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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


 

Icons

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“Iconic” is a much abused word these days but this book from UK publisher Counter-Print can claim the term with some justification:

Icon contains over 200 examples of social media icons from many well-known, as well as up-and-coming, graphic designers and illustrators. This limited and concise canvas for self-expression is represented within this book through a host of examples collected from around the world, chosen for their creativity, intelligence and beauty.

My own icon/monogram/whatever is one of those featured in the “Shapes” section. It’s strange seeing this symbol subjected to any kind of attention even though it’s at the top of this web page and can also be found in much of my work. It appeared in drawings when I was about 15 or 16 and eventually became a personal identifier some time in the early 1980s. One reason I like it and continue to use it is because I don’t know what it is; it doesn’t originate out of any conscious expression, and doesn’t refer to any specific symbolic history even though it resembles other symbols. I always liked Whistler’s habit of using a peacock as his signature so he didn’t have to spoil his paintings with a scrawl; Aubrey Beardsley imitated his example for a while using three vertical lines as his signature. This icon has served a similar purpose for me although these days I’m as likely to use my surname and some Roman numerals.

Icon is a great little book, smartly designed by Leterme Dowling and brimming with equally smart content. Some page samples follow.

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2 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Gabriel McCann

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    What does it say under the description of you icon on the page? I can’t read it in the picture.
    Also congrats on having your icon included in the book.

  2. #2 posted by John

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    Thanks. Each icon has the name of the person or studio underneath, together with their Twitter name.

 


 

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