American Red Cross Iconathon Review

A couple weeks ago we had the pleasure of creating symbols on the topic of Urban Disaster Preparedness with some great volunteers and the fine folks of the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C..

Omar Abou-Samra (Senior Technical Advisor for the Global Disaster Preparedness Center), Ian O’Donnell (Senior Information Architect for the Global Disaster Preparedness Center), and Robert Banick (GIS Coordinator for International Services) kicked us off with great presentations on how the Red Cross uses symbols to communicate complex concepts to populations that speak different languages, as well as on maps used internally to quickly organize and summarize important information in times of disaster response.

We worked on symbols for concepts like Evacuation Route, Food Shortage, High Ground, and Earthquake.

At the end of the Iconathon, everyone gathered up to share their opinions and views on what designs best represented a given concept.


Thank you to everyone who came out and participated, and the Red Cross for hosting the Iconathon in such a beautiful historic space!

More photos from the event are on Flickr.

The original artwork from the American Red Cross headquarters: “The Spirit of America” by Howard Chandler Christy (1873-1952).

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