Superpacks. Drones. Gerrymandering. Dark Money. How do you quickly illustrate these concepts in a way that is meaningful and impactful to an audience of different education levels and cultural backgrounds? That was the challenge set out before a group of 60 volunteers at anIconathon The Noun Project hosted at The New York Times back in February. Journalists, editors, graphic designers, web developers and engaged citizens brainstormed and sketched ideas for icons frequently needed throughout news editorials and applications. The goal of creating these symbols is to help guide readers through the in-depth stories investigative journalists help uncover, to provide a graphical shorthand that helps navigate readers through complicated concepts, as well as to help illustrate infographics that help people better understand important facts and correlations.
The final set of 22 Investigative Journalism symbols are now included in the Iconathon suite and available for anyone to use as public domain. We’d like to thank all the attendees who participated in the Iconathon,The New York Times for hosting us in their space, Knight-Mozilla OpenNews for sponsoring, and ProPublica and Hacks/Hackers NYCfor being vital partners in organizing this event.