after 15 months of review, the design for the world (DFTW) team has digested many different sketches, ideas and suggestions for the solution of the push/pull pictogram. i’d like to think i contributed a bit with my research and suggestions. even brainstorming abstract ideas helped expand the real solution. they grouped most submissions into families:
there were 9 pages of composites, many of which were very similar, just varied by style. overall, and in the end, the standard for pictograms has been established by the pictogram system of Otl Aicher, designed for the Olympic games of Munich in 1972. DFTW’s process seems to be summed up in these words, “the new push-pull pictogram should follow this extreme formal synthesis so as to achieve maximum and immediate comprehension and also be able to be integrated in the pre-existing pictogram system.”
here’s a few sample of pages filled with the world’s initial submissions:
and here were some of my ideas:
the final solution of the pictogram will be registered so as to be of public use and no one can claim to have the copyright on it.
to dig in the archive from June 2008, my proposal can be viewed at the old blog:
a little wiki on pictograms:
1. Starting with the name itself: picto, from latin, signifies picture, and gramma, from Greek, means word; so, pictogram means literally picture-word. This signifies an extreme contraction of the meaning to one single word: the mentioned picture-word.
2. All pictograms are self-explanatory, they do not need to be accompanied by words for their understanding and do not need to be interpreted like, for example, in the case of a symbol.
3. The forms of the pictograms are visually extremely synthesized and reduced to their most basic expression so as to be immediately comprehensible in any cultural or linguistic context.
1. The American Institute of Graphic Arts, New York 1981
2. Otl Aicher, Zeichensysteme der visuellen Kommunikation, (Sign Systems of visual communication) Verlagsanstalt Alexander Koch
GmbH, Stuttgart 1977.