Ever wanted to know why the Bluetooth symbol looks like it does, or what the deal is with the logo on the Command button on Apple keyboards? This link
, which tells the story behind the design of many common user interface symbols, has got you covered.
posted by Effigy2000
on Dec 20, 2013 -
In reflecting on the project, McAllister feels “caught between the intimacy of each individual response, and the pattern of the cumulative replies.” The question remains: Why did they answer? McAllister claims no credit, describing his survey form as “barely literate.” He recalls that in his cover letter (no examples of which exist) he misused the word precocious—he meant presumptuous—and in hindsight he sees that he was both, though few writers seemed to mind. “The conclusion I came to was that nobody had asked them. New Criticism was about the scholars and the text; writers were cut out of the equation. Scholars would talk about symbolism in writing, but no one had asked the writers.” Sixteen year old boy dislikes English homework, goes outside the chain of command.
posted by villanelles at dawn
on Dec 5, 2011 -
There are those points in every interactive designer’s career when he becomes fed up with producing the same set of graphics all over again for every website he designs. It could be the social network icons or gallery arrows. Similar for interactive developers that have to slice the same GIFs and PNGs each time the art director asks them to. Until now. Just Be Nice Studio came up with a typeface that includes frequently used iconographics and symbols. Although, the idea is not unique — Webdings and Windings have been around for quite some time — all of them have a lot of unnecessary symbols. Web Symbols
is a set of vector html-compliant typefaces, so it might be used in any size, color and browser (okay, mostly — but IE7 for sure).
posted by netbros
on Nov 18, 2011 -
The Noun Project
collects, organizes and adds to the highly recognizable symbols that form the world's visual language, so they may be shared in a fun and meaningful way. The goal is to collect and organize all the symbols that form our language into one easy-to-use online library that can be accessed by anyone. All the symbols on their site are completely free to download, and can be used for design projects, architecture presentations, art pieces — just about anything.
posted by netbros
on Jan 11, 2011 -
. How, exactly, does a simple picture go about telling you, "Be careful here. It's cold, and sometimes ice forms on the roof, and it can fall off, and it can be sharp, and that can hurt you"?
Inspired by the upcoming Ken Burns documentary, The National Parks: America's Best Idea
, Jesse Smith of The Smart Set examines the pictograph designs that convey important information to park visitors. [more inside]
posted by amyms
on Jul 31, 2009 -
has a useful and full-featured search for the names and glyphs for those Unicode characters that display as a plain box full of despair. It is presented by the Department of Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz. Roll the dice ⚅⚄
and try it out. [more inside]
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim
on Jan 23, 2009 -
You see, when large trucks make a right turn, they swing a little bit wide to the left first.
Simple idea. Many ways
to express it. God bless
posted by signal
on Oct 29, 2006 -
"Almost half the children committed one or more of these mistakes. They attempted with apparent seriousness to perform the same actions with the miniature items that they had with the large ones. Some sat down on the little chair: they walked up to it, turned around, bent their knees and lowered themselves onto it. Some simply perched on top, others sat down so hard that the chair skittered out from under them. Some children sat on the miniature slide and tried to ride down it, usually falling off in the process; others attempted to climb the steps, causing the slide to tip over.
(With the chair and slide made of sturdy plastic and only about five inches tall, the toddlers faced no danger of hurting themselves.)"
posted by Tlogmer
on Aug 18, 2005 -
--a Montgomery teen arrested 9 months before Rosa Park's now-famous refusal to sit in the back of the bus. There were 4 women who stood up before Mrs. Parks,
yet most of us know nothing about them. It was their
actions that led to the Supreme Court overturning segregation on public transit, yet Rosa Parks is the visible symbol. On worthy and "unworthy" messengers and symbols.
posted by amberglow
on Aug 13, 2005 -
Lakota Winter Counts.
Lakota and other plains tribes counted time by winters. An appointed recorder would choose one major event to mark the year, depicting that event by name and symbol
. Early records dating back to the 10th century were often painted on buffalo skins
; more recent winter counts were recorded as text journals
. These fascinating records offer insight into natural and historic events for our land that precede accounts of European settlers. - more -
posted by madamjujujive
on Apr 26, 2005 -
Language started with emotional signaling.
That's the thesis of a new book, The First Idea: How Symbols, Language, And Intelligence Evolved From Our Primate Ancestors To Modern Humans
, by Stanley I. Greenspan and Stuart G. Shanker.
Lived emotional experience is key to language learning, the authors suggest. "Mathematicians and physicists may manipulate abstruse symbols representing space, time, and quantity, but they first understood those entities as tiny children wanting a far-away toy, or waiting for juice, or counting cookies. The grown-up genius, like the adventurous child, forms ideas through playful explorations in the imagination, only later translated into the rigor of mathematics."
The book is very ambitious, and I don't think we'll ever know
where language came from, but this sounds like a more fruitful line of thinking than Chomsky's deus ex machina
"language gene" mutation.
posted by languagehat
on Sep 29, 2004 -
Say it twice -- don't it feel nice? Most people think of the enigmatic maoi
when they think of Easter Island but an equally vexing mystery is found in twenty-six wooden objects which contain pictographic symbols comprising...what
? A language? A mnemomic system for recording stories now long forgotten? A resource for modern primitives' tribal tatoos? We could ask, but the authors are long-gone
-- the victims of hard times -- leaving only a few tablets and a bunch of carved stone to puzzle over.
posted by Ogre Lawless
on Jan 19, 2004 -
Hate on display.
The Anti-Defamation League has a visual database
of symbols devised or co-opted by neo-Nazis and supremacist groups worldwide, as well as numbers and acronyms with racist connotations. Although most of us know what 88
means, there's also info about others such as the communist-separatist American Front
and the Five Percenters
. More neo-Nazi flags here
; flags and badges here
Please remember: while racism is always immoral, symbols themselves can have several meanings
posted by 111
on Jul 23, 2003 -
Did you know "88" means "Heil Hitler"? Neither did a buyer at Target.
"August 27, 2002 -- Target, the nationwide department-store chain, said today it will pull shorts and baseball caps emblazoned with neo-Nazi hate symbols from its shelves.
" After dithering for a few weeks, Target responded to tolerance.org's campaign, but is now shooting themselves in the foot again by being less than accomodating of returns of the offending (and I do mean offending!) product. The link above is to the original story, the Aug. 27 update is linked at the bottom of that page. Howcum I never saw this on CNN? 8
posted by BGM
on Aug 27, 2002 -
Are you seeing the world differently?
You may be suffering from synesthesia, a rare condition that allows an individual to perceive symbols in color. Someone who has synesthesia will read a newspaper in multitudinous colors, often perceiving a color change within particular syllables. In one case reported in this article, a man overhead a conversation in Korean, only to have his mind inundated with colors, despite being unable to understand the words. Rare condition or a state of sensory cognition to come?
posted by ed
on Mar 19, 2002 -
the biohazard symbol came to be (from NYTimes Magazine)...
posted by Miyagi
on Nov 18, 2001 -
If you find that flags on SUVs or for sale in pop-under ads water
down the meaning of Old Glory, have I got
Art's exploration of the flag as a symbol both strengthen it's value
as a powerful icon, and question our country's fallibility.
posted by machaus
on Oct 27, 2001 -
The American Institute of Graphic Arts offer a selection of useful symbols in eps and gif formats for free download
. Are there any other sites offering similar symbols?
posted by ecvgi
on Sep 10, 2001 -
Mississippi Reaps What it Sews?
Mississippi votes overwhelmingly to keep the Confederate flag as part of the state flag design. Is this democracy in action? This type of issue is usually decided by a state legislature. I understand the idea of heritage but surely there are ways to preserve it without having a banner on every corner widely seen as a symbol of slavery and racism. Even if you don't view the Southern cross as representing this, why hurt the people who do? The Nazi's built their power on the nationalistic idea of German "pride and heritage", but you don't see swastika flags flying today over Berlin. Does anyone think there should be an economic boycott of the State, like the one that was effective in getting North Carolina to remove the confederate symbol from its capital building? (Public buildings here in Texas now display the official Confederate State's flag when flying our "six flags" - not the Southern cross which was actually a battle flag.)
posted by sixdifferentways
on Apr 18, 2001 -
evidently, reparations were never made to gay holocaust survivors in germany. never mind that's where the pink triangle came from...
posted by patricking
on Jun 16, 2000 -