How do we visualise Engineering?

Gareth Coxon - DesignerHi I’m Gareth. I’ve designed the ‘I’m a Scientist’ and the ‘I’m an Engineer’ (so far) websites. On ‘I’m an Engineer’ we’ve got the basic design and colour ways in place but what we’re missing is the icons and graphics that make the site seem much more relevant to engineering. I’m a designer not an engineer so I’m looking for some suggestions from the engineering community about what things sum up or represent engineering to you.

With I’m a Scientist we choose a conical flask and Van der Graaf generator symbols amongst others. Each zone also has a logo and you can see the most recent ones on the I’m a Scientist home page.

What are the equivalents for engineering? Please don’t send designs I’m just looking to pick your brains and gather your comments on what sums up engineering for you. If you can help please leave a comment below, many thanks in advance!

Posted on November 28, 2011 by ModShane in News. 11 Comments.

11 Responses to How do we visualise Engineering?

  1. Paul says:

    Hi – the ‘classic’ image for an engineer would be a series of gears, called a gear train.

    Engines/motors/moving vehicles are possible, but they can lead to confusion – many children believe incorrectly that engineers are mechanics.

    I hope that this helps a bit!

  2. Chris Waters says:

    I suppose the most obvious ones (from an electrical perspective) would be a lightning bolt to represent the energy zone, and maybe a sine or square wave to represent the communications zone.

  3. Tara McGough says:

    I think we need to look at the zones that have been suggested and choose what images sum them up, then move onto picking the best from them. I think important images include the locomotive or some form of vehicle, a satellite or something similar, a crane or other instrument used in construction etc.
    However, whatever is chosen, we need to bear in mind that it must be recognisable and associated with engineering by the MAJORITY.
    🙂

  4. rosamund says:

    For the building zone I think something like a spanner would be good. It is simple and recognisable aswell as conveying what the zone is about.

  5. Lauren says:

    I’d suggest a satellite dish and an iPad for the communications zone.

    Have you considered whether you could get some sponsorship for each zone? A recogniseable sponsor of a zone might help to put some of the zones into an everyday context, and the pennies could expand the event.

  6. Chris Akerman says:

    I’m surprised to see no mention of aviation, always an exciting field and the UK is very prominent in this sector. Consequently, a jet engine (invented in the UK by Sir Frank Whittle) or aircraft would provide an easily recognisable and relevant image.

  7. David says:

    As an electronic engineer, the addition of a sine wave was perfect. Other suggestions include robotics, solar panels, electricity pylons, computer processors, mobile phones and computer games consoles (and peripherals) – people don’t appreciate engineers design all of these things.

  8. What we do not need is any symbolism associated with oily rags and spanners. Lets try and get away from the common misconception of the role of an “engineer” stress the Professional Qualified Engineer

  9. Angus Sanderson says:

    How about a picture of a high tech prosthetic limb to illustrate how engineers are key to the development of modern medical devices and to show how wide the application of engineering is in today’s world.

  10. Georgia says:

    I think a train could be an appropriate icon or any type of transport that has something to do with engineering. also to attract “school people” that are more stubborn you could make them see that with out engineers they would not have their phone, TV’s or games i think that is very important

  11. modrosie says:

    Thank you everyone for your comments.

    We’ve settled on the imagery at the top of the page, incorporating blueprint designs with a robotic arm and jet engine. We’ll also design icons to represent each zone (Energy, Health, High Performance, Measurement, Transport, Water).

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