Nobody knows where the 'S' symbol we all drew in primary school came from.

It’s a sign we all know well, but evidently few understand.

If you grew up in 1990s Australia, chances are you doodled it all over your pencil case between recess and home time: the famous pointy ‘S’.

The symbol was created through a seemingly ingenious ‘connect the dots’ pattern, where you’d draw two sets of three parallel lines. The lines would then be joined diagonally and left to right before you’d make the final connections in a top and bottom spike.

The ‘S’ remains so beloved, there’s even a Facebook page with almost 300,000 likes dedicated to it.

The process of drawing the symbol might be straightforward, but it’s surrounded by mystery, as nobody can quite place its origins.

As  Vice Australia reports, discussions into the sign’s history place it as a worldwide phenomena with a timeline that purportedly extends back as far as the 1970s (sorry, ’90s kids).

There have been various claims about it being the original logo for a few mainstream companies: surfing brand Stussy, car company Suzuki and even the Superman franchise.

These theories have, however, been smacked back down.

Vice‘s editor Julian Morgans has taken a deep dive into the story behind the ‘S’, going so far as to contact some key minds behind the Superman and Stussy brands.

Watch: Mia Freedman and Leigh Sales share the most important lessons they took from school. (Post continues after video.)


Emmy Coates, who is said to have worked closely with the founder of the Stussy brand, was the first to clear things up.

“No, this is not an original Stussy Logo,” she told Vice.

“I personally get asked this a lot, but people have been drawing this S long before Stussy was established. People have just assumed it was Stussy and it’s sort of spread from there. It’s actually quite amusing.”

Comic library manager Benjamin LeClear was also contacted but similarly denied the ‘heroic’ suggestion.

“It doesn’t look like any of the emblems from the old Superman Shield logos,” he said. (Post continues after gallery.)

“His ‘S’ has a lot of open space and almost never connects to itself.”

It seems the mystery behind the ‘S’ will continue.

But one thing is for certain: it’s one of the great relics of our schooling days, along with ‘Yes’/’No’ erasers, contact wrap that was impossible to apply to your books without forming air bubbles, pencil cases with cut-out letters, and the ‘Match’ game that flawlessly predicted our futures.

It’s certainly a lot to think about, so time to weigh in: what do you think the S represents?

Featured image: supplied