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Design of icons and safety signs

By 23. January 2024January 24th, 2024No Comments


Design of icons and safety signs


It’s tempting, the web holds an almost inexhaustible amount of icons and security signs. Just a quick search and download. But what about systematics, corporate identity, semantics and international impact, and, and, and? All this cannot be left to the chance of a search algorithm. Icons and security signs must be developed and tested for the specific application.

Symbols for our engineered world are based on ISO Guide 74 “Graphical symbols – Technical guidelines for the consideration of consumers’ needs”. On this basis, compilations of symbols are continuously standardized:

  • ISO 7001 „Public information symbols“
  • ISO 7010 „Safety colours and safety signs — Registered safety signs“
  • ISO 7000 / IEC 60417 „Graphical symbols for use on equipment“

These symbols are based on the associated design guidelines:

  • ISO 22727
  • ISO 3864-1 … -3 und ANSI Z535.1 … 6
  • ISO/IEC 80416-1 … -4

On this basis and with professional competence I develop icons and safety signs for your products. This is done with a deep technical understanding of your products, which only an engineer with several years of design experience can bring.

All this cannot be left to the chance of a search algorithm.

Marco Jänicke

Request a quote for your custom icons and safety signs:

Design rules

When designing a symbol, I consider the following design rules for you:

  • Simplicity … to allow for recognizability and reproducibility
  • Distinctness … clearly distinguishable from other symbols with which it could be used together
  • Interpretability … self-explanatory or easy to learn
  • Producibility … producible with the usual production and reproduction methods

Creation procedure

  1. I familiarize myself with the context of use of the symbol.
  2. You determine the purpose and meaning of the symbol.
  3. You determine the target group of the symbol.
  4. I check collections of symbols in the standards to see if similar symbols already exist.
  5. I check collections of icons and symbols on the Internet to see if similar symbols already exist.
  6. With the collected information I create a new symbol, taking into account:
    Relevant cultural and ethnic characteristics
    Impact of negation crosses
    Relationship to other symbols (use or avoid)
    Ambiguous meaning (avoid)
    Systematically apply known symbols to new symbols
    Not to use metaphors without necessity
    Not without necessity to use colors
    When using colors, to distinguish them from the colors of safety signs
    Metaphors on the applicability in the target group
  7. Check the created symbol with the target group for comprehensibility according to ISO 9186 “Graphical symbols – Test methods”.

Are you looking for competence? Here it is: