Today, The Noun Project announced they were opening up submissions for user contribution towards a single, unified language of iconic symbols to represent every noun in the dictionary.

This is a great project, something I’ve considered many times for establishing a common language when it comes to iconography.

Icons are such a powerful design tool when used correctly as it is language-agnostic, independent of translations and conflicting colour theory around the globe. It’s difficult to argue with the meaning of an illustration (unless it’s designed badly).

By creating a unified collection of icons, available to all in an open source/Creative Commons manner, this is allowing designers to establish a common language within design, whether it is in print, screen – wherever. The media is irrelevant. It is a visual language. Where it can be seen, it can be perceived.

It would be really amazing if The Noun Project continues to grow and gain widespread coverage. More designers should contribute towards this project. It’s quite an ambitious project which really could do with more leverage from the design industry but, if enough people can spread the word, there’s no reason why not.