Getting where we want to
Otl Aicher Pictograms
The pictograms Otl Aicher conceived half a century ago are sure to have helped every one of us to get where we wanted to at some time or other. These stylised symbols in square panels speak a globally intelligible pictorial language and can render virtually everything from an aircraft taking off to the sport of judo or a beer garden.
So popular are they that they have now attained the status of trademarks in their own right.
Aicher originally devised his pictogram system for the visual conception of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, producing symbols for 25 Olympic disciplines amongst other things.
He simultaneously evolved a directional signage system for Frankfurt Airport in which he likewise incorporated pictograms. His pictograms have become icons of contemporary culture and the most extensive system of their kind. The repertoire is constantly being expanded, by the way, as new symbols are added.