A brief history of the manicule, illustrated with some extreme examples.
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020
Thursday, June 6th, 2019
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.
Friday, September 28th, 2018
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”.
Sunday, June 10th, 2018
¶, &, @, ‽, ☺, #, and ☛.
Tuesday, June 5th, 2018
The steps that the Canva team took to turbocharge their design ops.
I’ll talk about why creating a shared design system has boosted our organizational productivity—and how you can help your teams improve product quality while reducing your company’s ‘design debt’.
Friday, February 2nd, 2018
A step-by-step account of trying to find a way to keep Sketch files in sync with the code in a pattern library. The solution came from HTML Sketchapp, a more agnostic spiritual successor to AirBnB’s React Sketchapp.
The contract was incredibly straightforward—as long as you generated HTML, you could import it into Sketch.
After some tinkering, Mark Dalgleish came up with a command line tool to automate the creation of Sketch libraries from HTML elements with
Thursday, November 24th, 2016
An illustrated history of digital iconography.
Friday, April 1st, 2016
The numero sign, the reversed question mark, the interrobang, the l b bar symbol, the Tironian et, the capitulum, and the ironieteken.
Friday, February 7th, 2014
A lovely little tour of eleven ubiquitous icons.
Tuesday, August 14th, 2012
Daniel recently asked a question on Twitter:
I vaguely recall someone (— Daniel Burka (@dburka) August 9, 2012
@lukew?) posting examples of ‘open nav’ icons (eg Path and Facebook) showing an emerging de facto standard. Link?
Unless our navigation’s arranged in a grid (and so we should use a grid icon), I’m putting my weight behind three lines because I think it’s most recognisable as navigation to the average person.
The three-lines icon is certainly very popular, as can be seen in this collection of mobile navigation icons I gathered together on Dribbble.
But Tom has some reservations:
Andy Davies points out another potential issue:
I noticed this in the more recent versions of Android too. It does indeed look a little odd to see the same icon used in the browser chrome and in the document within the browser.
But I still think it’s a good shorthand for revealing a list of items.
The unicode character ☰
☰ (U+2630) is the Chinese trigram for sky (or heaven)—one of the eight bagua. It consists of three horizontal lines. Now that could be a handy resolution-independent way of representing navigation.
Alas, when I tested this on a range of mobile devices, some of them just showed the square box of unicode disappointment. I had much better luck with the unicode symbol for black down-pointing triangle ▼
Mind you, with a combination of @font-face and sub-setting we’re not limited to what the browser ships with—we can provide our own icons in a font file, like what Pictos is doing.
Friday, June 22nd, 2012
It’s really good to see more providers of icon font sets. These look very nicely designed indeed.
Monday, March 19th, 2012
Andy documents the kinds of symbols being used to represent revealable navigation on mobile.
Friday, July 1st, 2005
It's funny because it's true.