Iconography, the science of identification, description, classification, and interpretation of symbols, themes, and subject matter in the visual arts. The term can also refer to the artist’s use of this imagery in a particular work. Icons cannot replace the written word, yet they serve as cognitive waypoints for areas of interest and/or interaction. Iconography can also be an efficient way to communicate a concept in a small amount of space, which is increasingly important in the era of the shrinking screen. At its most basic, icon design is an exercise in illustration; at its most complex, the creation of a communication system. If understanding how to design icons wasn’t enough, the way they are produced and displayed on a screen can have immeasurable impact on a person’s experience.
Iconography also refers to any image that is unique to an item and its branding and not just the small icons used in todays technology. When it came to my work done at InnoCentive one of the key tasks was to provide every one of the hundreds of unique challenges with this type of iconic imagery which would be utilized throughout the web, software, marketing, print and promotional materials in a variety of sizes. These images were created via photos and images grabbed from iStockPhoto galleries or created from scratch using the Adobe Creative Suite of programs.
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