Rock, Paper, Scissors: the Store!

28 Nov 2006

Over the weekend I noticed this home decor store:

RPS sign

The name is 剪刀·石头·布, which translates literally as “Scissors · Stone · Cloth” and more colloquially as “Rock, Paper, Scissors!” Cool name.

I must take issue with the logo, however. It depicts two hands, which appear to be in scissor and (very weak) paper mode. Where’s the rock? It’s the best! To quote Bart Simpson, “Good ol’ rock. Nothing beats rock.”

Furthermore, there are hearts on the hands in the logo. Hearts? Come on. This shows a profound misunderstanding of the game (or perhaps an underlying cultural rift?). I mean, RPS is an international “sport” with a very competitive annual competition. It’s not about “love,” it’s about all-out psychological warfare. You gotta know your gambits. You gotta know your strategy, because “the game itself is as complex as the mind of your opponent.” The ignorance implicit in the above logo sickens me.

But speaking of crappy logos, the logo on the World RPS Society website is not. The crest on the left is not so noteworthy, but the graphic to the right is at once a nod to early Communist area dynamism as well as to Fountainhead cover graphic sensibilities. I like.

In conclusion: 剪刀·石头·布, your logo sucks, but your heart is in the right place. Rock on.

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but the heart looks a bit lumpy. Are you sure it’s not meant to be the rock?

  2. Rumor has it that the three D’s are at the World RPS competition….

  3. Yeah, the hearts look kind of ragged. Are you sure that the hands haven’t just been perforated by the players’ sheer force of will? Because that’s how I play.

  4. Looking at the picture panels below the RPC, it looks as tho they cleverly used the allusion to RPS but are really involved w/ RPC to create home furnishings. Did you find this place while looking for items for your new abode?

  5. Here in Japan when doing 「じゃんけん」, the パー (paper) is done with the fingers spread as in the picture. In Sweden, we keep the fingers together for påse (bag), and a picture showing that configuration was used on the English and Chinese Wikipedia as well. Is keeping the fingers spread for 布 the norm in China?

  6. Peter,

    I’m pretty sure it’s just lumpy hearts. Why would both hands have rocks in them? Makes no sense.

    (On the other hand, both scissors and cloth probably relate more closely to the store’s offerings, whereas rocks make little sense.)

  7. Tim P,

    I’m not sure what “clever illusion” you’re referring to, but yes, I passed it while furniture shopping.

  8. Tore,

    Good point. It’s one of those little details that I never really paid attention to before. I asked around, and in China apparently the norm is keeping fingers spread (although there’s nothing wrong with having them together). It appears they’re just lazier about their paper/cloth.

  9. Don’t forget that it was not Bart Simpson, but Stalin , who first suggested “nothing beats rock.”

    By refusing to put the rock in the logo, the store is just repudiating Soviet revisionism.

  10. err…I meant Lenin.

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