Icons in religious art are easily discernable depictions of deity and angels. For believers who didn’t have easy access to scriptures, icons were a way they could remind themselves who they worshipped. Now we have icons that represent not only religious figures, but are pictograms for anything that needs to be represented visually.
The Noun Project seeks to create a simple icon for every noun. Artists donate their designs to the project which students, teachers, protestors, and marketers can use freely. A simple icon communicates any idea quickly, transcending language barriers and some cultural barriers. The founder of the project, Edward Boatman, explains how his project contributes to social good:
Since symbols are a form of communication we all can understand—and a form of communication that can be really easily shared over multiple communication platforms—we shouldn’t only be designing symbols for common everyday concepts. We should also be designing symbols for ideas and concepts that we want to see more of in the world. We made a big push to design symbols for sustainable energy. Or designing symbols that graphically represent the negative effects of bullying—we did that for the Boston public school system.
Along with symbols for bullying and peaceful protest are symbols for Aperture science, sasquatch, and ninjas. An icon for every occasion!