In context: In the publication business, stock imagery is a must. Creative Commons is a good source for free images. Even having a yearly subscription to an imaging service like Shutterstock or Getty is much cheaper than paying for the copyrights for the hundreds of photos a week.
However, some stock photos are so overused that they have become cliché, none more so than cybersecurity images. You know the ones. They usually fall into two tropes — a guy in a hoodie with cascading computer code (Matrix-style), or a padlock with code or circuitry lines emanating from it.
These images and all of their variations have become old and tired. So design company OpenIDEO is holding a contest to reimagine cybersecurity imagery. Visualizing the topic is difficult since it is a broad umbrella encompassing everything from data breaches to securing your WiFi, so creativity in thinking outside of the box is a prerequisite.
In partnership with philanthropist group the Hewlett Foundation, the design firm is challenging visual creators to “reimagine the visual language of cybersecurity by elevating more representative imagery.” It is looking for designs that depict the various aspects of cybersecurity in a more specific manner.
OpenIDEO began taking submissions a couple of weeks ago and will start the reviewing process on August 16. Twenty-five finalists will be selected to receive $500 and a mentorship with a cybersecurity expert. They will then have from September 4 until September 23 to turn in their final submission. Up to five winners will be announced on October 24, and each will receive $7,000.
OpenIDEO says that prize winners have to be willing to offer their designs for free through the Creative Commons license.