Icon designers are dealers in cliché

For writers, a cliché is something to be avoided. It’s a phrase that’s so overused that it’s lost it meaning.

But in visual terms, an image that has been seen a zillion times may well grow in meaning. Why do we think of athletes when we see the Nike swoosh? Because their marketing has created, then reinforced, the association of the symbol with the meaning.

When a designer creates an icon — a tiny symbol that needs to convey meaning at a glance — it makes sense to rely on people’s shared experience of the image-meaning relationship. In other words, if we need a symbol for “Print this,” a representation of a printer will be more self-explanatory than an abstract mark.

It’s a cliché, yes, but exploiting that increases usability.

10 Responses to Icon designers are dealers in cliché

  1. http://www./ July 7, 2016 at 10:34 am #

    Caméra dans les Temples, livres dans les rayons…Noms balancés en place publique après l’avoir tant dénoncé ici même…Etonnant que ça ne te choque toujours pas. Idem pour Detrad. Il me semblait que le dévoilage, à défaut du déballage, constituait une infraction majeure aux serments maçonniques…Une application variable de la géométrie à la morale ?Frère Terrible

  2. http://www.bipgodz.com/ July 8, 2016 at 7:04 am #

    tuica fiarta :-s……bleahstiu ca sunt raceli consecutive pentru ca mereu intre ele exista o zi (daca ai noroc chiar 2) cand te simti bine. apoi apare alta raceala, care difera insa. o raceala se poate diferentia de alta prin faptul ca te doare gatul rau, alta raceala prin faptul ca ai mereu febra. trebuie doar sa le observi nuantele :P

    • Tiger January 6, 2017 at 3:07 am #

      Dieses Motiv habe ich schon öfter mal gesehen. Und mir gefällt es immer wieder. Das Hiintrgruedpapner passt sehr schön dazu. LG von Renate

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    • kredit mobil jogja February 8, 2017 at 7:44 am #

      Nicely explained! (But I have a kids who do grok Rayleigh scattering. Bad sample. Here in Boulder, we’re dealing with water boiling at around 200-202F, and up where we live, at 198F. It makes for both good news and bad news when cooking, as some things will burn less, and some will take forever to get done. (Btw, your thermo may not be wonky, local atmo pressure affects the boiling point.) –rick

    • Pittsburgh car insure ce May 31, 2017 at 8:42 am #

      Thanks for making me have an asthma attack from laughing so fucking hard reading this. The only thing missing was (door flies open) with Darkie 81 coming in to clean up the place with his tongue. When the family wants their chance, Moss uses his signature move…he pushes off. Probably also needed Welkah coming in to get Moss up the ass while Gaffney plays Lucky Pierre (in other words…needed to include the whole Brady Bunch).

    • autokredit rechner September 1, 2017 at 3:37 am #

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  3. http://shttp.space/dealsplus.com August 30, 2016 at 7:29 pm #

    But wanna comment on few general things, The website design and style is perfect, the subject matter is rattling wonderful. “To the artist there is never anything ugly in nature.” by Franois Auguste Ren Rodin.

  4. http://www./ January 19, 2017 at 7:46 am #

    LI must be doing something right, my son is pretty frugal. Last year, I asked him if he wanted the new Nintendo DSi, and he told me now, he said the DS is just find for him and he doesn’t need to get one now…I think I taught him well, at least with respect to frugality.

  5. http://www.hackscheats.us/ February 14, 2017 at 7:43 am #

    Thanks nice to know you found the site useful!You are correct the fact they only have one data center in a earthquake prone area is a concern with . I don’t recall how many data centers has but they certainly have an edge as far as that goes. Although, I think might have the best geographical diverse data centers. Just recently read a report that they have 10 spread out around the globe.

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