It's one of the most ubiquitous symbols around, and one you likely look at every day. But it turns out the power on/off symbol is more than just, er, a plain old circle and line.
Comedian Bec Hill recently took to Twitter to share her recent discovery of the theory that the symbol actually represents the binary code for on and off: a 1 and a 0. And judging by the response, plenty of users thought it depicted a number of different things. (Looking for design inspiration? Check out the best logos of all time.)
I only recently discovered that the on/off symbol (pictured) represents a 1 and a 0 - as in, binary for on/off.Anyone got any other symbol revelations that blew their minds? pic.twitter.com/jAp3MWoB5fJanuary 30, 2023
As you might expect, the tweet has been met with a series of "I was today years old..." responses – along with descriptions of what Twitter users thought the symbol represented. "Here's me thinking it was 'finger on the button," one user comments, while another adds, "I have always known that this symbol means: "Dunking biscuits is permitted."
Is the power symbol really intended to represent binary code? As we noted in our piece on the unknown stories behind everyday icons, some believe it actually represents a closed and open circuit. Either way, the power button can join the likes of the Bluetooth logo in the everyday-tech-symbols-that-actually-have-quite-interesting-meanings hall of fame. If you're inspired to create a design of your own, take a look at our guide on how to design a logo.