Labyrinth through a history of Digital Iconography: From 1980s to 2010s | Part 3

Icons have always been found highly useful in limited digital environments and in diagrams, maps and other forms of visual communication. As a visual shorthand, it can label, inform, and aid navigation quickly and effectively in minimal space. At Think Design, we stepped back to discover how icons have been used from the earliest desktop days – in a pursuit to build on our current understanding, looking to appreciate and learn from the past, and look at the future informed by a lens of insights.

Stephen DickensTushar Krishnan & Hari Nallan

At Think Design, we created 4 separate infographics, each one providing a brief introduction into the iconography of each respective decade; 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. Let us look at how the last decade played a role in transforming how iconography has evolved until today.

Part 3/4

The 2000s – Dawn of the realistic icons

This decade became a time when more realistic, multi-layered, shiny and multi-shaded icons gained momentum. Apple smashed the idea of icons as symbols with photo illustrative icons, while a transition from teal and violet GUI used in both Apple and Microsoft systems, to bold blues, occurred. Emphasis on realism began as more smartphones started inundating the market, and meticulous details were captured to create life mimicking icons.

Icons should speak for themselves and create brand recall and a consistent brand language, facilitating better, clearer, and faster communication, while enhancing the design experience and breaking language barriers.
Stephen Dickens

Stephen Dickens

User Experience Strategist for Think Design at their newly established Denver, Colorado studio. Stephen draws upon his 10+ years of cognitive behavioral experience to understand and strategize how and why users experience the digital and physical world.

Tushar Krishnan

Tushar Krishnan

Senior User Experience Designer at Think Design, Tushar is a graduate from the Parsons School of Design. He is driven towards creating intuitive and engaging experiences and works in the areas of Experience Design, Systems Design, Information Design and Game Design.

Hari Nallan

Hari Nallan

Founder and CEO of Think Design, a Design leader, Speaker and Educator. With a master's from NID and in the capacity of a founder, Hari has influenced, led and delivered several experience driven transformations across industries. As the CEO of Think Design, Hari is the architect of Think Design's approach and design centered practices and the company's strategic initiatives.

 

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