Iconathon Recap

The Iconathon held at Cree on February 25, 2012 began with an insightful presentation by Paul Pickard, former head of research and development for Cree Lighting, who spoke on the important role energy-saving technologies play in conserving energy. This was followed by a presentation on user comprehension & symbol design by Edward Boatman, co-founder and creative director of The Noun Project.

After a quick lunch we formed design charrettes where designers, students, artists, environmentalists, and anyone who is passionate about civic design brainstormed and sketched symbols that visually represent concepts frequently needed for energy efficiency. After the first round of sketch ideas and concepts were complete (each group completed about four symbols) we all critiqued the works and picked the favorites. Several designers volunteered to make each symbol using Adobe Illustrator.

Edward Boatman contacted each designer with an invite to use Pixalapse and a scanned version of the drawing they agreed to create at the Iconathon. Pixalapse is a repository and version control for design files (like Github for designers). Next we downloaded the files and began working on the designs. When we completed our designs, Pixelapse saved the files and notified Boatman that the designs were ready for review.

Iconathon was an opportunity to help create graphic symbols and icons for easy communication and universal recognition of energy efficiency concepts. The collection of approximately 20 energy efficiency symbols created during the Iconathon will be made available to the public through The Noun Project’s free library of downloadable symbols. They will also be shown at a future First Friday Raleigh. Stay tuned to AIGA Raleigh to find out when.


By Maura McDonald
Published March 13, 2012