Re: Suggestion for new dingbats/symbols

From: Neil Harris <>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2013 11:26:56 +0100

On 31/05/13 01:13, Dreiheller, Albrecht wrote:
> Watching the discussion on symbols, icons, signs, emoticons of the last days,
> I'm thinking a little bit philosophically about the question:
> Where will we end up?
> Is communicating with symbols like a new easy-to-learn universal language?
> Is this our new Lingua Franca?
> Even if there will be more different symbols than Chinese characters?
> Well, it might be easy to understand symbols, if the context is clear and
> if they are displayed or printed with good quality.
> So the _receptive vocabulary_ might be pretty big for many people.

That's certainly my rationale. I'm not arguing for the encoding of all
pictograms, and even more so not advocating the use or development of
novel pictographic languages or any such similar development.

I'm only arguing for the encoding of pictograms that are

* in widespread use internationally
* that are used commonly in contexts where they are _used like, or in,
text_, in particular their use in Rosetta Stone-like multilingual signs
* that belong to standardized sets
* and that are instantly recognised understood by a _very large_ number
of people from a wide range of cultures

Over and above this, I think that this can also be combined with a
"complete the existing set" rationale.

After a lot of Googling, I have discovered that many, but not all, of
the ISO 7001 symbols already seem to have been encoded in the block
U+1F680 - 1F6FF, Transport and Map Symbols, which also contains other
similar symbols which to the best of my knowledge are not part of ISO 7001.

A quick glance at the Unicode code tables shows that several other ISO
7001 symbols are already encoded elsewhere:

* U+2B06 UPWARDS BLACK ARROW, in a block with seven other arrows
pointing to the other cardinal points
* U+1F481 INFORMATION DESK PERSON has an obvious equivalent in ISO 7001

I also spotted a number of other symbols that I think meet the
definition I gave above which are already encoded, presumably using a
similar rationale to the one I gave above:


The ECOMO of symbols set is particularly interesting, as it seems to be
a compendium of not just the ISO 7001 symbols, but also the DOT and AIGA
symbols, and almost all the other symbols I could think of as meeting my
earlier criteria, such as the ubiquitous "running man" emergency exit
symbol. the stylized "i" information symbol, and the symbols for sports

There is a list of all 125 of them here:

Received on Fri May 31 2013 - 05:31:44 CDT

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