MacDirectory Magazine

Dmitry Marin

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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The Visual Alchemy of Icons and Pictograms By Picture this: you’re a designer, and you’re handed a task to communicate a complex idea in a simple, universal language. You’re not allowed to use words, only visuals. What do you do? You turn to your trusty sidekicks: pictograms and icons. These graphic symbols shrink large concepts into bite-sized symbols. Quick to the eye, easy to understand, good icons and pictograms are visual haikus: simple yet poetic. They can enhance comprehension, help navigation, add visual interest, and work across cultures. If you’ve created a logo and chosen a brand typeface, your own custom set will allow for a tailored, cohesive style. How? Three principles: simplicity, consistency, precision. Keep your icons simple. Determine the subject matter, style, and number of icons needed. Sketch and scribble rough concepts with basic shapes like lines, simple curves, circles, squares and triangles. Stylize subjects down to their basic recognizable elements, remove unnecessary details. Make your icons consistent: use the same style, perspective, and level of detail across all icons in a set, which helps users identify relationships and builds familiarity. Use a font editor like FontLab 8 where each icon can be a glyph (see figure 1). There, start with the built-in tools to draw the vector

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