The Noun Project is a wonderful resource for creatives, especially when brainstorming.
According to their website, the purpose of their site is to create “a global visual language that unites us — a language that allows quick and easy communication no matter who you are or where you are.”
What image comes to mind when you think of the word ‘save‘?
I guess many of you would have thought of an old 3.5″ floppy disk, the kind used as the save icon in Microsoft Word. Or maybe you thought of a lifebelt, the kind that is thrown out to sea to help save someone’s life.
It is this kind of thing that the Noun Project is trying to collate—the connection between words and images.
Another one, what image comes to mind when you think of the words ‘improve‘ or ‘wish‘ or ‘inspire‘? It is those more abstract words that I find the Noun Project particularly useful for, when I need to illustrate something.
In spring 1988 I travelled to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) for a week with my school. We flew from London to Moscow, stayed in the capital for a few days then took an overnight train to Leningrad (now St Petersburg), not far from the Finnish and Estonian borders.
I wasn’t great at English at high school. I just didn’t connect with it, and none of my teachers really set my heart on fire with passion for this odd, largely-stolen language of ours.
That was until I went to university in 1989 and had to learn another language: biblical Hebrew. In order to learn that I needed to brush up on my understanding of language, grammar and syntax.
Thanks to Dr Jim Martin, Dr Robin Salters and Mr Peter Coxon for the first time in my life I began to feel excited about language. I studied Hebrew (3 years) and Greek (1 year) and after I’d graduated I had a rather failed attempt at trying to learn Scottish Gaelic and I began to read more about English, its grammar and history.
I rather enjoyed this three minute video by Tom Scott about the English alphabet. I have often wished that we still had a few of these characters in our alphabet, not least because then my name might have been spelled Garð.
When I was a young child I thought that the building where you visited the doctor was called “The Hell Centre”.
It wasn’t that I had a particularly negative view of the medical profession: my mum was a nursing sister who worked in the hospital next door. Neither did I associate “The Hell Centre” with any fire-and-brimstone images that I might have had of hell.
It was just that I had mis-heard the pronunciation of “health centre”—the ‘th’ sound had run into the ‘s’ of ‘centre’: hell thcentre—and so I just accepted that that was what it was called, in the same way that I had accepted that an apple was an apple and a cat was a cat.
I sometimes wish I could still accept things that easily without questioning them. I wonder why that is…