Create an icon to signify "language".
The language icon is in essence an icon to signify language, it was designed to be used especially for multi-lingual webpages that are available in many languages, the problem was “change language” did not make sense to the non-English speaking world (or consider 언어 in Korean which would not make sense to English speaking world). The solution is to come up with an icon that would be globally recognized to signify language, so we have launched a two-step competition, at initial stage, we will collect the best entries, and at the second stage, we will open these entries for public voting. Students can upload their designs to the competition through 10th of April to August to 10th of November 2011.
Why Do We Need an Icon to Signify Language?
When you create a multi-lingual web page, you are limited to use flags or language names, or some other irrelevant icon (such as a world picture..) to represent language or iso codes (EN | FR | IT etc). There was no such icon to signify "choose/select/switch language" or even just "language".Flags are not okay: When you use flags, you are mostly limited to say three or four flags to use (for design restrictions), if you have more languages than three, selecting a particular sample breaks the heart of other nations. Plus some nations are multi-lingual, and a flag cannot represent a language. You cannot write "Language", it does not make sense: "언어" means Language in Korean, or this "语言" does it mean anything to you? Language names cannot represent "language". (unless you list all of them in an open way), Imagine a Chinese citizen entering a webpage, and it says "Change Language" (in English).. it is meaningless.A world icon does not signify language, it signifies world perhaps geo-location.. A mouth icon perhaps signifies "Speech", language can also be written. We are living in an era of signs and semiotics however a simple icon to signify "choose/select/switch language" does not exists.After the competition is won, the winner design will be promoted as the "Language Icon", joining the competition is free, however the designer of the icon releases this icon to public domain by doing so, as it will be used everywhere perhaps million of webpages.
We will credit the designers name as the "Designer" of the language icon. You can see the current icon and page, which will be updated by the competition results. Winner will also get a certificate and accumulate "Design Rank points".
The design must be vectoral and preferably in square format, should be clearly understood when it is also small. Please Submit the following: The primary picture (spot 1) 3600x3600 pixels, 300 dpi as the logo (example), also submit secondary picture (spot 2) 1800x1800 as Black & White (example), a third image (spot 3) 1800x1800 pixels should consist of a suite of icons in: 512px 256px 128px 64px 32px 16px 12px dimensions (example). The fourth image (spot 4) 1800x1800 pixels should consist of a suite of Black and White icons in 512px 256px 128px 64px 32px 16px 12px dimensions (example).