In many operating systems, an image of a diskette still appears as the “save” icon. To open a picture or folder on a computer, you click on an icon in the form of a cardboard file folder. And to dial your touch-tone phone or answer a call, you have to touch a phone-receiver symbol. Also, many music programs still use a CD icon, and email is represented by symbols like a stamp or an envelope.
Yuval Saar (Ha'aretz), challenged us to envision a new system of images and icons to symbolize some basic actions that we do on a daily basis: opening a file or folder, saving a file, sending email, playing music files and answering the phone.
The 21st century poses many challenges to the digital world and developers of a host of operating systems. One of the most difficult and important is to formulate a new visual language that needn’t rely any longer on images from the “old” physical world.
Smartphone and tablet screens have created a new language of touch. The way this language was assimilated led us to propose a concept of icons that will serve as a legend for touch gestures applied at the center of the screen for actions such as save, send email, dial and so on.
“The forms that were chosen are an associative and intuitive interpretation of the way the fingers move on the screen while executing each one of the actions. In addition, the colorfulness enhances the technological feeling and leads the user to apply the action. To get away from the objects that used to symbolize the applications marked with icons, we tried to get back to basics and think about the essence of the action − or, really, about the sensation of the action behind each icon".
“The other icons we created seek to capture the quintessence of those actions in abstract form. The folder is represented by an element of division, sorting and separating. The music icon is stylized in a free and rhythmic way that spreads out. The ‘save’ button is composed of an element that is completely closed within another element, which also creates the sensation of convergence toward the center. The dial icon is a ‘V’ that spreads out like a fan to symbolize making contact and connections. And finally, the email icon represents the information superhighway, with incoming and outgoing messages and a multiplicity of information.”