Ah, the ubiquitous standby / power symbol. Most early power controls used switches that toggled between two on and off. With widespread technological advances, and to bypass language barriers, these words were replaced with the universal symbols line “|” for “on” and circle “◯” for “off” (typically without serifs). This standard is still used on toggle power switches.
“The symbol for the standby button was created by superimposing the symbols “|” and “◯,” however, it’s commonly interpreted as the numerals “0” and “1” (binary code). Yet, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) holds these symbols as a graphical representation of a line and a circle.” From Wikipedia.
Don’t be wedded to the idea of including one in your next logo project. This is just a small sampling of designs that already exist.
The Gadget Show (thanks Roy)
Goodwrench (thanks Plamen)
EcoGeek (thanks Photocritic)
HiWired, Inc. (thanks M.)
GameVicio (thanks Lucas)
Gateway (old logo, thanks Jon)
Digital Peach (thanks Brandon)
Vobis Online (thanks Cristina)
Com On (thanks Bernard)
Power of One (thanks David)
I think the best use of it is in Five’s Gadget Show logo, which rotates the symbol into a G: http://gadgetshow.five.tv/gadget-show
Haha. Nice. I never realized so many logos used this symbol. I think I like the gadget show the best.
thank you for featuring The Gadget Show in this blog! The animated version of the logo (see demand.five.tv for the On-Demand service, it’s the first 30 seconds or so) is pretty awesome, too.
Also, Goodwrench: http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/mr_goodwrench_gets_turned_on.php and Germanos and HiQnet: http://theplamen.blogspot.com/2007/03/blog-post_04.html
Also worth a mention: Ecogeek: http://www.ecogeek.org/
Which, interestingly enough, I found via http://www.logodesignlove.com/logo-design-love-awards-results
HiWired (defunct) : http://www.hiwiredinc.com/
Staples EasyTech : http://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/marketing/easytech/
Thanks for posting this article. I hadn’t realized how many times the standby symbol had been used… and I’m pretty sure there are many others out there as well!
Interesting to see how many logos are using the standby symbol, and I’m sure this post only represents some of them. The strange thing is, I’m not sure the symbol makes sense in most of these marks. Granted I don’t know what most of these companies do, but when looking at their logos some are just making sense with the standby symbol.
No Brasil. Revista GAME VICIO
The examples shown are good. Of those shown I would have to say the Gadget Show is on top. Reminds me of a button design: http://tinyurl.com/bdokex
check out http://www.q-dance.nl for a small variation
I appreciate the suggestions. Added.
here is the stanby symbol too, and it represent a cup of coffee too.
Personally I’ve avoided using the symbol because I’ve seen it it so many logos.
I’ve seen another climate change logo, that is a sticker that reads “Switch me off before you go-go”. Used on photocopiers, PCs and Lights, etc.
Thanks for the shout-out, although I’m not sure what I did!
Nnice roundup. I’m sure this will rival the swoosh in no time.
I noticed over on the Brand New blog that you inserted the old Gateway logo into a comment. I wouldn’t have picked up on that one if it weren’t for your input.
Wow, I agree with James… I never realized how many they were lol! It might (actually…. in the process to) become another “can’t stand it anymore” icon like the word “cyber”….
To my eyes, my award for best use, execution and communication effectiveness goes to EcoGeek. Love it!
Cheers and have a good weekend everyone!
I know we’re here for logo talk and not icon talk, but one thing I find fascinating is the standby icon itself… I’ve always thought of it simply as the ‘power’ icon and until now had not heard it referred to by its original name and intent.
Although its changed to also be known as the generic ‘power’ icon, it makes much more sense graphically as a standby icon in relation to the ‘on’, ‘off’ and ‘toggle’ members of the icon set. Cool!
This post has removed all possibility of me ever considering using the standby icon in any of my future logo designs. :-)
Another, this one a little more unique:
There’s so much irony in Bragunica Innovations.
Guess I’m looking for these after this post! Just happened to notice:
It would have been interesting to know which industries the companies belong to – seems to me they are spread, but I don’t know most of them!
Good post. Someone said it earlier that the standby symbol doesn’t seem appropriate for all. The one that sticks out to me is Goodwrench Auto Parts. ? I admit the old logo needed a revamp, but why they decided the stand by symbol was the way to go baffles me.
EcoGeek got my creativity vote.
But should any receive a utility vote? “Standby” or “sleep mode” has to be one of the poorer choices for a logo. For instance, ThinkFirst (dead link?) focuses on technology innovations. You need to be awake for that line of work.
this is incredible. Who could’ve thought that there are so many logos using the same stand out element in their design.
Thanks for putting this collection together.
Perhaps you can turn this into series, and showcase other logos using same/similar design element in them?
i don’t know about the other logos, but the indesit logo was created in 1998 and i think it was one of the first to use this symbol and was very innovative at time.
+1 FLICK OFF :))
oh, interesting – didn’t know there are so many :) not so exclusive.
so much for creativity hey?
The next time you think about using the word “love” or a heart in your design blog name or logo… remember it’s been done before
Just playin’ ;)
HiWired is the top choice for me, followed by Staples easytech logo.
I like the perspective of HiWired, and the simplicity. Easytech uses the symbol as an e, also. Very memorable and clean! Less is best!
i didn’t realize this icon have been used by many logos until now.
Thanks for another great article!
I did a logo using this symbol:
“Remember, it’s been done before.” – Love that!
– Remember, at least try and do some research before creating logos or marketing campaigns and don’t be so damn lazy!! Pshh!
Thanks again for the good article.
The irony makes it more appealing. :)
The Goodwrench redesign is an odd one. I wonder if they gave any other meaning to the icon, besides ‘standby’ or ‘power’.
I think that was a dead link. Thanks for pointing it out (removed).
Nice idea. I may just do that.
Touché. A series of logos using the heart symbol would be even larger!
another one: http://www.vobis.pt/Splash.aspx
I Agree. FLICK OFF made me laugh! funny logo but well executed.
Er.. next time I think about designing ANY logo, I’ll remember it’s been done before. Although, yes, any symbol that we see everyday must have been used at least a million times before. And we can all strive for a little more creativity and originality.
Nice post! Cheers.
Wow, Flick Off is awesome haha. That is crazy how many use the same idea. I thought the list was never going to end.
thanks for the list, didnt realise there was so many company using the standby symbol out there.
Also, it’s worth taking a look at the new logo Best Buy’s “Geek Squad” is using…
it’s a nice update/change from their boring black and orange circle. Easily my favorite use of the standby, and one of my favorite of last year
Yeah, agree with the others, Flick Off is very good. Another one for your list:
…and the current “Power of One” campaign for Energy Efficiency Ireland, @ http://www.powerofone.ie/
And here are a couple more:
Playswitch uses one aswell.
David, there is another great example on the Wolda website for “Molla” here: http://www.wolda.org/?page=8
From the founder of eBay, The Omidyar Network (ON):
Just to add my little contribution : I recently fell over a “Presto” logo http://www.prestomypc.com/
Some nice logos in there though. Thing is the stand-by mark is one of those (I suppose like hearts) marks that just cries to be used and works in the right context.
I did a similar logo for a photographer friend using the timer icon on a camera to make the letters ‘C and J’. It looks nice and works really well but admittedly does have an air of familiarity about it.
No right or wrong here I reckon but yeah, definitely been done before.
I didn’t even notice ‘flick’ at first double take made me smile like a smiley face…now there’s another icon!!
It seems one of the most biggest problems designers have is avoiding what has gone before. Is it even possible anymore? These are always very useful posts, bringing (possibly) overused design elements together in one place is a great reference.
In 1899 the head of the US Patent Office resigned his position because, he affirmed, everything had already been invented.
I have said this before, but believe it completely, creativity and invention, like creation and evolution, is mostly a gradual process with some spectacular mutations along the way.
I am perfectly content to be simply a part of the process (with a tiny bit of hope I’ll create one of those spectacular mutations!).
The smiley face is definitely another you can find used on many occasions, with one of my favourite being Landor’s People PC logo.
Glad you find this a useful resource. I’ll see what else I can put together for future posts.
Nice tidbit there. I wonder what the head of the Patent Office would’ve thought about the internet.
Its a little played out.
good post thanks mucho.
The Flick off logo is monumental in scope. I won’t forget that for a while.
I think the flick off is one of the better logos there, but does anyone else read flick as the “f” word?
“flick off” is the best. read’s “f–k off” with the power btn as the giving the bird. hahaha.
As with logos revolving around any concept, some well executed ones (Flick Off, for example), and some poor (and inappropriate) ideas too: nice showcase!
Mais uma no Brasil http://www.nicoli.com.br/
Don’t you think that Quicktime falls into the same category? :)
The thing about using the standby sign is that none of those brands are large, and none of those logos strike me as iconic.
So I say if you want to use a symbol like that, go for it. It doesn’t matter if everyone does it, you can do it to, as long as you do it better than everyone else.
also see http://www.stantondj.com/v2/index.asp which i thought was great when i first saw their logo but now having seen your list realise they were not that clever
And another .. http://www.digicape.co.za. One of our authorized Apple resellers in Cape Town.
I thought it was the on/off symbol!
Here’s another one, http://i-on.ru/Images/ion_logo.gif (a Russian electronics chain).
And yet another one: http://www.infotrustllc.com/