The Utopian Origins Of The Symbol-Signs We See At Airports

“I refer to those minimal pictographs of man, woman, child, car, sink, toilet, etc., that … are intelligible to all.” They’re from a system called Isotype, invented in the 1920, now seen on signage everywhere, and the biggest influence on current concepts of data visualization. Yet Isotype’s creators were far more concerned with human development than with helping us understand an economics chart or find the restrooms.

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