Icon to represent Graphic Design

Stackhaus23's picture

If you could use one icon to represent a graphic design department within a creative agency, what would it be?

For example -

Sound = Headphones/Speakers,
Video = Video Camera/Filmstrip,
Photography = Camera/Film Canister,
Graphic Design = ?

PS - Not a Mac!

bemerx25's picture

Pencil, pen, brush, knife and ruler/T-square, mug, laser printer perhaps? Or a pixelated mouse pointer...

blank's picture

A white circle with soft edges to celebrate the ephemeral nature of brilliance.

davef85's picture

Crop and registration marks would work as well

Scott Leyes's picture

Halftone Screen. Technical Pen. Tear-stained change order.

HaleyFiege's picture

A silhouette of Neville Brody's hair.

oprion's picture

A pica ruler :D
Personal Art and Design Portal of Ivan Gulkov

nina's picture

A large coffee mug. (-:

barkeep's picture

I second that, a large coffee mug.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Not really an icon: CMYK. Anyone but a designer wouldn't understand it, though.

Maxx-W's picture

Something like this except less thrown together and more polished.
And probably smaller.

rs_donsata's picture

An eye


nina's picture

Something like this
Cool. A very basic, visual intelligence test. :-D

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Or perhaps a distinct letterform.

pica pusher's picture

Perhaps primary shapes? Triangle within circle within square?

oprion's picture

Another possible variation on the same idea.

Personal Art and Design Portal of Ivan Gulkov

istariskoda's picture

Maxx-W, I was thinking along those same lines, but I think you have your 'Y' and your 'K' mixed up.


istariskoda's picture

And, I know it was a stipulation, but I do still think a mac would be good:


Si_Daniels's picture

Here's a good one for "graphic designer"

Might be okay for "graphic design"? ;-)

James Arboghast's picture

Except for Neville Brody's hair and Sii's Macca's worker, all of these ideas I've seen before as props for G.D, and not one has ever been used for such.

Only thing I can think of is a detail from a Dürer woodcut or engraving in a process color on white background, with coffee stains on it.

j a m e s

versonova's picture

I have had to solve this sort of thing in the past . . . you have to play off the similarities of the elements to make something greater than the sum of the individual units.

A Light Bulb for each of the four
but the bulb is somehow morphed into an object of the trade.

a paint brush for the designer
a tv for video
a camera lens for the photog
a microphone for audio


A Bird for all of them
and each is wearing/interacting with a device of the trade. . . .

BTW - originality is a thing of the past - just be unique in the implementation of your style...

Above all let us know how it turns out...

thanks - versonova

Petar Belic's picture

The CMYK thingie is no longer as relevant as it was 10 years ago. Graphic designer work both online and and in print now. Something more basic like an illustrating hand may be suitable. It's a jolly hard one, as the the times, they are a changing...!

Bites of Life's picture

You need Typography and Image.
Why dont you create/play with an image conveyed with type reading Graphic Design? Creatively?
I dont think you'll be able to find a singular element to represent such as broad discipline.

Theunis de Jong's picture

(Part of) An iconic image:

Bites of Life's picture

To me that means...drawing. Perhaps illustration.
Type needs to appear in a creative way to say Graphic design

Mr Austin's picture

Maybe a symbol from the Adobe Creative Suite?

The colour palette or the pen tool perhaps. Although these could suggest anything from painter and decorator to journalist if people are not familiar with Illustrator/Photoshop etc.

No simple solution I'm afraid, You'll probably need to combine a few elements, as obviously GD is such a broad discipline.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

The pathfinder icon suggests arranging of objects, which in a brooooaaad sense is essentially what graphic design is.

fatbob's picture

Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man or the Reutersvärd triangle...

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