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I have been informed (by an accountant) that the international symbol for an accountant is this:

enter image description here

Whilst a search on Google retrieves a few similar symbols, they are not of sufficient quantity or quality to justify the title of international symbol. Also tried searching on stock sites to no avail.

I can only guess that the meaning of this symbol is two ring binders.

If anyone can shed some light on this it would be appreciated.

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Having seen that I think I finally understand the reasoning behind my old unis logo (London College of Accountancy). I would not consider it an international standard either. It's incredibly obscure. –  user Mar 30 at 16:08
    
Wow! This is entirely new to me. I suppose that the question might be wether you need this symbol to be widely understood, or wether the use is for the insider accountants. –  Benteh Mar 30 at 17:11
    
@boblet; I'd like a symbol that is widely understood. Its for a company logo, The above symbol fits quite well as there is a double 'L' in the name, but my concern is 'is this an accountants logo'? –  Christopher Mar 30 at 17:41
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I see. To me; it is not. But you do not always have to be so literal. Many good logos do not paint a picture of company activity; in fact, often the opposite is true. The idea of two ring binders is a good starting point regardless of wether it is a widely understood icon. Which I would say it is not. –  Benteh Mar 30 at 18:01
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I think something you need to include in the question is information about your target market and demographics. Younger vs older audience could be atleast one factor that would affect your decision. Some primary research to find out who recognises the symbol would be quite simple to carry out; with it you could make a far more well reasoned choice. –  user Mar 30 at 18:19

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I did some research on this, and in no way did I find that there is a symbol for accountancy. I do not think this line of enquiry is productive.

As I see it: your job is to make a good logo. Good logos are not always the ones that figuratively picture a subject. I think you are better off dropping looking for "commonly understood symbol", and rather concentrate on making a good logo. Typical examples people bring up in these cases are Apple and Nike. None of them has anything to do with orchards or greek gods, the logos says nothing about computers or victory.

To base the idea on two ring binders is a starting point, and not a bad one, but ring binders are on the way out. The reference would be lost on the younger generations. That means that you would/could use it as a starting point for something more abstract.

Accountancy does not have a lot of intuitively graphic elements connected to it. It is not like a builder would have a hammer and saw. You could use graphs, dollar signs etc, but it is too easy to confuse with completely different things, I would say it is not advised.

I would actually see all this as a positive thing: you get to focus intensely on a more abstract level. Forget the universally-understood-thing and rather create something recognisable and memorable.

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Excellent answer. What about an abacus? It's about counting, and most people have seen those at some point in life (haven't they?) –  Yisela Mar 30 at 21:39
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Hah! No they have not! :D I like them, but I think today people would associate it with children's toys. –  Benteh Mar 30 at 21:40
    
An excellent answer, for me the 2nd paragraph has hit the mark, thank you. –  Christopher Mar 31 at 21:04
    
Happy to be of help. –  Benteh Mar 31 at 21:08
    
And I still can't vote you up.. –  Christopher Apr 2 at 2:08

A quick look at http://www.thenounproject.com/search/?q=accountant tells you that this is probably a very difficult issue, as not much has been submitted yet...

I wouldn't say this is a complete reference, but it is my go to place when i have questions like this.

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That is an excellent resource, thank you –  Christopher Mar 31 at 20:47

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