What is Isotype? Definition of Isotype, Isotype Meaning and Concept

The isotype is the representation, the graphic symbol that a certain brand has, and when viewed it is directly related to it.

The isotype is a widely used symbol among brands. They are representations with a graphic nature and that allow users to associate this symbol with the brand. They do not include phrases, but it is an image.

Nike, Apple, and countless other brands use it in their products, and people associate them with them. Anyone who sees the isotype without having to read the brand it is, already knows what it is.

Isotypes are recognizable without the need to include text.

The isotypes have their origin in 1924, and were created by the philosopher and educator Otto Neurath and the illustrator Gerd Arntz. As a result, they began to be used and their original conception was to be able to communicate something through symbolism.

How to create an effective isotype

It is important that there is an association between the symbol and the users that exist in the market. The most important steps to take into account for this are the following:

  • Simplicity: An isotype must be easily recognizable, without too many colors or excessively strident, but rather something simple and easily assimilated.
  • Adaptable: You have to think that it will be used on different media, such as a website, business cards, t-shirts, among others, so it should be created with this in mind and that allows optimal quality in any size and support.
  • Representation: An isotype must be consistent with the brand, transmit those values ​​they have. A symbol that relates to it in a natural way, and with meaning. It does not make sense to include graphic representations far from the objective and the characteristics of a brand because they would create a certain rejection among users.
  • Questions: To achieve all this, you have to assess the objectives you want to achieve with that isotype, and establish a series of fundamental questions to guide you and develop an adequate representation. What goals do I have? What is the name of the company? Which users am I addressing? What colors can be highlighted? What geometric shapes are the most suitable? What is intended to capture with this image?

It is important to convey everything that the company has compressed into a single symbol, so it will be necessary to assess all internal and external aspects. In addition, using techniques such as brainstorming, drawings, designs, or preliminary tests, will be very useful to find the final isotype.

Another important thing to do once you have the final design, or a couple of final options, is to test them between different audiences. In this way, useful opinions and sensations can be obtained in order to establish what the definitive isotype of a company will be.