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Objectivist Symbol?

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LiberTodd
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I find it odd to have a discussion about a "symbol" for Objectivism... but let's at least acknowledge that Miss Rand quite clearly indicated in AS that the symbol (branding, if you will) is the REAL dollar sign, i.e., the narrow U superimposed over an S (the monogram of the United States). Since that symbol is permanently tied to the idea of a gold-based currency ($1 = 1/20th of 1 oz of gold), I see no need to improve on the "symbol."

I agree with people who want things like "tokens", but warn that symbols can lose their meaning quickly if they become "cool" or "popular".

It is precisely because of the "baggage" of the dollar sign that I am fine with it. For those put off by it-- so be it since they have given into philosophical nonsense.

Thoughts?

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It is precisely because of the "baggage" of the dollar sign that I am fine with it. For those put off by it-- so be it since they have given into philosophical nonsense.

Thoughts?

The core of the objectivist philosophical system is not capitalism, which a dollar sign represents in popular culture.

The core of objectivism is rational ideas objectively derived, and they alone form the basis for the entire objectivist philosophical system.

The phi symbol "Φ" clearly and uncontroversially communcates "a philosophy", as it has done throughout history, and >can< be used to symbolize "an objectivist philosophy" if used by enough people as such. My variation is to add arrows "< >" to denote that an objective philosophy is the root of all its dependent branches and implications, such as capitalism, rational ethics & epistemology, heroic aesthetics, etc. (also, the arrows remove the implication that the lone Φ character may have just been a typo) This symbol <Φ> has the added advantage that it can be used with common computer type fonts, which can help spread its usage (assuming you can send unicode).

As I outlined in the preceeding discussions, the "Φ" can graphically symbolize the "I" of the individual's independent mind as the only tool to grasp the world around them, as symbolized by the "O" behind it. Also, the "I" could be seen as the joining of the two half truths of rationalism and subjectivism into the whole of objectivism.

For these reasons, I am and will be promoting the use of the <Φ> as the objectivst meme symbol. If you want to support this effort, please include this symbol in your taglines. I have started to use it in my signature for business emails, and will see if I can incorporate it into other business communications as well.

Stay Focused,

<Φ>aj

Edited by aristotlejones
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I find it odd to have a discussion about a "symbol" for Objectivism... but let's at least acknowledge that Miss Rand quite clearly indicated in AS that the symbol (branding, if you will) is the REAL dollar sign, i.e., the narrow U superimposed over an S (the monogram of the United States). Since that symbol is permanently tied to the idea of a gold-based currency ($1 = 1/20th of 1 oz of gold), I see no need to improve on the "symbol."

I agree with people who want things like "tokens", but warn that symbols can lose their meaning quickly if they become "cool" or "popular".

It is precisely because of the "baggage" of the dollar sign that I am fine with it. For those put off by it-- so be it since they have given into philosophical nonsense.

Thoughts?

And for another thing, the story that Ayn Rand gave about the origin of the dollar sign is factually false. The symbol was in use elsewhere (Spain, for the Spanish Milled Dollar) as early as 1755. (NOTE: I am not claiming she lied, I am claiming she was mistaken.)

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The core of the objectivist philosophical system is not capitalism, which a dollar sign represents in popular culture.

The core of objectivism is rational ideas objectively derived, and they alone form the basis for the entire objectivist philosophical system.

The phi symbol "Φ" clearly and uncontroversially communcates "a philosophy", as it has done throughout history, and >can< be used to symbolize "an objectivist philosophy" if used by enough people as such. My variation is to add arrows "< >" to denote that an objective philosophy is the root of all its dependent branches and implications, such as capitalism, rational ethics & epistemology, heroic aesthetics, etc. (also, the arrows remove the implication that the lone Φ character may have just been a typo) This symbol <Φ> has the added advantage that it can be used with common computer type fonts, which can help spread its usage (assuming you can send unicode).

As I outlined in the preceeding discussions, the "Φ" can graphically symbolize the "I" of the individual's independent mind as the only tool to grasp the world around them, as symbolized by the "O" behind it. Also, the "I" could be seen as the joining of the two half truths of rationalism and subjectivism into the whole of objectivism.

For these reasons, I am and will be promoting the use of the <Φ> as the objectivst meme symbol. If you want to support this effort, please include this symbol in your taglines. I have started to use it in my signature for business emails, and will see if I can incorporate it into other business communications as well.

Stay Focused,

<Φ>aj

Works for me...

I had added the Φ(phi) to my signature earlier, I've modified it to correspond with AJ's logic.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 10 months later...
I wrote earlier in this discussion:

>...any symbol should be fairly simple in design so that it would be recognizable at a distance, and simple to reproduce. (as with the christian fish)

your mileage may vary...

<Φ>aj

something i whipped up in photoshop, the gold is for obvious reasons, and the purple because A) i like the color and B} it isnt already affiliated with any kind of movement to my knowledge.

objectivist_logo2.png

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Forgive me if it should be obvious, but what does that symbol mean?

Is it a combination of an "O" for Objectivism, and an "I" for, well, I?

i was referring to previous posts in which someone suggested the use of the capital letter phi from the greek alphabet, check out page 2 or 3 (i think its 3) if you wanna see the discussion. and yes it could be seen as an O for objectivism and a superimposed I for individual or identity or something along those lines.

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Forgive me if it should be obvious, but what does that symbol mean?

Is it a combination of an "O" for Objectivism, and an "I" for, well, I?

Phi, the symbol, is often used to refer to philosophy at large, which is why it was proposed earlier in the thread.

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Cool designs and all, but this whole idea seems contrary to Objectivism, its a philosophy for living life on earth, not a club or fraternity. People who take Rands philosophy seriously wouldnt want a logo, so any shmo whos read the cliffs notes for Atlas Shrugged could parade around in a "Im a member" t-shirt.

j..

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The symbol is not an indication of any sort of "membership" in a "club or fraternity" it is merely a way for people to express their approval of certain views.. I find that it is very difficult to find people in my own social circle (or classes) who have similar views to me and it would be very convenient if i met someone wearing an objectivist "labeled" piece of clothing because it would circumvent the long process of us having to become comfortable enough with one another to being espousing our philosophical views and would most likely immediately result in strong camaraderie

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Excellent symbol.. purple and gold have always been regal colours.. in fact at one point they were worn by the Praetorian guards in Rome, the first republic... well done!

thanks I really appreciate the compliments, I was wondering if anyone liked it at all besides me.

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Excellent symbol.. purple and gold have always been regal colours.. in fact at one point they were worn by the Praetorian guards in Rome, the first republic... well done!

Preatorian Guards protected the Roman emperors after the republic was discarded. Purple was the color of royalty in Europe after Rome fell in emulation of the emperors. Purple is the color of Barney.

Gold on black would be better, the colors of the most successful football team the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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I will have to agree with those who think that trying to come up with a symbol to represent Objectivism is an idle pursuit. However, if anyone wants to carry on with this idea, there are some aspects that should be firstly considered. In order to be functional, a symbol requires simplicity. It has to be easily readable and reproducible. The black and yellow image above has too many elements in it. Some of them are still incomprehensible to me, and nobody is going to stand in front of your symbol, staring at it and examining all of its little details. If you want it to be recognizable, the elements included have to be understandable at a quick glance. Otherwise, nobody is going to pay attention to it, and they will probably forget it a few minutes later. Take a look at some of the most well-known symbols, or famous logos from big brands. They all share simplicity. No one uses the Sistine Chapel ceiling as a symbol, when a red cross or a Nike Swoosh does the job. The last image is fine as it is. The other one looks like a ribbon awarded in a competition, or a text bubble from a comic book. Gradients are nice, but they are usually not advisable. Unless you want to invest all your money in full color impressions of a symbol with hundreds of inks, rather than just one or two, using gradients is probably not the best idea. The same applies to photographs. You must take into account its reproduction. There is no room for much detail or color when using certain physical formats, at least without suffering some type of distortion. The symbol should have a good size ratio, so that it can be still easily recognizable when it is reduced in size for smaller applications. I am curious about how far you are planning to take this, but the symbol has to be simple enough to fit in a pencil or in a golf ball. Also, you might like to add the word "Objectivism" to the illustration, so that people can start associating it with the symbol. The drawing by itself is not going to take you very far. You can drop the name when the symbol acquires enough recognition, but it is always necessary to include it at the beginning. Anyway, there is a lot more to take into consideration, but this should be enough for now.

Edited by Howard Roark
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