Wikipedia's 20th Birthday Comes to Life Through Design

Wikipedia's 20th Birthday Comes to Life Through Design

In celebration of Wikipedia's 20th birthday this year, the Wikimedia Foundation asked two artists to create a set of symbols celebrating 20 years of humans collaborating to collect the sum of all human knowledge on Wikipedia.

The foundation commissioned two illustrators from different parts of the world who have never worked together before. One is Karabo Poppy Moletsane, an award-winning South African illustrator and street artist whose collaboration with Nike has been sported by LeBron James. The other is Jasmina El Bouamraoui, a German-Moroccan former Goethe Institut resident. Both hold uniquely different, eye-catching styles and an unknowingly shared passion for decolonizing design.

Together, the artists created a solution that reflects multiple cultures and corners of knowledge. The 101 Wikidings is a growing collection of customizable symbols to capture Wikipedia, free knowledge, and the volunteers around the world who make Wikipedia possible. Inspired by Mayan symbols and Egyptian hieroglyphics, the symbols all individually hold their own meaning (with each symbol directly referencing an article on Wikipedia) and can be used as 'Lego-style' building blocks to tell stories when combined.

Khanyi Mpumlwana, Creative Director of Wikimedia Foundation, oversaw and led the 20th birthday celebratory campaign. The designs have been viewed by millions of people around the world through banners on Wikipedia, a new birthday logo on the site, and the new commemorative website built for Wikipedia's birthday.

Images: Courtesy of Wikimedia Foundation

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