Archive for March 5th, 2014

March 5, 2014


Book from the Ground

Laundry symbols

Pictograms [pik-tuh-gram] are small images that convey their meaning through a pictorial resemblance to a physical object. Early written symbols were based on pictograms (pictures which resemble what they signify) and ideograms (symbols which represent ideas). Ancient Sumerian, Egyptian, and Chinese civilizations developed them into logographic (word-based) writing systems including cuneiform and hieroglyphics, which also uses drawings as phonetic letters or determinative rhymes.

Pictograms are still in use as the main medium of written communication in some non-literate cultures in Africa, the Americas, and Oceania. In certain modern use, pictograms participate to a formal language (e.g. hazards pictograms such as the skull and crossbones, a common warning for poison). Pictograms have also been popularized in use on the web and in software, better known as ‘icons’ displayed on a computer screen in order to help user navigate a computer system or mobile device.

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