The Wikimedia Foundation is partnering with The Noun Project to do a public service "Iconathon." The goal of this event is to generate 30-40 icons for the public domain, with the intent of primarily using them on Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia. The event is open to the public in an effort to bring talented designers and civic-minded individuals into the process. The event will be held on April 6, 2013 at the Wikimedia Foundation headquarters in San Francisco (map), and will last from 10:30AM to 4:30PM PST.

The Wikimedia Foundation Iconathon

All icons will be released under a public domain license.



The primary goal of building new icons is to help solidify the visual identity of the various projects of the Wikimedia Foundation and to bring consistency across the user interface.

Rather than using another freely available icon set, we are building our own icon package because:

  • Existing free icon sets are insufficient:
    • They often contain icons that are crudely or inconsistently designed;
    • They often contain a mix of styles, having been accreted over time
    • They often contain archaic symbology (e.g., a floppy disk for "save")
    • They are often incomplete for our purposes;
    • They are often designed for operating systems rather than singular applications;
    • They are often designed to mimic other icon sets;
    • Individual icons have often been repurposed ad infinitum, thus diluting the symbolic meaning of any individual icon;
  • We are a top-five web property, and should have our own visual identity;
  • We have multiple teams working on multiple projects. A shared icon set will help us avoid "style drift".

How Can I Help?


You can help in several ways!

  • Come to the Iconathon! We very much would like it if members of the Wikimedia movement community would attend. If you're anywhere near the Bay Area, stop by and help out. Even if you don't feel that you have the skills to create icons, you can be a valuable asset by helping us understand possible problems with selected imagery.
  • Leave comments on the talk page.
    • Suggest additional icons
    • Suggest ideas on how to visualize the icons in our list
    • Point out some possible problems with specific icons that may arise in cross-language or cross-cultural situations
  • If you've an artistic or design bend, create sketches and share them with us. We are working like this: determine need -> idea -> sketch -> finalize.

Event Structure


The event will be structured as follows:

  1. A WMF staff member will give a presentation to illustrate the specific iconography problems faced on Wikipedia and its sister projects.
  2. A co-founder of The Noun Project will give a presentation explaining the overall design process and sequence of events.
  3. Teams of 3-5 people will be formed, with each team including at least one designer.
  4. The teams will sketch and whiteboard concepts for icons assigned to them.
  5. The finalized sketches will be collected by The Noun Project.

The Noun Project will be responsible for collecting the finalized icon sketches and rendering them as vector images. They will be published roughly one month after the event as CC-licensed images without a specific owner.

Icon List


The list of icons to be created is below. These have been broken out into broad categories. Some icons must be done in sets, or are intended to be part of a larger library.

Article Status

  • Article is Reviewed
  • Article is Nominated for Deletion
  • Article is Unreviewed
  • Protected from Editing (6 levels)
    This icon will be a "set" icon. It is intended as a suggestion to the Wikimedia community as a replacement for the existing protection icons (which can be confusing given that the only differential is color)
  • Rapidly Changing Article
  • Featured Article
    Another suggestion. This is intended to be an exploration into quality descriptors.


  • Edit Reverted / Rolledback
  • Oversight
  • Request Oversight
  • Undo Oversight

Users and Rights


These icons describe different kinds of users.

System Chrome

  • Feed / Flow
  • Font Settings (Languages)
  • Contributions



These icons are intended to be illustrative of the Five Pillars. It is highly likely that they will not be able to stand on their own as visual symbols as the concepts themselves are esoteric.

  • Encyclopedia Worthy
  • Neutral Point of View
  • No Original Research
  • Original Work
  • Verifiability


  • Save Page for Offline Reading
  • Thank You, Gratitude
  • User Feedback

Low Priority


These icons may be interesting to create or brainstorm about but may have limited use or viability.

  • Citation Needed
  • New Article
  • Wiki Love Symbol/ Gratitude