The Power of Emoticons – A Love Story

The Hamburger Helper Icon

Hamburger menus are popular and easy, but are they any good?

If you have a smart phone, then you are probably familiar with the hamburger icon hanging out in one of the corners on your screen. Even if you don’t have a smart phone, or tablet, you may see them on full screen websites. Still confused? OK, here is an example from BLStream. Check out the upper right-hand corner. Tapping the hamburger makes the hidden menu on the left appear.



SIDEBAR The Hamburger Helper Icon


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2014 World Cup – Celebrating Brazil

Street Art that goes around the world

Brazil loves football. No matter how little you may know about the sport, you have to know that much. Brazil has won the World Cup more than any other country and is the only one that has qualified for every World Cup competition. Some say the love for football binds the country together. It is an equalizer: anybody can play, regardless of income and location. Maybe there is some correlation between that idea and the street art that has come to represent the country as the World Cup approaches.

140520 SPOT MuralEventoDaPompeia.jpg.CROP.original original 2014 World Cup   Celebrating Brazil

– via

They may live in “o país de futebol” but not all Brazilians are excited for the World Cup. People are protesting as money meant for transportation, health care, and education has been redirected to stadium construction across the country.

Artist, Paulo Ito, illustrated the country’s discontent in this viral image. He told’s Jeremy Stahl

“The truth is there is so much wrong in Brazil that it is difficult to know where to start,” he explained via Facebook chat. “I didn’t mean [to say] nobody is doing anything against poverty,” he said of the mural. “But we need to show the world or ourselves that the situation is still not good.”

I thought it was interesting that he chose to paint this at a school in a middle class area instead of the stadium that would open the World Cup as he had originally intended. He also said that he avoids painting about poverty in poverty-stricken areas as they already live through the experience. It feels like a message to Brazilians that they need to work on this together.

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Weather icon: Are we expecting triangles tonight?

The origins of the weather icons we know today

In 2013, I noticed the new, animated background images for the iPhone’s iOS 7 weather app. I thought they were nifty, like looking out the window, though I never questioned why I didn’t actually just look out the window.

Anyway, even without the photo-realistic images, the weather icons were there to tell me what weather to expect for the rest of the day. The icons seemed timeless, ot at least part of the “Global Experience Language” “Timeless” seems to be a relative term for me. In the NY Times article, “Who Made That Weather Icon?” I learned that those cloud and sun icons were created in 1974, by designer Mark Allen.


 72188391 bertfoord Weather icon: Are we expecting triangles tonight?

BBC weather forecaster Bert Foord, 1969 – via BBC

Back then, TV presenters slid magnetic symbols around a metal map: dots for rain, asterisks for snow, lines to mark off areas of equal pressure. “They were just hieroglyphics as far as everybody was concerned,” Allen says. “Why was a triangle a rain shower?”

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