The Identity Commons logo is a mashup of the letters "i" and "c", and it represents two ideas. The first is the notion of an upside-down umbrella. Identity Commons was founded on the notion that it would empower bottoms-up work, rather than organize itself from the top-down. The upside-down umbrella metaphor reflects that.
The second idea is a one-eyed smiley. As Meng Weng Wong, who conceived of this logo, explained:
In Book 9 of Homer's Odyssey, a scouting party led by Odysseus lands on the Island of the Cyclopes and discovers a large cave. They enter into the cave and feast on food they find there. This cave is the home of Polyphemus, who soon returns and traps the trespassers in the cave. He proceeds to eat several crew members, but Odysseus devises a cunning plan for escape.
To make Polyphemus unwary, Odysseus gives him a skin of very strong, unwatered wine. When Polyphemus asks for Odysseus' name, he tells him that it is 'Outis', Greek for 'no man' or 'nobody'. Once the giant falls asleep drunk, Odysseus and his men take the spit from the fire and drive it through Polyphemus' only eye. Polyphemus' cries of help are answered by the others of his race; however, they turn away from aiding him when they hear that "Nobody" is the cause of his woes.
This being the first recorded case of a security breach due to the lack of an identity management infrastructure, I hope that the Gentle Reader will forgive me for the visual pun: your upside-down umbrella is also a one-i'ed smiley.
As would be expected, this logo emerged from the efforts of several members of our community. Paul Trevithick drove the process and engaged with the designer to produce several iterations. Kaliya Hamlin suggested basing the logo around the upside-down umbrella metaphor. Meng Weng Wong built off of Kaliya's idea and introduced the Cyclops metaphor.