Neighborhood Revitalization

Iconathon with the City of San Francisco

Neighborhoods Icon Collection

The Noun Project and Code for America partnered with the City of San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation for an Iconathon to develop a set of public domain symbols to visually communicate Neighborhood Revitalization.

San Francisco’s Central Market/Tenderloin Neighborhood

The Central Market neighborhood is a stretch of Market Street from 5th Street to Van Ness Avenue in the heart of San Francisco. Situated next to Tenderloin, the neighborhood has for decades suffered from blight and neglect. In 2010, San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development launched the Central Market Partnership, a public/private initiative to renew and coordinate efforts to revitalize the Central Market neighborhood. The City’s goal is to restore Central Market as San Francisco’s downtown arts district by inviting in new retail, restaurants, services and employers, at the same time as ensuring against displacement.

The efforts to revitalize and transform Central Market have culminated in companies like Zendesk and Twitter paving the way forward by moving their headquarters to the area.

The Iconathon

Prior to the event, more than 125 ideas for which symbols should be created during the design workshop were submitted to ImproveSF. Some of our favorite referents submitted were Hackathon, Co-Working Space, and Women’s Shelter.

Over 60 people participated in the design workshop. We were very excited to see a few familiar faces (Evan, Catherine, Hailey, Heather, Stan and others) from last year’s Iconathon!

Code for America’s beautiful headquarters

The Iconathon kicked off with a presentation by Ellyn Parker from the Mayor’s Office of Economic Workforce and Development. She spoke about the revitalization efforts in the Central Market Area.

Dan Parham from Neighborland explained “Tactical Urbanism.”

Edward Boatman, co-founder and Creative Director of The Noun Project, spoke about Symbol Design & User Comprehension and how we shouldn’t only be creating symbols for ideas we currently see in the world, but we should also be creating symbols for ideas we want to see more of in the world.

The presentations were followed by Design Charrettes:

We ended the event with design critiques, where everyone gave feedback about which symbols best communicated each referent.

The final vectorized symbols from this Iconathon were released into the public domain and can be downloaded here.

Noun Project Team
Noun Project Team

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