The use of pictorial representations as a means of communication is almost as old as man and has always been an important tool to carry and share information in all civilizations, from prehistoric cave drawings, to Egyptian hieroglyphs, to modern day signals. Discover what we think of the design of most existing pictos and participate yourself!
We see pictograms every day in the street, at the airport or train station, in hospitals, on electronic devices or on product packaging. This visual form of communication deliver simple instructions or messages. There are a lot of universally known pictograms, think of a cigarette picto within a red circle and a red line through it that’s universally understood as ‘no smoking’. The departure pictogram displayed in every airport is recognizable as well or even an idea has always been represented by a light bulb.
As designers, we are always trying to surpass borders and modernise our creations. However, we also think changing a universally known picto can be tricky. That’s why we want to raise an important issue here: do you believe all existing pictos and icons are still up to date? We ask this question especially to those who belong to Generation Z, born with technology and electronic devices. Are all those youngsters really identifying themselves to an old-fashioned phone receiver we are still using to represent calls? Help us out by asking your kids if they understand the language of pictogram below:
Does your kid speak pictogram? In any case, the message we want to convey with this article is that graphism evolves constantly, and the design of pictos should too. Since we, as designers, are well aware of the trends to watch out for, we really advise you to listen to what your communication agency has to say about your design in order to make it last as long as it can.