Pole Worm (Haemonchus contortus)". Sydney: Australian Wool Innovation. 2010. Archived from the original on 30 April 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  24. ^Burke, Joan (February 2005). "Management of Barber Pole Worm in Sheep and Goats in the Southern U.S"(PDF). Small Farms Research Update. Booneville, Arkansas: U.S. Department of Agriculture Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center.
  25. ^Schoenian, Susan (15 February 2005). "Diseases: Worms". Sheep 101.
  26. ^"Barberpole worms in Humans". Daily 23 November 2010. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  27. ^Marlos, Daniel (16 September 2010). "Barber Pole Grasshopper". What's That Bug?. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  28. ^Thiret, Beth (9 September 2010). "Ugh: What to do about Grasshoppers". The Recorder. Berthoud, Colorado. Archived from the original on 28 December 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2010..
  29. ^"Redbanded rockfish". Alaska Fisheries Science Center. National Marine Fisheries ServiceNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
  30. ^"Candy Cane". The Titi Tudorancea Bulletin, English Edition. 7 October 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  31. ^Tuman'skia, S.; Stabrowskia, M. (August 1985). "The Optimization and Design of Magnetoresistive Barber-Pole Sensors". Sensors and Actuators. Lausanne, Switzerland: NATO Advanced Study Institute on Chemically Sensitive Electronic Devices. 7 (4): 285–295. doi:10.1016/0250-6874(85)80008-1. ISSN 0250-6874.
  32. ^US patent 5737156, Bonyhard, Peter I., "Barberpole MR sensor having interleaved permanent magnet and magnetoresistive segments", published 1998-04-07, assigned to Seagate Technology, Inc. 
  33. ^Carrella, Stefano; Iswandy, Kuncup; Lutz, Kai; King, Andreas (18–19 May 2010). "3D-Localization of Low-Power Wireless Sensor Nodes Based on AMR-Sensors in Industrial and AmI Applications"(CD-ROM). Sensoren und Messsysteme 2010. Vorträge der 15. ITG/GMA-Fachtagung. Nuremberg: Berlin Offenbach. ISBN . Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  34. ^"McGraw Hill Dictionary of Aviation". McGraw Hill. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
  35. ^Avery, Rob. "The Conventional Airspeed Indicator". Archived from the original on 4 May 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  36. ^"Detailed Chronology of Events Surrounding the Apollo 13 Accident". Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  37. ^NSTS 1988 News Reference Manual. Kennedy Space Center: National Aeronautic and Space Administration. 31 August 2000 [Original print date September 1988].
  38. ^Grinter, Kay; Rybe, Jeanne (20 February 2009). "NASA/KSC Acronym List". Kennedy Space Center: National Aeronautic and Space Administration. Archived from the original on 6 November 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  39. ^"North American P-51 Mustang/F-51 Cavalier—USA". Wing's Palette. Russia. 12 August 2010. Archived from the original on 19 October 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  40. ^Pearson, Bob (September 2000). "The "Showbirds" of Spad XIIIs of the 94th Aero Squadron USAS". Internet Modeler.
  41. ^"A 'Michigan Original,' Tier Jerry Regan brings AuSable Lore to Livonia"(PDF). The Evening Hatch. Michigan Fly Fishing Club: 1–2. May 2005. Archived from the original(PDF) on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  42. ^Cameron, Scott (2010). "Craps Lingo". CasinoDealers. Archived from the original on 10 July 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
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  46. ^Scott, Royce E. "Bo" (July–August 1988). "Jump School at Fort Benning"(PDF). Screaming Eagle Magazine. Archived from the original(PDF) on 30 November 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  47. ^"A Comprehensive Glossary of Weather Terms for Storm Spotters". NOAA Technical Memorandum NWS SR-145. Norman, Oklahoma: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
  48. ^"Glossary". Tornado Archived from the original on 30 November 2010. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  49. ^"The Majestic Supercell – Barber pole photograph". Verden, Oklahoma: Roger's Sky Pix. 3 April 2003. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  50. ^Krohn, Dennis (March 2008). "USGS Extreme Storm Team Receives Christmas Week Tour of NOAA Aircraft Facility". Archived from the original on 28 August 2017. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
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  57. ^"Save our Lights" license plate
  58. ^Kirby, Doug; Smith, Ken; Wilkins, Mike (2010). "Buxton, North Carolina—America's Tallest Lighthouse—Climb It". Novato, California: Roadside America. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
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  60. ^Kitchen (2008), p. 303
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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]


Shop logo barber pole

Barber poles are one of those icons that everyone recognizes. The red, white (and in the U.S., blue) stripes rotating around a pole outside a shop lets everyone know that this is a good place to get a haircut.

While most everyone recognizes this symbol immediately, you might not know what it actually means. As it turns out, the meaning behind the barber pole and its colors have a rather gruesome history that may just surprise you.

The Grisly History of The Barber Pole

Back in the Middle Ages, barbers did a lot more than haircuts and shaves. Barbers also offered certain medical services, like bloodletting.

This procedure was usually performed by a monk, with barbers providing assistance because they had not only the sharp tools for the job but the skills to use them. Bloodletting was used to treat all kinds of ailments, from the simple, like sore throats, to more dangerous illnesses like the plague. The thinking was that too much blood in one area or another of the body led to these illnesses, so removing some of it would surely make people better.

Fun Fact: The word “barber” comes from the Latin word “barba,” meaning beard.

You may be asking yourself, why on earth would this gruesome task become the sole territory of barbers? A decree issued in 1163 by Pope Alexander III prevented monks from doing bloodletting. And surgeons often wouldn’t do “simple” tasks like bloodletting as they considered it too mundane.

So barbers took up the torch, along with other procedures like tooth extraction, and treatment for wounds and broken bones. In fact, barbers became known as “barber-surgeons” because of the broad range of services they offered. This continued until the mid to late 18th century, when treatments like bloodletting began to fall out of fashion.

A barber's pole of red and white on the side of a building

The Meaning Behind The Colors

These “medical” offerings are why barber poles are the colors they are: the red was meant to represent blood, while the white symbolized the bandages used to halt the bleeding.

The colors are wrapped around a stick because this represents the staves that patients would grip in order to make the veins of their arms stand out. When the procedure was finished, barber-surgeons would wash the bandages (though they were usually still bloodstained), wrap them around the staff, and place them outside to dry.

Of course, at first, barber-surgeons used other symbols to advertise their services to a largely illiterate public. In London, for instance, barbers would often place bowls of blood in their windows as an advertisement. Yikes!

Pretty chilling! However, a 1307 law banned this practice, which meant that barbers needed to find another way. The red-and-white striped pole rapidly became the symbol of barber-surgeons afterward. Some barber poles also have basins on the top, and these are meant to represent the dish that the bloodletting leeches were kept in. Yikes!

What about the blue stripe?

In Europe, barber poles are red and white, so the blue stripe is a United States addition. Some historians say that the blue stripe represents the color of veins, but the more likely story is that red, white, and blue became the standard as a show of patriotism.

So next time you’re heading to the barber for a trim, remember the gruesome history behind the colors of the pole.

Keep Exploring

Why Barbers have a Pole outside their Shop

The barber pole’s colors are a legacy of a (thankfully) long-gone era when people went to barbers not just for a haircut or shave but also for bloodletting and other medical procedures. During the Middle Ages bloodletting, which involves cutting open a vein and allowing blood to drain, was a common treatment for a wide range of maladies, from sore throat to plague. Monks, who often cared for the sick, performed the procedure, and barbers, given their skill with sharp instruments, sometimes provided assistance. After Pope Alexander III in 1163 prohibited clergymen from carrying out the procedure, barbers added bloodletting—something physicians of the day considered necessary but too menial to do themselves–to their repertoires. Known as barber-surgeons, they also took on such tasks as pulling teeth, setting bones and treating wounds. Ambroise Pare, a 16th-century Frenchman considered the father of modern surgery, started his career as a barber-surgeon.

The look of the barber pole is linked to bloodletting, with red representing blood and white representing the bandages used to stem the bleeding. The pole itself is said to symbolize the stick that a patient squeezed to make the veins in his arm stand out more prominently for the procedure. In Europe, barber poles traditionally are red and white, while in America, the poles are red, white and blue. One theory holds that blue is symbolic of the veins cut during bloodletting, while another interpretation suggests blue was added to the pole as a show of patriotism and a nod to the nation’s flag.

By the mid-1500s, English barbers were banned from providing surgical treatments, although they could continue extracting teeth. Both barbers and surgeons, however, remained part of the same trade guild until 1745. While bloodletting largely fell out of favor with the medical community in the 19th century, it’s still used today to treat a small number of conditions.


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