The Icon Handbook

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Jon Hicks, "The Icon Handbook"

2012 | ISBN: 1907828036 | 317 pages | EPUB | 12,7 MB

Approximately nine and a half billion miles from Earth, the American space satellite Pioneer 10 continues its lonely journey through the outer reaches of our solar system. If the space probe is ever discovered by another intelligent life form, the extraterrestrials will find a gold-plated plaque affixed to the side of the satellite. Engraved on this plaque is a pictorial message that communicates the essence of our human species and the location of planet Earth.
I can think of no greater example than the Pioneer plaque to demonstrate the universal communicative power of symbols. Imagine all the sophisticated technology embedded in this satellite. Yet, when tasked with telling the most important story, the story of the human race, scientists relied on hieroglyphs, one of the most basic and ancient forms of communication. They did this because they knew symbols have the power to transcend any cultural or even cosmic barrier and deliver information effortlessly and effectively.
It comes as no surprise then, that in our ever shrinking and highly technological world, symbols, because of their universal communicative power, have become the preferred language of the internet age. In the past few years alone there has been an explosion of new symbols and icons added to the lexicon, and this trend shows no signs of stopping. Think of all the symbols that have been created to represent concepts around social media: tweet; like; share; link; blog; user. These symbols have become and will remain a part of our everyday life. Now imagine all the symbols that will be needed to represent new concepts in medicine, nanotechnology, environmental protection, human rights and augmented reality. It is safe to say designers are poised to exponentially expand the world's visual language vocabulary over the coming years, and this book will be an invaluable tool to assist them.

Edward J Boatman
Co-founder of the Noun Project

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