Atomkraft Nej Tak - "The Smiling Sun" logo

Sign saying No thanks to nuclear power.

Everybody knows this sign but I guess Not many knows where it comes from. Here is the story:

The “Smiling Sun” logo was in April 1975, with inspiration from a wider group of activists, designed by Anne Lund and Søren Lisberg, then 21 year old activists within OOA (Organisationen til Oplysning om Atomkraft = Organisation for Information on Nuclear Power), organising the Danish anti-nuclear power campaign. The Logo features a figurative smiling sun surrounded by the wording NUCLEAR POWER? NO THANKS, or the similar message in any other language, in colours yellow, red and black. The intention behind the design was, as phrased by Anne Lund, to create a friendly and open-minded logo, expressing a polite “no thanks” in response to the question raised. It is a logo calling for communication by dialogue.

First public appearance of the Smiling Sun badge was during the 1st of May festival 1975 in Århus, Denmarks second largest town. The Logo immediately turned out to become extraordinary popular. Also anti nuclear groups from other countries soon asked for Smiling Suns displaying the message in their respective language.

Within a few years the logo was translated from Danish into some 45 other national and regional languages and it rapidly became the most common worldwide symbol in the anti-nuclear power movement. It still is. Only in 2007 a Slovenian version was added. The OOA organised from 1976-1982 large print runs comprising various language versions, thus keeping production and wholesale prices for campaign groups very low. The Smiling Sun this way became an important and decentralised fundraising tool, when sold as badges, stickers, T-shirts, etc. Distribution and production agreements were made with campaign groups in most Western European Countries and in the USA, Canada, Australia and Japan as well. In 1978 revenues from sales of the Smiling Sun were used to initiate, and for about 10 years partly finance, the work of WISE (World Information Service on Energy), based in Amsterdam and with relays in many countries.

The OOA has recorded the production of some 20 million Smiling Sun items for sale, not to mention the incalculable numbers of Smiling Suns that have appeared on banners, in leaflets, magazines, newspapers, media programmes, websites, etc. From 1978 some foreign groups began producing Smiling Suns on their own. The OOA did not manage to keep track on such uncoordinated Smiling Sun activities and has accordingly no record on volumes of such production.

The Danish National Museum in 2000 included the Smiling Sun in the collections of the museum. An original drawing of the Smiling Sun Logo and a collection of badges and other products are now on display. Also major museums and institutes in Berlin, Amsterdam, London have collections of Smiling Suns. A Basque group of mountainers placed a flag with a Basque version of the Smiling Sun on top of Mt. Everest. In Århus a 12 meter large out-door wall painting of the Smiling Sun is still kept in good shape.

In 1976 the OOA registered the Logo as a trademark in Denmark and a number of other countries. By December 2004 the Logo was registered as a Trademark within the countries of the European Community.The trademark protection serves the purpose of securing the integrity and independence of the Logo by reserving its utilisation to the anti-nuclear power movement worldwide and enabling action to be taken against abuse and alteration of the Logo by commercial interests, against counter use by pro-nuclear power campaigns and against political parties attempting to take possession of the Logo.
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