Calling All Designers

by Charles Miller on April 25, 2007

Via Boing Boing comes this list of 'symbols of belief' approved for use on US government tombstones. All interesting trivia, especially the ones at the bottom that can't be displayed for copyright reasons.

What struck me though, was how much the logo for Atheism sucks.

I mean, really. Was a comic-book representation of an atom with a painfully out-of-place 'A' in the middle the best anyone could come up with to represent the mystery and majesty of a natural, godless universe?

Then again, the only accurate logo for atheism would be blank space.


Justin Watt has found the source of the logo. According to the American Atheists society:

You may notice that one of the orbital in our symbol is broken, or open-ended. This demonstrates that while Atheists rely on the scientific method for learning about the cosmos and increasing our knowledge about nature, we know that "not all of the answers are in." We recognize that with new knowledge come new questions and areas for human inquiry and exploration.

Matt Quail, however, found a much more aesthetically pleasing (at least to me) logo: the invisible pink unicorn.

The Invisible Pink Unicorn logo represents atheism. It is a fusion between the mathematical void symbol and the stylized representation of an unicorn.

The Invisible Pink Unicorn has her own page on Wikipedia.

Finally, David Dean sent me a link to Sampo Syreeni's summary of the various different atheist symbols. Syreeni also has a problem with the atom logo:

In its childish adherence to the icons of the modern and the industrial, it lacks the elegance and sophistication to become a universal symbol for nonbelievers. It also manages to completely sidestep the dynamic world we live in—atoms haven’t been a symbol of the ultimate in progress or emancipation for a long time, now. Worst of all, American Atheists holds a trademark on the symbol.

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