Icon-Based Language Project to Simplify Communication

Icon-Based Language Project to Simplify Communication

Icon-based communication system pushes the edges of graphic design

Jason Brick
  • 2 january 2015


The Chinese knew this thousands of years ago: if you want people who speak different languages to communicate effectively, base your alphabet on meanings instead of sounds. In the Chinese alphabet, a single character conveys a word, so the character for a cow means “cow” now matter what word you use to refer to that animal. Most surviving alphabets are phonetic (one symbol = one sound, like the English alphabet) or syllabic (one symbol = one syllable, like Japanese katakana), because they’re more flexible and easy to learn, but a hieroglyphic alphabet like Chinese hanzi is the best for communication across multiple languages.

Access this article for free
Fill in your email below and you'll gain access to this article while also receiving a number of membership features as part of a special 30-day trial.
*Already a member? Log in here

Learn About Our Membership Services

Need Research Help?
As a member you can ask us any research questions and get complimentary research assistance with a 4-day turnaround. Reports inclde stats, quotes, and best-inclass examples on research topics.
Remain Informed & Strategic
We publish several trends reports each month. By becoming a member you will have access to over 100 existing reports, plus a growing catalog of deep topical analysis and debrief-style reports so you always remain in the know.
See Trends Come To Life
Meet your peers and immerse yourself in monthly trend and innovation webinars and discounted conferences.
No search results found.