Design Vocabulary: Chevron
Today’s Design Vocabulary is an easy one to learn. You can probably already think of a great example of a chevron.
Yep! That’s an example of a chevron. In the logo, not the fuel station part. A chevron is a “V” shape, with the point of the “V” facing down or up. It can be used individually or in a connecting line, forming a zig-zag pattern. Simple, right? In fact, you probably see more chevrons than you realize. Here’s an example of a military insignia with chevrons:
This is the rank insignia of a Gunnery Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. (Semper Fi! Thank you for your service!) Chevrons in military use are linked back through history to chevrons in heraldry.
Can you see the chevrons in the bottom left corner of the shield? In heraldry, the chevron traditionally symbolizes a builder or someone who has performed faithful service. There are also chevrons used in architecture. Here is one version, which is used decoratively.
Here is another version, used structurally.
Can you see how those ceiling ribs come to a lovely point? Those chevron ribs, or arches, help to distribute the weight of the roof. You find these in many medieval churches because they were a savvy architectural solution for their day.
As you can see, chevrons are an old shape that have been used for centuries. Recently, there has been a big surge of popularity for chevrons in home design. (For those of you who want sources for these decor items, I’ve linked all the pictures below directly to their online catalog pages. Happy shopping!)
So now you know how to spot a chevron pattern like an expert. You can read a home/design magazine and exclaim with authority, “These chevrons are everywhere this year!” Do you like a chevron pattern? Where would you put one in your home?