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Icon power

A strong visual language is key to brand success

Defined as the ‘pictorial illustration of a subject’, iconography has long formed part of our daily communication, from the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics that emerged in 4000BC to the rampant use of GIFs and emojis (which have been declared as the fastest growing language in the UK in a BBC report). Icons, when designed well, serve to succinctly and universally communicate an idea in place of convoluted sentences, and brands have long made use of icons as a way to solidify their identity. At 3CC, we have helped many brands perfect their visual language with unique designs that are straightforward, easy to understand and maintain distinctive flare. Below, we chart a selection of successful projects that have resulted in a bank of super slick icons.

City Life

For a property magazine, we developed a set of infographics related to different London neighbourhoods as part of building the title’s brand identity. The stylised symbols were inspired by the unique geographical, architectural and lifestyle characteristics of each location, namely Belsize Park, West Hampstead, Crouch End, Clerkenwell and Kentish Town, among others. A menu of icons visualising various aspects of urban areas, for instance a knife and fork to represent a booming restaurant culture, and a buggy to illustrate locations great for young families. Rounded and emboldened, these icons maintained a refined, contemporary and approachable feel.

Mind and Body

In tackling our brief to create a set of icons for a health and wellness supplement brand, we decided to develop symbols that could travel across multiple platforms as they launched a new product across ecommerce, social media and newsletters. Eye catching and fun, the icons utilised a unique dotted outline using the brand’s signature pastel colour scheme, in order to communicate movement and energy. The icons corresponded to the nutrition kits developed by GP, such as the ‘Fly Me’ and ‘Mini-Break Me’ kits, which were symbolised by a plane and suitcase respectively.

Jet Set

A variety of simple but fresh icons were created for an airport client to be used on signage, as well as all digital platforms. Rendered in the brand’s fluro green, the icon’s ability to speak universally was of utmost importance, particularly as the airport sees thousands of international visitors per year. We developed iconography to direct passengers to the parking, taxi and train spots, in addition to the bars, restaurants and flight terminals.

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