The beauty of communicating through symbols is that it’s universal. It is a language that is understood by all, regardless of what your first language or education. How can Ikea train so many people of varying skills to be able to assemble complex furniture items. They do so through the use of imagery.
One of my favorite sources for icons come from The Noun Project. By categorizing and tagging icons, they are able to create a repository that can be searched and browsed efficiently.
The files come in SVG (scalable vector graphic) format which can be opened with vector programs such as Adobe Illustrator or the open sourced Inkscape. Since these are vectors files, they can be enlarged with no limit and no loss of quality. Unfortunately, it’s also a format that’s not widely supported by all programs such as PowerPoint. As a result, you’ll have to open the file and save it as a .gif/.jpg/.png before using them.
What is your interpretation of the icon below?
Inkscape – open source vector editor similar to Adobe Illustrator
Gimp – open source photo editor similar to Adobe Photoshop
To learn more about The Noun Project, check out the video below.