If you are going to stand for something you need a sign and this weekend sees the launch of a new book CND: Now more than ever, The Story of a Peace Movement. By Kate Hudson. This symbol was synonymous with the CND in the 50’s and 60’s and with the peace movement in the US during the Vietnam War. With all our current anxieties - the threat of nuclear terrorism, nuclear proliferation, Iran, Trident and the revisiting of the nuclear energy programme in the UK - it is set for a refresh.
I am struck by the combination of the rational and the emotional within the symbol. The sign combines the semaphore symbols for N(uclear) and D(isarmament) and the impeaching figure with open arms imploring, ‘why?’
The best signs intuitively connect with us by appropriating things from our surroundings that we recognise and then imbue them with new meaning. I think the best signs surprise us by going beyond the expected. Symbols are made more powerful by their simplicity, the orange square of orange, the candle and barbed wire of amnesty international, the propeller of BMW, the helios of BP. These symbols connect us with the point, the purpose, the relevance.
Many brands do perfectly well without a symbol, and if you are going to choose to have one, make it simple, make it intuitive, make it reflect the moment, and make sure it is easily applied. And another thing make sure everyone can see it - this symbol has no copyright and we can all use it so here's a blog for peace. For more information on the peace symbol see http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/~lcushing/addpages/PeaceSymbolArticle.html