BloodRed Earth: Not to be misunderstood as harmful


As I was driving home for Thanksgiving, I pulled up alongside a massive semi truck with this logo on its side.

I couldn’t come up with a more poignant and effective design myself. This says to me: If you use our products, you can help contribute to the eventual murder of the earth, its environment and its inhabitants. The planet is slowly bleeding out like a freshly slaughtered animal. Buy our paint and you can help!

Now, I had a feeling that this wasn’t exactly what SWP (Sherwin-Williams Paint) intended to send out as its message so I did some research. Apparently, SWP uses green products and is actually trying to help the environment, not hurt it. My bad, I clearly misinterpreted the sign. Here is the website certifying SWP products with a GreenSure Designation: http://www.sherwin-williams.com/greensure/index.jsp

  1. #1 by Maggie on December 3, 2010 - 2:48 am

    I actually did TRI report on Sherwin Williams Paint last year, and despite this disturbing logo, they do have some good environmental initiatives going on.
    I researched the SWP plant in Baltimore, Maryland. Through research, interviews, and site visits, I was pleasantly surprised with how Sherwin Williams produces its paint. Stack air emissions are significantly lower than that of other plants researched and no chemicals are released into the Chesapeake Bay. The initiatives going on to “green” paint by eliminating VOCs and other harmful chemicals is definitely catching on.
    Considering how SWP is the largest paint producer in the United States, and among the largest in the world, I find it very inspiring that SWP is making such good strides toward helping reduce its impact. However, I do have to admit that a logo change might be necessary…

  2. #2 by Professor Brylinsky on November 30, 2010 - 7:13 pm

    I was just talking about this with a colleague this morning. She remarked, and I have to agree, that this looks vaguely communist. It also looks like a great supervillian badge.

  3. #3 by krepash on November 30, 2010 - 3:00 am

    I’ve noticed this logo before too (there’s one in front of a hardware store in Carlisle), and always found it mildly horrifying. “Cover the Earth”? Really?

    I considered it the same way you did, and (after previously taking environmental science courses including a course with Professor Greg Howard as a lecturer about toxicity) I only ever thought about pollution when I saw this sign. I always got this horrifying mental image of a formerly pristine stream running brown with various paints. It made me think about how paint products have historically contributed to lead poisoning, how paint byproducts and chemical wastes end up in streams and soils, and how these chemicals can end up in drinking water. Clearly, my environmental studies classes have given me a somewhat dismal outlook.

    I’m glad you posted this to clarify about SWP, but I wonder if they should redesign their logo to represent more green practices, otherwise they might start to look like BP-
    http://ljforestier.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/bpglobe.png

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