Something Cool : The NounProject
The Noun Project is a project started by Edward Boatman an architect/designer in Los Angeles, along with a collective of individuals (mostly graphic designers) that are building an open source library of symbols that will always be free for anyone to use. By keeping it free, they hope to develop a language of symbols that can be shared by the world. The key being that all the symbols must be totally SIMPLE.
Some of the symbols are familiar (man, woman, phone) but most have been developed by the website. On their blog, they announce when the Noun Project will have an “Iconathon” where anyone interested can come and volunteer to create and vet new symbols. Each Iconothon focuses on a theme, for example, Los Angeles just did Food & Nutrition, Seattle did Neighborhoods, etc. Participants were grouped into designers, non-designers and experts in the iconathon theme. They were given a list of words or concepts to define. Breakout groups were formed to initiate design ideas and then presented ideas to the group as a whole.Doppel Banana Boat
The Noun Group then collects that data and adds icons to the library once the symbol has been properly vetted. The Noun Project put together a proposal on the Kickstarter website (http://www.kickstarter.com/) and was successfully funded which is how they are able to raise the funds to do this project. They are now starting to sell t-shirts and iphone cover cases as a new way to generate income for the project. They are now working on the getting people to translate the symbols so they are searchable in any language on their website.
Thank you to Dave Miller and Mathew Albores at The Miller|Hull Partnership for sharing.