Symbols in Graphic Design

Visual symbols are everywhere, we can see them in shopping malls, public transport, on billboards and posters, print ads, maybe even on your t-shirt.   Visual symbols have different meanings: economic, personal, spiritual, sports, emotions, etc.

Why do we use symbols?

Humans have used visual symbols to convey their messages since prehistoric times. On the walls of ancient caves, you can find symbols of people and animals in the form of simple scratches and shapes.

Do you know why a symbol is so effective for communicating with all sorts of people?

Because the visual perception of a symbol can convey the same meaning to everyone who sees it. For example, the symbol for the feeling “Love” has the same form for every person in the world.

(You’re thinking about a heart shape, right?)

A visual symbol also has a strong influence on a person’s lifestyle and character. Certain symbols can even raise the prestige and social status of its user.

For example, someone wearing a t-shirt with a “roaring tiger” as a visual will give a different impression than a person wearing a t-shirt with a “timid rabbit” as a visual that’s because both the visual and character have a different meaning to us.

So imagine you see two big, in-shape guys, both are wearing different t-shirts.

The first guy is wearing a shirt with a “Harley Davidson” logo, while the other is wearing a shirt with a peace sign. Obviously your perception of these two men would be different, right?

Symbols are also a great way to communicate quickly to a large varied audience,

Think about a big airport like Chicago O’Hare where thousands of people from around the world show up each day all craving the same information: where is the taxi, luggage, bathrooms? If this info had to the spelled out in every language of every passenger the signs would be huge and confusing and ugly, thanks to symbols (and graphic designers) that’s not the case.

Download file 1 HERE!

Download file 2  HERE!

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