Badges off and on the silver screen

/ kate.busby

It's not just last night's Oscar winner who knows how to roll with a badge.


Many A-list celebrities have quietly wised up to the slickest, quickest way to convey brief, powerful messages to the entire world.

And skilfully get their voices heard loud and clear across social media.

As well as use them for the ultimate tool of seduction: silence.

Aside from their influence off-screen, badges have long been the prop par excellence of many a film director, bringing those magic details to the silver screen beloved of the movie buffs. How many of these did you know about?

Foree Electric could not have boasted a less competent employee, but spoof horror flick Shaun of the Dead (2004) was a mine of subtle references conveyed by, among other props, Shaun Riley's humble name badge. His company was named after Dawn of the Dead (1974) star Ken Foree.

Badges enjoyed a revival in the 1980s and decorate the denim lapels of Marty McFly in the Back to the Future trilogy. Featured is Marty's Art in Revolutionbadge, whose design is spookily similar to that of an exhibition of Soviet art and design that took place at London’s Hayward Gallery in 1971.

Another more obvious socialist reference appears in Taxi Driver (1976) with an unapologetic Travis Bickle looking every part the proud working man in Martin Scorsese's masterpiece. The tagline proved eerily prophetic: over a decade later, Germans would take to the streets under the banner 'We Are the People' to spark the protests that would lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Want to recreate these badges or make one of your own? Visit our gallery now and get customising!

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