Montag, 18. Oktober 2010

1001 Document Icons


The Document Foundation. Well, it seems about documents and their creation ... but how to make that visible? How to come up with both a rather unique symbol and something very familiar?

We've seen so many icons on the different operating systems - most of them are based on a common metaphor: a sheet of paper with a folded edge (a so called "dog-ear").


You already know that our document symbol is different. We thought: Why not unfold the edge? Make it an unique triangle!

Of course, we had a lot more thoughts ...

First, the triangle is shaped like an arrow. It is directed to the upper right and therefore indicates positive progress. Next, the triangle isn't enclosed - it is somewhat open, or even a bit libre.

Additionally, we do not only want to create paper based documents, we are already able to work with many kinds of documents of the digital age. So we somehow fixed the old metaphor and made it compatible with the future :-)

As already said, it is also a very distinctive symbol in comparison with the usual "document icons". Distinctiveness means being unique and providing a good recognizability.

Finally, the shape and the simple layout makes it easy to work with. Have a look at my last blog post that deals with some qualities of good logos.

Well, as always (in life) you may agree or disagree ...

Key Visual

The triangle is also a great "key visual". Being straight and clean, it can be re-used to visualize the intended message. Examples?

Let's have a look at the LibreOffice artwork. More specifically, let's have a look at the splash screen ...

The triangles form a pattern in two of the corners. You may notice that the triangle of document symbol itself is aligned with the pattern and that all the triangles point towards the same direction.

Completely different is the "10th community anniversary" graphic. It re-uses the triangles to form ... just guess :-) And still, same direction.

Well, I hope this little "document symbol" journey was interesting for you. Now I can safely go on to add this item to our growing LibreOffice branding page. Tomorrow, of course.



Funkjoker89 hat gesagt…

Quote from United Colors of liberty comment by Asrail:
Some guy from Brazil pointed out that he thinks that the distance between the rectangle and the name is big.
He thinks that's quite disturbing.
Taking a closer look, I quite agree with him.
I cannot agree more. The distance is too big and the artwork would be _far_ better by a shortening the distance.

Christoph Noack hat gesagt…

@Funkjoker89: Have a look at the LibreOffice branding page ... the artwork that is available since a few days already shows the reduced space :-)

If you refer to the screenshot; it is based on LibreOffice Beta 1 and thus a bit dated (and also serves a different purpose).