A brief history of the manicule, illustrated with some extreme examples.
The ellipsis is the new hamburger.
It’s disappointing that Apple, supposedly a leader in interface design, has resorted to such uninspiring, and I’ll dare say, lazy design in its icons. I don’t claim to be a usability expert, but it seems to me that icons should represent a clear intention, followed by a consistent action.
From the days of Xerox PARC:
In your garage organization, there’s always a bucket for miscellaneous. You’ve got nuts and bolts and screws and nails, and then, stuff, miscellaneous stuff. That’s kind of what the hamburger menu button was.
Same as it ever was.
When in doubt, label your icons.
When not in doubt, you probably should be.
The fascinating story of Charles K. Bliss and his symbolic language:
The writing system – originally named World Writing in 1942, then Semantography in 1947, and finally Blissymoblics in the 1960s – contains several hundred basic geometric symbols (“Bliss-characters”) that can be combined in different ways to represent more complex concepts (“Bliss-words”). For example, the Bliss-characters for “house” and “medical” are combined to form the Bliss-word for “hospital” or “clinic”. The modular structure invites comparison to the German language; the German word for “hospital ” – “krankenhaus” – translates directly to “sick house”.
A profile of Susan Kare, icon designer extraordinaire.
I loved the puzzle-like nature of working in sixteen-by-sixteen and thirty-two-by-thirty-two pixel icon grids, and the marriage of craft and metaphor.
An illustrated history of digital iconography.
Here you go: a free book on icon design in three parts, delivered via email.
This looks like a terrific presentation from Alla on iconography, semiotics, and communication.
The controversial hamburger icon goes mainstream with this story on the BBC News site.
It still amazes me that, despite clear data, many designers cling to the belief that the icon by itself is understandable (or that users will “figure it out eventually”). Why the aversion to having a label for the icon?
Typeset In The Future is back with another cracking analysis. This time—following on from 2001 and Moon—we’ve got Alien.
In her final recorded message before hypersleep, Ripley notes that she is the sole survivor of the Nostromo. What she forgets to mention is that she has not once in the past two hours encountered any Eurostile Bold Extended.
I really like Mark’s idea of standardised “sparkicons” …for a while there, reading this, I was worried he was going to propose something like Snap Preview. shudder
This is a great free service for generating small subsetted icon fonts. Launch the app and have a play around — you can choose from the icons provided or you can import your own SVG shapes.
Nice touch: you can get the resulting font (mapped to your choice of unicode characters) base-64 encoded for your stylesheet.
Tim shows how to make a scalable three-line navicon in CSS.
A nifty service for creating a custom font with just the icons you need.
It’s really good to see more providers of icon font sets. These look very nicely designed indeed.
Andy documents the kinds of symbols being used to represent revealable navigation on mobile.
In an interesting new twist, Pictos now allows you to put together a custom subset of their icons as a font that can be served from their server just like any other webfont service.
Jon gives us a run-through on what to expect from his new book. I’ve had a sneak peek and it looks amazing—I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.
A fascinating look at the experience design of the 9h brand of capsule hotel. I like the consistent use of colour, light and iconography.