Graphic Info


The thirty-two signs depicted in this typology are the main abstract shapes created by early humans living in Europe during the Ice Age (10,000 to 40,000 years ago). There are distinct patterns across space and time for each of the signs, suggesting that they were part of a system – possibly one of the oldest systems of graphic communication in the world. (Genevieve von Petzinger)


ANSI & ISO Standards

Are Comic Books an Effective Way to Engage Nonmajors in Learning and Appreciating Science? (Hosler & Boomer, 2011)

Best Practices for E-Newsletter Design

Best Practices in Instructional Design for Web-based Training (US DOL, 2011)

Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (OSU)

Cartoons on War and Peace

Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication (CDC, 2014)

Cutaways of nuclear reactors (over 100)

DOE Fundamentals Handbook, Engineering Symbology, Prints, and Drawings, Volume 1 of 2

DOE Fundamentals Handbook, Engineering Symbology, Prints, and Drawings, Volume 2 of 2

Emily Carr UAD: Course Outline & Reading List (2014)

Designing Descriptive Pictograms (Emrich, 2013)

Design Guidelines and Standard Drawings for Engineering (Clarington, 2010)

Drawing Cartoons Theme Page (Community Learning Network)

Edu Comics Project

Hazard Communication Program Manual (UW-M)

IAMCR – International Association for Media and Communication Research

IBM Design Language

Illustration as information design, part II: Will Eisner on caring for your M16

ImageTexT Interdisciplinary Comics Studies (U Florida)

Improving Visual Communication of OH&S in Coal Mines

International Comic Arts Forum

ISO Graphical Symbols

Isotype: representing social facts pictorially (Burke, 2009)

List of Emoticons

Map Reading and Navigation

National Cartoonists Society

New OSHA/ANSI Safety Sign Systems (Clarion, 2013)

New Zealand national tsunami signage recommendations for CDEM Groups

NIST Contribution to ISO/IEC JTC1 SC37 WG 6, 24779: Pictograms, Icons and Symbols for use with Biometric Systems

Nonfiction Comics

Noun Project

Page 45: Comic & Graphic Novel Reviews

Pictogram Software (International Pharmaceutical Federation)

Principles of Universal Design and Their Application

Rod Stickman

Sequential: Canadian Comix News & Culture

Sequential rhetoric: Teaching comics as visual rhetoric (Watkins, 2014)

Signs, Placards, and Labels for Environmental, Safety and Health (ESH) Hazards

Symbol Signs (AIGA)

The Oatmeal (Matthew Inman)

The Golden Age   …An outstanding collection of graphic illustrations for comics, magazines, books, calendars, and more. Par excellence.

Using Pictograms to Make Transit Easier to Navigate for Customers with Communication Barriers (Mobley & Matherly, 2012)


A Comment on Emoticons and Other Symbols Used in Text

Written discourse seeks to achieve fidelity with the social experience of Face-to-Face (F2F) communications. To foster the replication of the non-verbal cues manifested in F2F encounters, emoticons and other graphical elements are appropriate additions to the stream of alpha-numeric symbols. 

Just as verbal language has long synthesized new words and phrases in the daily flow of conversations, written language evolves in the same way by incorporating new symbols and usages.  Where once the limited production of written and printed text lagged long behind the mass production of verbal (oral) communications, these two forms of communication are now occurring equally massively and simultaneously.   

Emoticons and other graphical elements serve as “shorthand” colloquialisms that convey a sense of familiarity and intimacy in communications – with membership in a group also being indicated through their use, much like a nod, a wink, and a handshake.

Language development is organic.  Effective and efficient communications use all of the signs and symbols that are available — and invents new ones as required, as the ongoing development of mathematical language and symbols shows. To hobble ourselves with a limited menu of signs and symbols is to impede the pace of our individual and collective learning and sharing. 

Jerome Bruner (1915–2016)   …   His concepts of the development of representational capacities, suggested that ideas should be communicated to students using actions, icons or symbols, in that order, and depending on their age.

…  computer scientist Alan Kay, the designer of what became the Macintosh graphical user interface, turned up more than 30 years ago on Bruner’s Manhattan doorstep with a gift of a Macintosh computer. Jerry’s ideas of representing information through actions, icons and symbols, central to his theory of cognitive development, had inspired Kay to get users (even children) to act (through a computer mouse) on icons, enabling the use of an abstract set of symbols (computer program). This was the foundation for what became the Macintosh interface.