Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

I've always been all for public participation in public good and Iconathons encapsulate many of the things I wish this world could work--open source, welcoming and collaborative. Best of all, I found this story while simply hanging around my neighborhood. Everything about this story feels very close and palpable to me.

Code for America and The Noun Project host nationwide events to create new symbols for the public.
Text by: Carren Jao
Edited by: Cliff Kuang
Published: August 2011, Fast Co.Design

Despite a wealth of images available on the Internet, finding a good, copyright-free vector graphic is like looking for a needle in a haystack -- especially if you’re talking about symbols for public services.

That's a problem. “Our demographics are changing rapidly and these kinds of symbols help people communicate across language barriers," says Chacha Sikes, a 2011 fellow at Code for America, a “geek peace corps” that pairs web developers with city governments. "When building applications for government, we began to notice that ‘Oh! There’s not a symbol for health. There’s not one for education.’” So Sikes set about hosting nationwide, five-hour design marathons to produce much-needed symbols for public use. [read more]


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