BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR USING ICONOGRAPHY
1. The Four Types
Use icons to make reading quicker, more recognizable, engaging, and universal. Know the four icon types (similar, example, symbolic, and arbitrary) and apply the appropriate one to your communication purpose.
2. Brand Recognition
Use icons and shapes to enhance immediate recognition. While logos are useful to brands, icons and shapes can also be useful for non-brand-centric designs like wayfinding signs, handouts, and poster campaigns.
Use mnemonic devices in icons to make them more clearly linked to a brand name or idea (and thus easier to remember).
4. Lines and Paths
Use lines, arrows, and other pathway-creating visual tools to guide a viewer’s eyes and mind in specific, important, and intentional directions. Avoid lines and arrows where importance is already obvious.
Apply pictorial versions of data in charts and graphs to make information more readable and appealing to large audiences.