The InkTober prompt for today is ‘FILTHY’

Icons’, in the context of educators can be thought of as the most simple visual expression of a thing, or concept. They should context independent as possible, striving towards a universal understanding. At least within the community of peers (audience). Icons should be rendered one color, ideally black with no meaning attributed to color.

Jams’ are a process of rapidly brainstorming and prototyping icons, their impact and meaning. This technique comes from the UX community, and can be adopted in the classroom in a variety of ways. The activity described here is meant to show participants the diversity of visual  interpretations for any thing or concept. Through critique and discussion, the meaning behind the representations can be explored more deeply.

Its good to get a sense of the aesthetics of “icons” before this activity. While google image search is good way to get ideas for choosing a visual representation, the noun project ( library, is specific to the kind of style we are going for.


Building a Global Visual Language from The Noun Project on Vimeo.


  • Group activity, 2 or more.
  • Index Cards
  • Black Markers
  • 30 SECOND drawings


  1. Check out the Noun Project. Search for icons or visual that your are interested in.  Try searching for some of the more difficult terms form your discipline to represent visually.
  2. Hand out materials.
  3. Generate list of icons to draw.
  4. Gallery walk critique



Tweet your response to @EdMediaSFU and be sure to include the hashtag #gv18

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