“Design Icons Convey Meaning at a Glance”

episode #634 -August  29. 2021

HOST: Lorraine Ball | Digital Toolbox

Pictures, such as design icons speak louder than words.

the episode

My husband and I took a trip through Central Europe. In the span of two weeks we were in three different countries with three different currencies and three different languages. Neither my husband or I speak Czech, German or Hungarian. But we managed to navigate bus, train and boat transportation with ease.

How did we do it? Almost everywhere we went. The directional signs included simple icons which conveyed their meaning at a glance. As I sipped my espresso in the sidewalk café I thought about how this same strategy of simple meaningful graphics applies to any business, even if you are not serving a global audience.

Why? Because your brain can process images 60,000 times faster than it can process words. Whether you’re running through a train station, or surfing a website an image conveys an idea or an emotion in an instant. And so if you’re thinking about adding icons to your marketing or website, here are a couple of quick rules. First, keep the graphic simple. Second, create a consistent style set. So all of your icons look like they’re part of a family. And finally, test for meaning. Don’t assume your icon communicates what you think it does. Show it to people and see if they understand the meaning and the intention behind the design icons.

about the marketing minute

Each week, host Lorraine Ball shares just a few words on a marketing topic. She boils down creative ideas, practical tips, and decades of real-world experience into a mini podcast which is always less than two minutes.

Look for these mini bits of marketing inspiration every Sunday.  Then come back and enjoy the longer interviews every Thursday.

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design icons communicate meaning at a glance

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