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Posts Tagged ‘signs’

Signs: Symbol, Index, and Icon

In Design Theory on March 8, 2010 at 12:13 am

A sign can be defined as a lettered or patterned board that conveys meaning, command, or directions. Another kind of sign is more intangible or spiritual, like, “a sign of success.” For a graphic design discussion, let’s stick to the first definition. Generally speaking, there are three types of signs: symbol, index and icon. Depending on the project requirements, we may be asked to design one or more of these sign types. Let’s look at the differences and some examples of each.

Symbol
A symbol does not have direct connection to what it represents. The meaning usually needs to be learned through association.

Index
An index is a sign that directly points to the message or instruction.

Icon
An icon is directly related to what it represents, the meaning is immediately evident and it can be a smaller part that represents a whole.

Symbol, Index, and Icon examples

Sources

Sobottka, Jason, 2010. HUM311 lecture.
http://www.depauldeltagamma.org/#/delta-gamma-facts/4529840416
http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/gecko.jpg
http://disney-stationary.com/coloring-book/Aladdin/Disney-Princesses-Jasmine-Coloring.jpg
http://www.uoregon.edu/~uplan/plandoc/BikePlan.html
http://store.theexitstore.com/merchant2/graphics/00000001/exitsign-bg-selflluminous-b.gif
http://www.squidoo.com/WDWheightrestrictions?utm_campaign=direct-discovery&utm_medium=sidebar&utm_source=oneskms
http://www.incontrol.org.uk/site/INCO/Templates/News.aspx?pageid=7&cc=GB
http://www.cksinfo.com/clipart/traffic/roadsigns/warnings/deer-crossing.png
http://www.howtodrawguide.com/wp-content/uploads/image/how-to-draw-cartoons/draw-mickey-mouse/mickey-white-papers.jpg

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