British graphic designer Peter Saville provides a fascinating account of the origin of the design that graces Joy Division's 1979 LP cover Unknown Pleasures on Factory Records. For decades, many thought those ridges were a mountain range. Nuh-uh. They actually represent the frequency of the signal from the first pulsar. The jagged lines came from a page out of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy. After Saville reversed the colors, the design soon appeared on T-shirts and various other clothing items, pottery, tattoos, condom packages, and in many other places.
You do realize that if you wear this design now, you're a cliché? Good. Glad we got that sorted.