Icon for a documentation department?

Subject: Icon for a documentation department?
From: "Geoff Hart" <geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 1999 11:02:17 -0400

Melissa Fisher threw out a challenge: <<My company is an
all-cube environment, and in an effort to make things easier
"primarily for visitors and general decoration to liven the place
up", they are going to have signs made for each department,
including the dept. name and an icon or graphic representing
the department/function. ... Anyone have any great ideas?
The obvious answer is a book... but actual books are only
about half of what we do in our department...>>

Piece of cake: get an artist to illustrate an androgynous drone,
prematurely aged by years of exposure to electromagnetic
radiation, knuckles swollen from years of unergonomic
keyboards, hunchbacked from the shame of being ill-
appeciated, chained to a typewriter by the sort of chains used
to keep oil tankers from drifting away during storms, with a
shining, Harrison Ford-like engineer standing in the
background, lashing the poor creature with a well-oiled
bullwhip while a Marketing manager with horns and a
pitchfork capers maniacally in the background. Mind you,
that's kinda "busy" for an icon, and management might not
like it... <g>

OK, OK, something a little more serious: How about
modifying that famous oil painting of God reclining on a
cloud and reaching down to touch the hand of (Adam?*), but
passing along a book (the book of all knowledge) to a
customer. Throw in some cherubs--everyone loves cherubs!--
and you've got it made. Put a few awestruck engineers and
managers around the periphery of the images to remind
people of how amazing it is what you do. <g>

* I blush to admit my cultural ignorance. I think it's a
Michelangelo painting, and I think it's Adam, but I'm sure I'm
about to be corrected by 3000+ techwhirlers.

OK, OK... third strike and yer out! <g> I do tend to like the
book, because nothing says "communication" as well as a
book (books are online tools too!), but if you want something
more abstract, how about two stylized heads facing each
other: head #1 has a thought balloon coming out of it with
various mathematical equations describing light (E = mc^2,
nu = hf, lambda = 1/f, etc.) and the other head with a thought
balloon depicting a lightbulb followed by an exclamation
point. In effect, what you're saying is that you take jargon
produced by experts, and translate it into illumination in the
minds of the audience. I'm planning to use this one for a
future book cover, but feel free to use it in the meantime.

--Geoff Hart @8^{)} geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca (Pointe-Claire, Quebec)
"If you can't explain it to an 8-year-old, you don't understand it"--Albert Einstein

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