Friday, June 10, 2011


An icon is simply: a representation or if you want to ad to it: a representation that stands for its object. Iconography is becoming more entrenched in our modern visual culture. We see icons on the apps on our phones, street signs, and even in our browsers.

I recently designed the new website, and we decided to use iconography for the navigation. It was challenging, yet fun to come up with icons to use for this site. Icons are almost simplified logos. A logo acts as an icon for a business, but usually more meaning is involved versus an icon. Icons are typically made as simple as possible, because they are used small and need to be universally understood. Icons were some of the first art made by humans. Simple figures that stood for people, weapons, and animals. A way of recording culture. How we have created the symbols has changed through the centuries. We began with simple cave paintings, added color, then used more developed tools for etchings and other art making techniques at styles, and now we have computers and the cellphone has really sparked a new need for unique yet universal icons .

We need unique icons for the personality, customization, and style that we crave as a way of expression. Companies needs the uniqueness for brand identity. Universal icons are needed become a global society. Icons need to relate across cultures and languages. Because we have this rich history in iconography there are still many styles and techniques used for making icons, but there has been a return to simple illustrations, due to the nature of cellphones. The icons used on cellphones (smart and not so smart) and it is difficult to read an illustrious icon because the detail will be lost in small sizes. App icons help us identify the program we want to use and assist us in a quicker many than we would be able to with words.

I encourage you to observe the world around you this week and identify the icons around you, and make some icons of your own to some how help facilitate your life in some manner.

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