VH1 + / Betsy and Iya earrings / Topshop Crosses Jumper / E! Entertainment / Golden Child Watch / She Inside Pink Sweater / H&M Patterned Pants / F21 Boxy Cross Print Top /
Ed Sheeran / Denim Dress / Pia Wallen Blanket
The trend of these positive signs is running wild -- and I, for one, love it. (I received that gorgeous Pia Wallen blanket as a gift for Christmas and I've even made and strung this positive-sign bunting across my apartment wall. And I have those pants. And a desire for everything else in the photo. Ha!) And back in the fall, when I published Stay Positive: A Book of Daily Reminders from Positively Present, I used the positive sign as a design for the book's cover.
I've been inspired by the plus / positive sign ever since I started reading NubbyTwiglet, back in 2009 or so. She's kind of my graphic design idol and she has a penchant for the swiss cross (and anything cross-shaped). I, too, have fallen in love with the simple yet purposeful look of the positive symbol, two overlapping rectangles or a square with it's corners carved out. But you're not here to listen to me sing the praises of good graphic design.
You're here for some positivity and that's what I think this new trend is all about. Whenever I see one of those little positive signs (or positive sign patterns), quite a few thoughts rush to my mind. I've found that, what used to be a simple, math-class symbol, has now become somewhat of a emblem of positivity for me. I can't say exactly why it's become a mainstream trend (perhaps designers simply grew tired of the ever-popular polka dot...), but I can tell you what it inspires in me every time I spot one:
+ offers up hope.
Whenever I see the positive sign, I feel hopeful. It reminds me that there is always a reason to be positive, to seek out the good in any situation. Most things positive are like that. Positive thoughts, positive affirmations, positive people. They might not make everything better, but they remind us that things can get better. They give us (just like the positive symbol can) a sense of hope, a reason to believe in the positive.
+ means more, not less.
The basic use of the symbol is in math (my least favorite subject, by the way) and it's obviously used to add things, not take them away. When I see the positive sign (especially a pattern of them), I'm reminded of all the good things I have added (and still have yet to add!) to my life. We often focus on what we need to take away, but let positive signs serve as reminder of all the good you've already added.
+ is enthusiastic.
To me, the positive sign seems very enthusiastic. It screams, "Yes!" and "More!" (If you're not sure you agree with this, check out VH1's video about their new look.) Silly as it might sound, the positive sign is life-affirming. It's a reminder that there is more to come and that positive things are bound to happen. It's emblematic of a zest for life, a belief that joie de vivre is a wonderful, true thing.
+ doesn't simplify.
We're all a bit more than what people think we are, aren't we? We are so many things rolled up into one. Take me for example: girl + writer + daughter + sister + friend + girlfriend + dog-lover + book-reader + music-infatuate + typography-nerd + ... the list could go on and on. When I see the positive symbol, I'm reminded of all the things that go into each and every one of us, making us beautifully and fascinatingly complex.
It might seem silly to analyze a fashion or design trend, but when it comes to symbols of positivity, I just couldn't resist. Every time I see a positive sign, I smile and hope that others are seeing the positivity in it. Symbols, as we well know, can have a major impact on our thoughts, which is why I believe it's important to think about them and understand what they mean to us. You might not have the same reaction I do every time I see the positive sign, but hopefully it brightens your spirit in some way and serves as a reminder to stay positive.
See any positive symbols recently?
In the comments section, let me know where you spot them!