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How to use iconography to make any message more powerful

How Icons Make Any Message More Powerful

Isn’t it iconic? Don’t you think? Icons have the power to move mindsets forward, impact perspectives, and change understanding. In Projector, you get free, unlimited access to millions of icons from Noun Project. Here’s how to use them in your stories.

Icons have a wizard-like way of synthesizing the complex and enlightening the dull. They exist everywhere in our day-to-day lives, from cautionary hazard signs to playful emojis in text threads. Icons can carry so much weight in design and that’s why curators like Noun Project have devoted so much to upping the ante for iconography.

Here’s why icons are such potent design assets.

Icons help to encode learning

We’ve all heard the idea that the world comprises visual learners, auditory learners, and tactile learners, but the truth is most people learn through a mix of everything. Icons specifically play well to “Dual Coding” which says that people better take in information and remember it when they get two types of cues at the same time. In graphic design, this often means both writing words to explain something and including an icon to depict it visually.

A free presentation template in Projector, using icons to communicate effectively.
A free presentation template in Projector, with its design centered around iconography. Get it here.

Icons have inherent duality to them

Often the tension of design is one of two things — the idea is either too complicated to explain with words or too boring to say without visuals.

Icons play on both sides of the tracks, helping you to make the complex more accessible and the mundane more fanciful.

You can think about the power of emojis as a prime example of icons’ inherent duality. Emojis synthesize complex ideas with such precision that they’ve become powerful tools in an array of critical fields. There’s even a movement by doctors to get more emojis for emergency medicine.

On the other hand, everyone agrees emojis are fun! They make things cool and cute! Even an 1862 transcription of an Abraham Lincoln speech is reported to include a winky face emoticon.

Surprised it wasn’t the top hat emoji ;)

A free social media template for promoting your latest podcast episode
A Projector template for promoting your latest podcast episode on social media. Get it here.

Icons can make your design more inclusive

It’s not news that all kinds of media have historically utilized singular perspectives to account for diverse narratives and experiences. However, as society opens up its understanding of how expansive the human experience is, the ways in which we describe our worlds have followed in inclusive efforts — design included.

The Noun Project — whose icons you can easily use in Projector — is intentional about curating inclusive icons. The platform aims to build a global visual language that unites all of us. In this way, their icons are being taken to task to provide a wider net to speak to more marginalized and underrepresented communities.

A sample of icons from Noun Project — available for free in Projector.
Icons from Noun Project — available for free in Projector

Icons increase the stakes

When most people think of icons they naturally think of hazard signs, bathroom doors, and TSA lines. That’s because icons are able to capture your attention and — in so few strokes — account for a plethora of high-stakes meaning.

Although an icon to many of us is just a simple cartoon-like symbol, it actually carries a lot of weight in regards to how physically or emotionally safe someone will be in a given space.

Icons lend gravitas to any real-life situation, which makes them incredibly powerful communication tools for any type of message.

An icon-centric, free presentation template that can be used as an editorial calendar, and more.
Another icon-centric presentation template from Projector’s template library. Get it here.

In Projector, you can easily incorporate icons into your next post or presentation by using the library of modern icons from Noun Project. Get unlimited access to icons for just about anything, and customize them by changing them to any color, applying effects like Tint and Blur, and even filling them with videos. Find the right one, and you might even be compelled to remove text altogether.

Sign up for free here.

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