How would a set of “ideograms” for sustainable design look like?
In the following weeks I will be posting here in the blog, a series of environmentally themed ideograms inspired by Ottl Aicher’s work for tourist board of the town of Isny, in Germany . I will be looking at energy generation technologies, passive and active design techniques, recycling, waste reduction and social sustainability.
Here is the first set. Large scale wind turbines installed onshore and offshore.
I am not going to describe the images because they are able to explain themselves. And this, for me, is the key difference between an Ideogram and an Icon. Icons can be shorthand for many things, they symbolise an idea or intention, and depending on the complexity of thing being represented they might need to be supported by written language which expands the message which the icon is specifically representing.
The ideograms, by presenting a “situation” can convey what they are meant to represent accurately. The arrangement of different elements within their canvas makes sure that the viewer gets enough information so that vocal or written language is not necessary for their interpretation.
wind turbines set

I am releasing these graphics and the ones to follow on a Creative Commons licence for free use. If you would like to receive a copy of these vector files, just sign up for our newsletter (we only send it twice per year).