Paul Ibou is a Belgian graphic designer whose work includes 350 logos and symbols for corporations and public institutions, and in 1980 he started the publication Vorm in Vlaanderen. He has a great collection of work. My personal favorite is this calendar. I’m sucker for a tightly kerned sans-serif.
The new book Symbol by Angus Hyland of Pentagram looks like a gem.
The book features over 1300 symbols, organized into groups and sub-groups according to their visual characteristics. Each category includes a short introduction on who the symbol was designed for, the designer, and in some cases, what the symbol stands for. These sections are interspersed with short case studies on both classic and more recently designed symbols.
I recently designed the cover of a promo EP for a New York City band called Scout. The album is titled “All Those Relays” and after speaking with the band I was inspired to use circuit schematic symbols in the design. I find the schematics to be visually interesting and the symbols have a certain beauty to them. I’ve always seen different letters in the symbols, so I had the idea of forming the album name using the symbols in a schematic.
After researching the standard symbols used in the industry, I knew that I would have to just make up some of the symbols myself. So some of them are actual symbols, some are variations on symbols and some are completely fabricated.
The toughest part was forming the letters, but not making them too obvious and at the same time remaining true to the standard symbols. Doing this and keeping a seamless circuit also proved to be difficult. I went through a few pencil sketches before settling on a path.
Dave posted a gallery of his Icographic Magazine collection. Icographic was founded by John Halas in 1971. It was designed and edited by Patrick Wallis Burke and focused on visual communication. Excellent collection. I have to get my hands on some of them.
Here’s another rare gem that I managed to find. Signet Signal Symbol, by Walter J. Diethelm and published in 1984, is a book displaying commercial and cultural signs, symbols, logos and icons. What makes this book very unique are the three translucent pages featuring actual design sketches from the designers. An excellent insight into the process and evolution of the designs. Book itself is pretty rare but it makes an great inspirational tool for I need to sign logos and icons.