Replacing the Edison bulb as ‘bright idea’ symbol

the new symbol for a bright idea? For decades, visual
communicators have used the standard incandescent light bulb—in a wide variety
of design applications—to demonstrate anything from a new concept to—when used
in a bubble overhead—the fact that someone’s brain had suddenly opened up.

The traditional
incandescent (with limited exceptions) will be illegal in the United States starting
in January 2014. Clearly, even now, it’s a dead issue when it comes to
illustrating bright ideas.

In some
places, the CFL has been substituted as a visual for an outstanding idea.
Putting aside what one thinks of the CFL, there’s clearly one group of
advancing companies that won’t be fond of seeing the CFL as the new symbol for
a brainstorm.

course, some LEDs have been fashioned to look just like the old light bulb. But
LEDs come in a wide range of form factors. What really is next?

Iconathon’s results

Inc., working with symbol-creating specialists at The Noun Project, recently
held an “Iconathon.” The one-day event resulted in more than a dozen graphics presented on as “Cree’s Icons.”

The symbol developed to signify LED light

Skalski, social media specialist in Cree’s corporate marketing department, blogged about the process. She offers
some insight into how the symbol featured above came to be.

“The critique of the LED symbol
lasted nearly an hour. Two basic perspectives on the design emerged. There were
those who felt it was essential that the LED light symbol take on the same
characteristics of a traditional light bulb or CFL,” Skalski writes.

meant incorporating an Edison base into the designs and, for the most part,
keeping the ‘snow cone’ bulb shape many LED light bulbs have taken on. These
designers felt this approach would help the public more easily identify the new
symbol for LED lighting,” she continues. “Then there were those who felt like
the symbol for LED light should not be constrained to the light bulb form since
LEDs are so versatile.”

designers felt the symbol for LED light should look more like an LED component
and less like a fixture. They believed that even though the public might not
immediately recognize a symbol like this, it was more important that the
universal symbol reflect the LED light source itself.”

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