Hong Kong's 'Umbrella Revolution': In Search of a Logo

Local artists design symbols for the democracy movement.

Updated at 9:15 a.m. ET on April 21, 2020.

Initially used as a defense from the police’s tear gas and pepper spray in Hong Kong’s democracy potests, the umbrella has come to signify much more. It has become a symbol of defiance against the intimidation of Beijing, and of the protests themselves, now being referred to worldwide as the Umbrella Revolution.

So perhaps it’s inevitable in these brand-conscious days that artists and designers sympathetic to the cause are using the image of an umbrella to create a logo the movement. To gather those efforts, a Hong Kong-based artist started a logo competition on Facebook.

Kacey Wong, an artist and assistant professor at Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, first put out a call for submissions on September 29 after he saw clashes and tear gas on the streets of his city. He is gathering submissions on his Facebook page, inviting artists and designers to submit a logo to “use for the next revolution.”

As of press time today, there were 114 pieces submitted. Here are some of the submissions that stood out to us.

This design by Lily Cheung references a peace sign:

Lily Cheung

Some incorporate yellow ribbons, which protesters have used as a symbol of democracy, like this one by Lance Chiu, who lives in Hong Kong, according to his Facebook page. “It’s my way of contributing, since I haven’t been able to be out with the people,” Chiu said of his design.

Lance Chiu

Others have incorporated umbrellas into the design of the Hong Kong flag, like this one by Sadie Lau. (The Chinese characters below it, 反弹, mean to bounce back or ricochet.)

Sadie Lau

And others have incorporated the Hong Kong skyline, like this one by Raven Raphael H. Ma, a Hong Kong resident, in which the city is shielded under the protective umbrella.

Raven Raphael H. Ma

There’s even a design by the dissident artist Badiucao that mimics Liberty Leading the People, the famous painting commemorating the French Revolution by Eugène Delacroix.*


Wong does not offer prizes to those who submit logos: All he promises is a chance to help promote "justice, democracy, and freedom."

* This article previously misidentified the creator of the design mimicking "Liberty Leading the People." The artist is Badiucao, not Pedro Shi.