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A design firm is hosting a contest to encourage people to reimagine cybersecurity stock images

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No more hooded men or binary code

Secure Laptop Hacking Story

Cybersecurity stock images are predictable at this point: a hooded man with a shadowy face in front of a keyboard or a mysterious person in front of binary code. OpenIDEO, the open innovation practice from global design firm IDEO, thinks these images can be better, so it’s hosting a contest to entice visual creators to make images that are eye-catching, informative, and clear. “Cybersecurity,” which could mean data breaches, hacks, or policy changes, is a difficult concept to visually represent, so OpenIDEO is going to reward creators for their work. The group, in association with a private organization called the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, issued an open call late last month for cybersecurity-related image submissions with plans to award $7,000 to up to five people.

Contestants can submit their ideas until August 16th, and once that date passes, the organization will review submissions. A shortlist of winners will be announced on September 4th. Each of them will receive $500 and a mentorship period to finish up their plans and design a final submission. From there, the top ideas will be announced on October 24th, and the $7,000 prizes will be awarded. The images could show up in technical or policy reports, presentations, or news pieces. All winning submissions have to consent to free licensure through Creative Commons, which means anyone would have permission to use them. Here’s hoping someone submits incredible imagery, so we can move beyond the “hooded man behind a keyboard” trope.