This week, Design Week asked me to comment on icon design, a topic that’s come into the spotlight following the evolution of the Instagram icon. Here’s what I said:
“With the ever-increasing simplification of icons and logos in pursuit of more effective digital experience, are we heading toward one universal visual language? A set of symbols all rendered in the same flat keyline? A new hieroglyphic alphabet? There is beauty in this functionality. But how, then, can brands stand out?
The answer would seem to be in the product and not its veneer – whether that is experiential or physical. There’s a trend in packaging right now for showing rather than covering the product.
And a transparency of sorts is evident in the recent Polo mint rebrand by Taxi Studio. The mint itself is now depicted even more plainly within the logo on the pack. But while it has been modernised, this is mainly by virtue of it simply rediscovering its flat design heritage. What’s important is that it’s unmistakeable who this icon belongs to. Sometimes icons don’t need to be created. They are already there.”