New Iconathon – “Energy Efficiency” with Cree in Durham, N.C.

On Saturday, February 25th The Noun Project is heading to Durham, N.C. for the first Iconathon of 2012!  If you’re in the area, we’d love for you to join us in creating new symbols for Energy Efficiency.  Space is limited, so please RSVP.

This day-long collaborative design workshop is sponsored by Cree, Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers of LEDs and LED lights.  A few months ago they reached out to us,  bummed that the old incandescent light bulb and the twisty CFL bulb are still the only symbols used to represent lighting.  What’s amazing is that the incandescent light bulb has been around for 132 years, and yet whenever we need to symbolically represent “new” ideas, we still use the old bulb as the go-to symbol (we’ve been guilty of this many times).  But just think of all the innovative strides that have been made in the past 132 years.  Take, for example, the telephone.  If you go through the list of symbols for telephone on our site, you can see a beautiful progression from the candlestick telephone, to the behemoth first portable phones, to finally the new slender and compact iPhones.  Although there may not be so many drastic progressions for the light bulb, one of the symbols we want to design during this Energy Efficiency workshop is a new symbol for LED light – the most energy-efficient lighting to date (about 85% more efficient than incandescent bulbs and mercury-free unlike CFL’s).  How amazing would it be if this new symbol became the “it” symbol for new ideas, progressive thinking, and of course – light, just like the original incandescent light bulb has been for over 100 years?!

Think about how many other symbols we’re lacking that could represent the recent developments in Energy Efficiency.  Can you visualize a symbol for solar farms, weatherized homes, or wind turbines?  These technologies are so new, there just aren’t any easily-recognized symbols for them yet.  And we want to change that.

The event will begin with a presentation about Symbol Design & User Comprehension by Edward Boatman, co-founder & Creative Director of The Noun Project.  Paul Pickard, former head of research and development for Cree lighting, will speak about the important role energy-saving technologies play in conserving energy. Paul and his team designed and commercialized the first commercially viable LED downlight, so he is very passionate about energy-efficiency.  The presentations will be followed by a sponsored lunch, and then it’s on to creating a new set of universally-recognized symbols for Energy Efficiency!

As with all of our previous design workshops, the final set of graphic symbols will be added to the public domain and available for anyone to download for free.  You can see the symbols created during the previous events in the Iconathon symbol suite.

RSVP on EventBrite, or recommend which symbols we should create.

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