The Most Influential Person, EVER – Award Badge Design

I’m stuck on a design I’m working for a re-design for the “Most Influential Blogger Award”. Well not exactly stuck, but it’s an interesting question :

If you were designing a badge with “the most influential person” of all time, who would you put on it ?

My thinking is that not a religious or political figure, because obviously there are admirers and then there are those that don’t like because it’s that party or that religion. So these are out for me.

I’m also thinking of someone who’s *extremely* well know, and doesn’t have an Achilles heel.

Henry Ford and Albert Einstein were prime contenders. However it’s been pointed out to me that Ford had some associations during WW2 that made him unpopular. And Einstein’s theories were used to create the atom bomb.

Gandhi is well known and liked, but is starting to fall under a niche culturally, and wasn’t he political ?

Mandela was political. Jesus and Muhammad are religious figures.

Science is starting to feel like quite a safe haven, but some of the great scientists aren’t exactly well know.

I’ll probably run with Einstein. But suggestions and comments welcome, and open to changing my mind in light of a well reasoned and stated case 🙂 … hard to find a universally liked and recognised icon who’s influential !

Happy to switch tracks any which way, the yoda worked quite well for the Inner Peace award badge.


Don Charisma

Resources & Sources

Einstein Photo – Public Domain, wikipedia

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74 thoughts on “The Most Influential Person, EVER – Award Badge Design

  1. I can’t choose only one. I post on my blog who they are and all of them had in common that they were religious people but I don’t mind. I only see in them the best contribute they do to the humanity. It’s nough for me. What an interesting article!

    1. Thanks, I’m currently looking at using the “S” from superman on the badge, I think it says all the right things, without the the issues associated with real people 🙂

  2. I’ll say that it should be a toss up between either Gandhi or Lincoln. These two men showed character unlike any I’ve ever seen and both had balls of titanium, plus compassionate hearts to boot. Some may not like them, but that too is a testament of their influence. Influence doesn’t always mean you have to be liked, does it? Influence isn’t all about the popularity. Most influential people are always known for standing their ground, which will always make them slightly unpopular among a few people.

    Just my thoughts on the subject, Don. Hope you don’t mind. 🙂

    1. Both stand up guys for sure … and being influential I agree with what you say … however it’s a badge for an award, and a lot of people are t-shirt philosophers, they just read the title of the book … you read several thousand comments on my blog, and you’d definitely see a pattern ! … so it’s needs to be dead simple, so most people will get it … I’m thinking of superman’s “S” actually, but no firm decision been made …

      1. OK…..have to agree with you on that one, mate. Lots of people actually just read the title of the book. Superman’s “S” seems like the best idea then. Maybe even Batman’s logo, his influence in pop culture is quite high nowadays.

      2. For sure … maybe an S for the boys and a wonderwoman logo for the girls … however I don’t know how popular wonder woman is … I’ll ask around I guess !

      3. I don’t think she’s as popular all over the globe as Superman and Batman. Among female superheroes, Black Widow is quite popular nowadays, especially after the success of the Marvel flicks.

      4. A bit of further research reveals super-woman, so in an air of good time management I’ll use the “S” logo and supply the old badge too … then it’s up to the awardee which one they want 🙂

  3. Einstein is okay, but I hear that he may not be correct in all his theories. How Jonas Salk, the guy who came up with the polio vaccine? He saved a lot of people from one terrible disease.

  4. I like Einstein and think it’s the safest all around choice with influence and recognizability as determining factors.
    Ol’ Oprah may be more recognizable and influential in today’s word but not sure if that’s the direction you’d wanna head lol.
    I of course would like to see Hunter S Thompson’s leering face, or Vonnegut’s sad smile, May be David Byrne’s inquizzical stare.
    How about having a rotating cadre of influential people?
    Oh n you were very kind to the variety of individuals who kept suggestin Jesus…after touching on it in the post already…yer a man among men DC.

    1. I know, I didn’t think they were causing any harm … and thanks …

      I’m thinking of the S off of superman’s chest at the moment, and maybe a girl one with wonderwoman … but nothing set in stone …

  5. Gabriel García Márquez died last Thursday and he’s very popular in the Latin American world of literature and his books have been translated to more than 20 languages all over the world. Pretty extreme political views but his novels had a magic realism that he mastered throughout his career. He was Colombian and died in Mexico at the age of 87.

  6. I think you should go for whoever is in your mind. I don’t believe that any person is perfect, even Jesus broke down and cried because he was human.

  7. Well, based on TIME Magazine’s Top 100 most influential people of 2009, you’d have to go with moot, the creator of 4chan. But I don’t think you’d want to feature him, anyway.
    The joke is quite amusing and the post explaining how they did it was an interesting read.
    “Marblecake, also The Game”

  8. My choice would be Benjamin Franklin. I know, he’s political and he was anything but a perfect person. But he was one of the world’s most forward thinking people and was probably born a hundred years ahead of his time.

    Besides, he came up with one of my favorite quotes;

    “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

    I can’t argue with that. So, my vote is for Ben Franklin.


      1. I don’t know if his image without his name would be recognized by everyone, but bloggers are a literary bunch and might know it more than most

  9. Ok, I’ve been looking at this post for ages. Reading and re-reading the post and the comments. So you’re looking for inspirational and an image that everyone will recognise. Not religious or political.

    Outside the box here – we are all influenced in our lives by many things, incidents and people, past people already mentioned and people in our lives. But, after all that, the one person who makes the big changes when we need them. When things get hard and we need to put the work in, is – ourselves. We are our biggest influencer when it comes down to it.

    Use a mirror as your image 🙂

  10. I can tell you that Einstein’s equations made atomic energy theoretically possible and yet really had little to do with the technology of making atomic energy or a weapon. Einstein’s role was in signing a letter to President Franklin Roosevelt urging that the bomb be built. This came after splitting of the uranium atom in Germany in December 1938. German aggression led many to fear that Germany might make an atomic bomb. In August 1939 Leo Szilard wrote the letter to President Roosevelt. It was signed by many and Einstein’s signature was on it. This award is being described as the most influential person and that by its nature means the person that most influenced history – good or bad.
    You might consider restating the name of the award and then carefully describe it as that it represents positive contributions.
    I recommend Gandhi – his influence was not religious. Einstein is atop my list too – however in my opinion we needed Michael Faraday (electromagnetic induction) or Einstein would probably not have demonstrated invisible forces as quickly as he did although he may still have made the same accomplishments. Faraday certainly faced as great odds against his work as did Einstein. Einstein was the person o the century – Time… for the fact is that he is at the top of just about any list.

    Good luck on this project Don.

    ~ Eric

  11. None is liked by all. Does not matter who you choose, there’ll be people who’ll love them and hate them. Go by a personality who influenced you the most!

    1. For sure, that’s probably the conclusion I’m coming to rapidly so thanks for pushing me along … superheros might be another answer … there’s plenty of suggestions, and no hurry to decide … thanks 🙂

    1. Sure I get that, but some of my readers are hindus, buddhists, muslims and probably some other religions too … if I knew the badge would only be offered to christians, then jesus would be a perfect choice !

    2. Lasers and photoelectric effect, orbits and precise gravity calculation, energy medicine, atomic power – Einstein’s work made the emerging technology of the 21st century possible,

  12. Influential people is a hard one to pinpoint largely because everyone has a different influential person they look up to. Your key in making that award should not be to justify a singular person as an act of influential but rather than the act itself. For example build a photoshop montage that shows the most influential acts that have happened in recent century.

    If it was me I’d go with modern pop culture like “barney stintson from how I met your mother” Steve jobs holding an iPhone, a few modern architecture buildings and statues maybe the 2012 London Olympics statue.

    1. Thanks, so some more lateral ideas … the iphone one resonates … I did think perhaps a mythical figure instead a real one, like superman for example …

      What I’ve found with the badges is I like to keep them as dead simple as I can, not too many words, not too many concepts, so it’s plain what’s being communicated … I started doing the alternate badges as some of them have been around a while !

      1. You’re funny, although whilst I know you’re recognised almost everywhere, I do suspect I have one or two readers who might not recognise … but very cool never-the-less … perhaps next time I’m stuck with this dilema I’ll put it out as a prompt or a challenge and see what comes back … happy easter egg hunting 🙂

      1. After making the comment about Einstein turning towards Advaita later in life, I realized my memory might not be correct. He did meet a couple of times with Indian philosopher Tagore to discuss the nature of reality. And there are many quotes from Einstein on predetermination, which are very similar to quotes of Sri Ramana Maharshi (both were alive at the same time).

      2. Einstein did give the western world a lot to think about thou! Hahaha. Your bringing him up has inspired me to maybe write an article about his notions on Free Will or Determinism. I see it how he saw it. Thanks!

        Steve Jobs is not high on my list… even thou a great visionary, he seemed greedy and stingy with the wealth he made from the backs of unfortunates in China and elsewhere. His factories have become a little better after being in the spot light, but still not great. His products thou wonderful, are way over priced and have become an elitist symbol for many.

        Anywho… great post and food for thought. Who ever you come up with shall be interesting indeed! xo

      3. Thanks, and it’s funny but I was looking at superheros, might do the S logo from superman … I like to try to keep it dead simple, it’s lovely to find out more about famous souls, but …

  13. How about Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Colombian writer that won the Nobel for literature, author of ” 100 days of solitude”, great reporter when he was young, recognized world wide, died 2 days ago.
    Google him. He was an inspiring person.
    Happy Easter!

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