FREE SHIPPING AND RETURNS ON ALL ORDERS
Free Delivery for a limited time only Australia wide shipping Free Returns on all orders Afterpay interest-free payments
The Blog
Thursday, 10 May 2018

THE STORY BEHIND THE TARGET


 Almost every movement has a symbol which its members can wear as a badge of honour. A way to identify others as ‘one of them’. For the Mods, this icon was undoubtedly the target.

Now so synonymous with Modernism it’s almost impossible to separate one from the other, the story of the target’s birth and association with the movement is nowhere near as clear cut.

For this week’s blog post, we examine the history of this Mod icon.

 

Mod Target: The Origins

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the target’s origins can be tracked back to the military.

During the First World War, the French aviation authority faced a problem with French troops shooting down their own aircraft. To make it easier to ascertain which plane was their own, a roundel, adorned in the colours of the Tricolore, was added to help distinguish its planes from those of the enemy, to great success.

The Royal Air Force were having similar issues, and added a Union Jack to their plane’s wings to make them stand out from ground level. However, this too didn’t work out as it looked to similar to the decal on the German’s planes from a distance. It ended up being very much a case of if you can’t beat them, join them, and the RAF decided to go for the same symbol as the French planes, but with the blue and red swapped round. A Union Jack was also added to the rudder for an extra hint of Britishness.

 

 

Mod Adoptions

How this symbol was adopted by the Mods is up for debate. While an official story signed off by all parties is yet to be agreed, there is one version of the story that seems fairly plausible.

At the turn of the 60s, pop art started to grow in popularity. American artist Jasper Johns was a frontrunner of the movement, with his work featuring many nationalistic symbols including the target.

Peter Blake was one of the biggest British names on the scene, going on to produce artwork for both the Beatles and Paul Weller among a host of others, and his pop art stylings also used the roundel to great effect.

With the emblem now firmly in the consciousness of those in the know, the story goes that the Who’s management persuaded the band to adopt the logo, adding it to t-shirts and album artwork as they went. As one of the biggest bands on the scene, it was only a matter of time before the target filtered down to the band’s fans, and so the link between Mods and the target was made.

Weller and his band The Jam, the Small Faces, the Kinks and a host of other Mod-influenced bands would also sport the now famous blue, white and red circles, and ever since it’s been heralded as the ultimate calling card of the Mod.

 

 

SHOP THE TARGET TEE

What better way then, to show your allegiance to the Mod cause, than with a t-shirt emblazoned with the target logo. Shop below styles exclusive to the Autumn Winter '18 collection.

 

 

 

 

About The Blog

Welcome to the world of Ben Sherman. Check our blog regularly for campaign reveals, collection launches, VIP events, giveaways and competitions, exclusive interviews,  styling advice and bucketlist-worthy bars, holiday destinations & restaurants. Everything a man needs, all in one place!

Contributors

Post of the Month