Former US president Bill Clinton and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg have unveiled the design in New York ahead of the Decade of Action campaign, which will be launched at global events on 11 May 2011.
The pro bono project was won through an internal WPP competition, which was brought about by the relationship between WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell and the UN, according to Jim Prior, managing partner of The Partners.
A worldwide annual road death toll of 1.3 million has been cited as the impetus for the project.
Hoping to design something collectable and tangible, Prior says the consultancy concentrated on the symbol as an object – ‘the thing, rather than the design of the thing’.
The aluminium material references cars and road signs, which Prior says can be translated globally ‘as in most parts of the world a diamond sign stands for information’.
It will communicate in the same way that ribbons and wristbands ‘have become a symbol for support and ownership’, and has been designed to be ‘durable and not subject to the fashions of graphic design’, says Prior, who adds, ‘A decade is a long time.’