designboom history: #1 foam hand designboom history: #1 foam hand
jul 18, 2008

designboom history: #1 foam hand

geral fauss with his first #1 hand prototype – image © designboom

our latest history article features the story of the #1 foam hand invented by the former high school teacher, geral fauss in 1978. since then it has become a universal symbol for the phrase ‘we’re number one’ and is among the most popular pieces of US sports merchandising.

1978 #1 hand protoypes L: the first #1 hand made from plywood – too heavy! R: layered card prototype hand – too fragile!

students rallied around the team and kept a fevered pitch during the playoffs. I knew that
they wanted something ‘big’ to show their spirit…..so I thought , why not a large hand sign.’

GF

variations of the foam hand

my first venture into selling the #1 hands was at the 1978 cotton bowl game. the university
of texas was playing notre dame. I hand cut the #1 hands out of plywood, painted them white,
and used an orange board-marker to hand draw graphics on every hand – they were actually
very professional looking.‘ GF

see the designboom article:

#1 foam hand

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