The Minimalist Art of Pictograms

by . November 21st, 2012

Pictorgrams or pictorgraph is usually a graphic symbol that represents an idea or a concept. Its origins date back to ancient civilizations such as those from Sumeria, Egypt and China. Pictograms serve as useful tools for communication in various industries and environments. This is because they are generally easy to understand and usually transcends language and cultural barriers.

In the old days, pictograms were considered as a form of writing and are used to record events and other useful information on different mediums such as stone, leaves or cave walls as in the case of the hieroglyphs in Egypt and cave paintings in most South American cultures.

Pictograms are still in use today. However, their use and purpose have greatly changed compared to their early beginnings. They are no longer used as a means of writing important historical information but as effective tools for instructions, representational signs or statistical diagrams. They are commonly found in a lot of public areas and roads to indicate toilets, places such as airports and train stations and even in our clothes as laundry instructions.

But for those with creative blood running through their veins, pictograms can be used as a medium to express their creativity and imagination. But unlike ordinary designers who use extensive photo manipulation and color blending techniques, artists who use pictographs exhibit a different form of artistry – the type that stimulates the intellect. This is because these people don’t need to worry much about color, style or what not, instead they have to consider creating and presenting a type of art that is cleverly constructed yet simple enough for anyone to understand.

Here are a few examples of such artists.





Viktor Hertz is a freelance graphic designer and artist from Sweden. The focus of his craft is more on logos, posters and icons though he admits that he is an occasional photographer and film artist. He is currently based in Uppsala, Sweden – his birth place, but has had the opportunity to travel to different locations where he worked with different clients. He started his graphic design career in 2009 and has since worked on personal projects and do commission work.










Theodore “Teddy” Hahn is an American graphic designer who has worked on several design projects in the past for Viacom/MTV Networks and Disney ABC Television Group’s “The View”. He finished his Fine Arts degree in the Rhode Island School of Design in 2009 and his works have been featured in different publications and websites including, and














H-57 is a design studio based in Milan, Italy that works as an advertising agency and an experimental laboratory for various marketing campaigns on TV, press, radio and web for a variety of clients the likes of Coca-Cola, Durex, LucasFilm, Mini Cooper and Vodafone to name a few. Their work utilizes different artistic styles and mediums including illustration, logos, advertising, packaging and typography.







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