On May 30, 2013, AIGA Charlotte hosted the first ever Iconic Charlotte Workshop at Queen’s University. The event took place in the Duke Energy Auditorium nestled in the new Platinum LEED-certified Rogers Science and Health building. The discussion was led by Mike Wirth, Information Graphics Designer and Professor of New Media Design at Queens University of Charlotte.
As attendees arrived, they were given a handout that was a quick reference guide of the various kinds of symbols. They were also given a sticker that added a little humor that said, “ƒμ©kN SYMBOLS.” The night started with a lecture on icons and how to use them for civic design. Mike went through a very creative and informative presentation that illustrated the importance of icons.
After the lecture, Mike led a brainstorming session where attendees shouted out ideas of symbols that could represent Charlotte and help guide the community. As each idea was shouted, Mike wrote them down on large sheets of white paper leaving a place below each idea. “No, I am not playing around with leading,” he said making everyone laugh. He was leaving the space for the next step in the workshop. After all of the ideas had been recorded, everyone was given yellow Post-its to draw what they thought were good symbols for the idea that they selected. After about 30 minutes, each attendee placed their Post-it on the paper that correlated to the idea that they chose. Mike then led the group in a quick overview of each design. Then he showed the group how to successfully digitize the symbols. He used the Disco Chicken (aka Niki de Saint Phalle’s Firebird outside of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art) as an example showing the group a few Illustrator tricks to get it ready.
The final icons will be uploaded to The Noun Project under an AIGA Charlotte account. The Noun Project is about creating, sharing and celebrating the world’s visual language. All of the icons that are uploaded to the site are their for everyone to enjoy and use.
Attendees are encouraged to submit their icons to the site and to continue to build up Charlotte’s symbols. There are talks about having a part deux of Iconic Charlotte so please stay tuned for updates! Now go make icons!