Friday, December 7, 2007

Logo #125: Biohazard

Biohazard's logo, originally proposed by Charles Baldwin in 1966, was borrowed by Ed Repka in 1990. From a 2001 New York Times Magazine interview: "Every time I go into the doctor's office or the dentist's office or a hospital anywhere, I've always got my eye out for it. Naturally, I'm proud of the fact that I was able to come up with something, or direct a program that evolved into this symbol that's so widely recognized, so helpful. But I ran into a peculiar situation one time a couple years ago when someone was putting on a seminar on biohazards. As gifts for the participants, he devised a beautiful tie with little biohazard symbols all over it. This got me upset, and I sent him kind of a nasty letter saying this symbol was not designed to be used sartorially.'' More specifically, in a paper presented at the 6th Annual Technical Meeting of the American Association for Contamination Control, Washington, D.C., 18 May 1967: "Biohazards Symbol: Development of a Biological Hazards Warning Signal During investigations of biological control and containment conducted under contract for the National Cancer Institute, the need for such a symbol became apparent to the Dow biohazards research and development team, A search of the literature revealed that, while certain biological warning signs are used by various agencies, a universal symbol to warn of danger from infectious or potentially infectious agents - a symbol whose immediate significance is known to all - does not exist. Colleagues in the field of biological research concurred, in reply to direct query, that such a warning symbol is needed."

And here you thought you'd get a tattoo of it on your stomach because you get bad gas and that it looked cool.

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