I think a pictography is a symbol to convey a message that is easily understood. They can be found everywhere from street signs to computer icons. I have an example of the recycling icon, which is internationally understood. The most important part of pictographs is their simplicity and clarity. When someone sees the recycling sign, they know there is a station where they can throw out their plastic bottles or old news papers. Another example is the men/women’s bathroom symbol. These signs are all over the world and it is vital that the message is clear. Being a women, I don’t want to have to think twice which is my designated restroom. Pictographs are basically the most simple straight forward way of communicating.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by peggycarouthers on 1 February, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    I like that you brought up the recycling sign. I didn’t even think of that one, but it’s definitely one of the most basic and well-understood pictographs there is.


  2. As common as the restroom pictograph is, we take it for granted; but when you’re in a restaurant, perhaps a themed one, in which they have the bathrooms labeled “cowboys” and “cowgirls,” and there isn’t a standard pictograph but little Western-themed female and male symbols, I definitely have to think twice. This usually results in a very close call, namely, me heading straight for the men’s bathroom because I think, “Yeah, it’s on the left I think.”

    The recycling sign is one I didn’t think of. It’s really symbolic, with the arrows giving the direction, the whole thing showing a “cycle.” I never really thought of it that way, though now that I’m examining it, it’s really been quite effective. Instead of bottles saying “this is recyclable,” they can be stamped with this little symbol.


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