Power-on Icon ( ' ) Free of rights?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by MajereXYU, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. macrumors regular

    May 11, 2005

    I was wondering if the power switch icon - that is used on most every computer and piece of electronics these days - is free of rights? Meaning, can someone use it for a business logo, for example?

    In the specific case I am thinking about, the symbol would be modified a bit but would still retain the familiar imagery. Could the business face trouble for this?

    See here for a picture of the power switch icon:

  2. macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    I really doubt you need permission to use such a universal symbol. I looked
    around and found these links. the quote is from the link that follows it.


    "The design of the Power icon doesn’t communicate “power” on its own. Its origin is a mystery, the subject of many questions and few concrete answers. Nevertheless, through repeated use on many devices, the Power icon is a success."


  3. macrumors regular

    no.1 Apple Fan

    Jul 8, 2009
    In a pineapple under the sea
    I highly doubt it. If something like that does exist you just draw one up that you changed a little bit in PS.
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

    May 11, 2005
    Thanks for the quick replies!

    Macrumors enjoys such a helpful community!

    Both your answers confirm what I was thinking but a little reassurance is always welcomed.
  5. macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    I always thought it was a combination of | and O for on and off of vacuum tubes old computers or something.
  6. macrumors 65816


    Apr 1, 2008
    Dartford, UK
    I thought that too, actually.
  7. macrumors member

    Jul 15, 2009
    I've thought of the "O" being a complete circuit (wire), and the "|" being something to break it?
  8. macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2009
    I'm not sure but I think the origin is in binary "1 and 0" for "on and off" respectively. Then with common use of momentary push button switches this has evolved into the 1 inside the 0 to create the familiar symbol we see on everything today.
  9. macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2009
    Iso/iec 5009

    The symbol is from ISO/IEC 5009. Quote from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_symbol

    "IEC 5009, the standby symbol (line partially within a broken circle), indicates a sleep mode or low power state. The switch does not fully disconnect the device from its power supply. This may appear on a toggle switch opposite a power on symbol, alone on a pushbutton that places the device into a standby state, or alone on a button that switches between on and standby.

    Alternatively, under IEEE 1621, this symbol simply means "power".[2]"​
  10. macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    I am sure many sites already have the same idea. Such as AppleGeeks comic.

    Cool info. Thanks.

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