Everyday Icons

In this blog post I will talk briefly about a research assignment that I completed that looks at exploring common iconography used in everyday life.

To begin, I went out into the city where I live (mostly on city streets, and in and around a major shopping mall) to take photos of interesting signs and symbols. I did a quick sketch of each of them, and when I returned to my computer I catalogued my photos and sketches, indicating briefly the purpose for each icon. From here I worked from each rough sketch and developed a polished set of vector icons.

To create the vector icons I used the Sketch app and meticulously constructed each icon using the ‘vector tool’ (or the bezier tool as it’s more popularly known with Illustrator users). If you’re used to using the bezier tool (like I am) it may take a bit of getting used to, just because the commands and shortcuts are completely different. However, once you catch on it’s a fairly straight-forward process. Here are the documented results:

I decided to choose the above icons because they are ones that I consistently see used in the real world, and ones that I feel are very simple and clear, that everyone, no matter what language they speak could clearly understand.

After completing the assignment and reflecting on it, I can see the importance that these simple information-dense graphics bring to the real world. They bring clarity to an otherwise chaotic landscape, help bridge communication barriers and most importantly help us navigate so that we can get around more effectively.

If you are interested in taking a closer look at the vector graphics I created, or would just like to download the icons to use for your own purposes you can have a look here: