World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

DOT pictograms

Article Id: WHEBN0000918938
Reproduction Date:

Title: DOT pictograms  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: United States Department of Transportation, Pictograms, Graphic design
Collection: Graphic Design, Infographics, Pictograms, United States Department of Transportation
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

DOT pictograms

The DOT pictograms are a set of fifty pictograms used to convey information useful to travelers without using words. Such images are useful in airports, train stations, hotels, and other public places for foreign tourists, as well as being easier to identify than strings of text. Among these pictograms are the now-familiar graphics representing toilets and telephones. As a result of this near-universal acceptance, some describe them as the "Helvetica" of pictograms, and the character portrayed within them as Helvetica Man (Lupton).

As works of the United States government, the images are in the public domain and thus can be used by anyone for any purpose, without licensing issues.

DOT pictograms representing, from left, "Escalator (up)," "Nursery" and "Ground transportation".


  • History 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


In 1974, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) recognized the shortcomings of pictograms drawn on an ad hoc basis across the United States Interstate Highway System and commissioned the American Institute of Graphic Arts to produce a comprehensive set of pictograms. In collaboration with Roger Cook and Don Shanosky of Cook and Shanosky Associates, the designers conducted an exhaustive survey of pictograms already in use around the world, which drew from sources as diverse as Tokyo International Airport and the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. The designers rated these pictograms based on criteria such as their legibility, their international recognizability and their resistance to vandalism. After determining which features were the most successful and appropriate, the designers drew a set of pictograms to represent 34 meanings requested by the DOT.

In 1979, 16 symbols were added, bringing the total to 50.

See also


External links

  • Symbol and signs
  • Airport, an animated film made from AIGA pictograms
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.