Here’s a little mini-collection of the type of symbols that got me onto this symbol tip in the first place. At the risk of sounding like some kind of nutcase or symbol fetishist, I’m going to say that these examples have their own type of minimal graphic poetry, in that they capture the essence of the objects or actions that they’re representing with most simple and restrained geometry possible. They’re Hemingwayesque – they are to pictograms, what the Old Man and the Sea is to Literature. Ummmm…. is that getting a little too art critique for you?
Anyway, these are from the US National Park Service and are so iconic that you’ll find them on Wikipedia’s entry for “pictograms”
See how the horse just has lazy strut on, and the diver is gently kicking his way to the depths, the dog is of a species that you can’t exactly identify but kinda looks like all dogs, and the skier is locked in position and ready for take off?
If you’re as into these pictograms as I am, then you can download vectors files of them over here. Yeah.