It was love at first sight when I discovered the Noun Project, a massive catalog of beautiful, public-domain pictographs. Since then, the project just keeps growing and now a collection of 200+ humanitarian symbols has been donated by the United Nations and is completely free for anyone to use.
Everything on the Noun Project is in the public domain, which allows for all of the pictographs/symbols/icons to be used and remixed for any purpose. If you’re curious as to how you could actually take advantage of this collection, you’ll notice that some of the symbols are more likely to be useful than others, like the computer, email, camera or map marker.
This collection of pictographs is well designed that it translates in simple black and white. It lacks the shine, depth and texture you’d want in an iOS or Android icon, but that’s why these are more starting points — if you’re interested in tapping into the Noun Project for that purpose.
Beyond actually taking advantage of what’s now available, it’s important to see that these designs also serve as great inspiration for icon and logo design — if only because they’re examples of how to distil a complex object or idea down to its simplest form.
Check out all of the icons via the link below: