Can’t find the right word?
Shut your mouth and open your eyes with The Noun Project.
Founded by husband-and-wife team Edward Boatman and Sofya Polyakov, along with designer Scott Thomas, the clever startup proffers a catalog of 900 (and counting) free downloadable icons that speak volumes without making a peep.
Playing off Boatman’s boyhood dream of having a drawing of every object in the universe, the collection of black-and-white symbols ranges from the standard (a traffic light, a music note) to the chuckle-inducing (a rickshaw, a caulking gun). Images are culled from the public domain, while design submissions come from all over the world (the library is translated into 25 languages).
Simply click an icon to download it. After that, usage (visual presentation, art project, product design) is entirely up to you.
For the symbol savvy, there’s an online store offering buttons and customizable iPhone cases and T-shirts.
In a word, brilliant.
Available online at thenounproject.com.
Illustration: Courtesy of The Noun Project