Skip to content
So long and thanks by Abraham Pena


A new visual language for cybersecurity is a project of the Hewlett Foundation Cyber Initiative. Openly licensed and free to use, the images on this website were originally created for the Cybersecurity Visuals Challenge, a partnership with OpenIDEO.


The Sorry State of Existing Cybersecurity Visuals

Cybersecurity has an image problem. The existing visual language of the field is filled with glowing locks and white men in hoodies—images which do nothing to convey the complexity or importance of the topic. And without a more effective visual language, people simply can’t picture the huge stakes involved in solving today’s cybersecurity challenges, for governments, corporations, and individuals around the world. How our devices and data are protected at a technical level, the laws and policies that govern them, and how conflicts among nations are increasingly playing out in cyberspace are just three examples of the kinds of topics tackled by the images on this website, where new visual thinking can increase understanding by policymakers and the broader public. The Hewlett Foundation’s Eli Sugarman and Heath Wickline described the challenge and how the Cyber Initiative worked to solve it in a post at Lawfare.


Leverage the Talent of Visual Creators

We need to find new ways to communicate about cybersecurity. And strong visual design is a powerful tool for helping people understand complex topics, translating information that is often technical in nature in more accessible ways.

The images on this website were created by talented artists, graphic designers and other visual creators around the world, with support from a group of cybersecurity experts who helped them ensure the images they created for the Challenge were grounded in a solid technical foundation. The individual graphics and visual metaphors they developed are the beginning of a new, richer, and more inclusive visual language for cybersecurity, opening up a critically important conversation to more people who need to know about it.


About The Challenge

In partnership with OpenIDEO, the open innovation practice of global design company, visual creators from around the world submitted their best ideas for new ways to convey important cybersecurity topics. Cybersecurity experts from the Hewlett Foundation’s network were enlisted to help refine their work, and ultimately to select the top ideas from the Challenge, which are included on this website.

See the Top Ideas

The Team


Eli Sugarman

Cyber Initiative Director

Heath Wickline

Communications Officer

Kristy Bernard Tsadick

Deputy General Counsel

Marlene Zapata

Program Associate, Cyber Initiative

Monica M. Ruiz

Cyber Initiative and Special Projects Fellow


Alex Nana-Sinkam

Program Lead

Alisa Ahmadian

Program Lead

Hannah Lennet

Marketing Lead

Erika Díaz Gómez

Visual Designer & Illustrator, Challenge Identity & Report

Hillary Liang

Outreach Strategist

Lauren Ito

Design Strategist

Chelsea Takamine

Program Lead

Scott Shigeoka

Program Lead


Charlotte Stanton

Formerly of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Herb Lin

Stanford University

Jim Baker

Formerly of R Street Institute

Mike McNerney

Arceo Labs

Philip Reiner

Institute for Security and Technology

Renee DiResta

Stanford Internet Observatory

Scott Rosenberg


questions or comments?

Please contact us.