Over the past couple of years, the chasing arrows symbol has been used to represent something that is a lot more than the simple fact that a specific product can be recycled. As such, the symbol has helped the recycling movement to progress in the entire nation.
The symbol was first created by Gary Anderson who was just 22 years old when he designed the symbol in the year 1970. At that time, he was a student at the University of California. This was the year in which the first ever Earth Day was celebrated in the U.S. As an honor to the event, the Container Corporation of America, which is out of operations now, organized a contest in which hundreds of students of all ages participated. All the contestants had to develop a recycling symbol that could be used on various products.
Anderson, who was an architecture student, also entered into the contest along with five hundred other participants. In a recent interview, Anderson told the nation that he had always dreamed of a career in which he was at the head of the architecture and planning industry. As such, the graphics design thing was just sort of a side business which he had taken up for fun.
The main aim behind launching the competition was to create awareness about recycling in the masses. Through the contest, the Container Corporation of America also hoped to actually find a symbol that could be used for all of their products without any need for re-designing.
Anderson’s symbol took inspiration from a design class in which he had been asked to draw an illustration that depicted the recycling of waste matter and other solid objects.
Anderson stated in his interview that he took the idea from several graphics that he had been wanting to explore for quite a long time. He had worked on these graphics before and now decided to finalize his idea. Anderson submitted three different drawings that were only slightly different and the simplest of these won the competition.
The size of the chasing symbol logo is just a quarter of an inch. This was actually a requirement set by the Container Corporation of America. Despite the small dimensions, the symbol had to be legible.
Anderson was not sure if his symbol would be chosen or not because there were so many entries which he thought to be better than his. Despite this, Anderson won and received $2,000 for his efforts.