Re: Suggestion for new dingbats/symbols

From: Andreas Stötzner <>
Date: Wed, 29 May 2013 19:31:45 +0200

Am 29.05.2013 um 16:56 schrieb Asmus Freytag:

> what aspects should such a study encompass, what are to be its starting points

Just a few thoughts and suggestions, as a possible starting point.

A certain difficulty lies in the fact that the definition of the subject of study is not unambiguously obvious or self-evident first and foremost. Usual terms (symbols, pictographs, ideographs) are more or less vague. On the other hand, the traditional “plain-text” doctrine is also blurring in the light of modern communication situations.
Despite that we aim to describe the task as “the study of internationally used ideographic or pictographic symbols, which are part of modern visual and textual communication and which occur with obvious similarities in various usage environments but with a high degree of semantic coherence”.

The scope of typical usage environments is:
– printed matters and (non-alphabetical) text composing,
– screen interfaces and websites,
– messaging devices and related applications,
– public space signage for orientation,
– maps and similar topographical information graphics.

The thematical scope of relevant symbols may be structured by a listing like this:
– General Miscellaneous
– General Orientation
– Hygiene and Medical
– Transportation
– Places
– Commerce and Services
– Gastronomy
– Accommodation
– Tourism and Leisure
– Camping and Caravaning
– Sports
– Human (body)
– Living Beings I – Plants
– Living Beings II – Animals
– Social life
– Items and Objects
– Functional signage and Interfaces
– …

A more detailed scoring of thematic fields may be structured like this:
GD Transportation
     GDA Bicycle traffic
     GDB Cars traffic
     GDC Busses and Coaches
     GDD Railways
     GDE Shipping, sea and water traffic
     GDF Air traffic

¶5 Course of study
A range of typical samples of the usage of ideographic/pictographic symbols might get documented, studied and analysed. A detailed record of the respective signage is the target. The next step wil be the comparison of the multitude of case-studies, this will reveal some insight on typical, e.g. non-exclusive usage.

We have to bear in mind that a symbol char. “bus” or “envelop” is likely to occur in many circumstances and various usage environments, but with similar or matching semantics. Cross-media relevance is a core concern for envisioning character encodings.

just my three ct.s.

A. Stötzner.


Andreas Stötzner
Gestaltung Signographie Fontentwicklung

Wilhelm-Plesse-Straße 32, 04157 Leipzig
Received on Wed May 29 2013 - 12:33:57 CDT

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