Salem’s new official logo and slogan were unveiled this week at the annual meeting of Destination Salem, the city’s Office of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. For some time–at least decades and probably a century–there has been an ongoing debate and dialogue among Salem officials, business owners and residents over the marketing of the city, with the central contentious issue being how much emphasis should be placed on the witch trials relative to Salem’s other history. It seems to me that the advocates for a witchcraft-focused civic identity won the debate long ago (after all, Salem is “Witch City”; we have witches on our police cars and our high-school sports teams are called witches), yet it continues and the designers of the new logo were apparently trying to craft a bilateral, flexible image. I see only a witch hat, but the (completely unscientific) survey I conducted with my students yielded mixed results: about two-thirds saw the hat, and a third a sail(boat). Quite a few students made the interesting comment that people outside of our region would only see a witch’s hat, because that is the image that they expect to see associated with Salem.
Is it a witch’s hat or a sailboat?
February 19th, 2011 at 7:19 am
At first I saw a sailboat. It took about 10 seconds before I had “oh, no” moment.
It’s a bat.
February 19th, 2011 at 9:42 am
I for just one split second saw the sailboat—because it so resembles the deservedly much maligned logo on one of our local banks, but the word ‘Salem’ immediately caused it to dissolve into the witch’s hat.
February 19th, 2011 at 9:52 am
Hat, only a hat, no boat, only a hat — I didn’t see the sailboat until I read your text…barely do now. And it’s a bat.
February 19th, 2011 at 10:15 pm
What does it say about me that my immediate thought were to anime-style chihuahuas stomping on a scarab?
February 28th, 2011 at 10:25 pm
I actually saw the sailboat first-then the hat.
For the other, I propose it could be a pair of flying monkeys stealing Dorothy away from Oz??? 😀
August 31st, 2013 at 4:51 pm
[…] Rorschach image from Streets of Salem. […]