Wolves are feared by people in general mainly because of their predator impression and vicious appeal. Also, if you put their historical background into consideration—dire wolves, the prehistoric type of wolf, would prey on animals as huge as a woolly mammoth—their reputation as horrifying creatures strengthens. Even if dire wolves have already exited the earth just like their enormous prey, the universal opinion on these wild creatures remain unchanged until today.
However, in the design spectrum, wolves are loved as much as some domestic or common animals because while they are known to be vicious, they have also earned their reputation as noble leaders, great warriors, and protectors of the innocents in the animal kingdom.
Here are select wolf design silhouettes we strongly recommend if you are planning to use a wolf design for any project.
Just like any other being, wolves represent special social symbolism. In some cases, wolves symbolize bravery and leadership.
In some cultures, wolves may also be associated with loyalty—the same symbolism that they share with elephants. But when we look at their ancient symbolism, it gets more interesting.
Although they are ancestors of what we now consider man’s best friend, dogs, there is a very significant difference by how these two creatures are perceived and treated by society.
In Europe during the medieval period, wolves were seen as instruments of the devil. So before we fell head over heels for Jacob Black in the Twilight series, wolves were highly avoided and feared because of the wild stories that were passed around during this time. Especially in Finland, where accounts of battle between the people and the wolves were noted to be true.
In most story books, television shows, and other media platforms, wolves are mostly portrayed as the bad guy who people feared so much. But the funny thing is, in reality, wolves are afraid of humans as well.
Other cultures, though, perceive wolves in a positive light. Native Americans believe that wolves were sent by spirits to become human’s guide through life, which is why they see wolves as a totem animal or a sacred creature. In some of the legends, it is told that wolves were given great powers by the Great Spirits, which makes them superior to other animals.
Wolves are also looked up for their strong family orientation. They are studied to be very caring parents to their cubs, and parent wolves are noted to be very protective and defensive over their tribe.
Some articles suggest wolves are one of the most misunderstood “beasts” in the planet, but it is inevitable to have different perceptions of these wild creatures based on our cultural background, or if applicable, our personal experiences with them. But wolves have always kept their position on hierarchy of animals—these guys are at the higher ups—and people who want to embody their leadership and bravery often make them their spirit animal, just like dragons.
In Japan, wolves are called okami and its kanji equivalent is “狼”. When okami is spelled as “大神” which means, “great god” or “highest being”. Coincidence? You decide.