Dingbat has a double meaning: it can either mean ditzy or clueless, or it can mean icons and glyphs. Those geometric shapes are handy little devils in technical illustrations, and I’ve used them many times. Now, there’s a new set of dingbats in in town, and maybe they’ll help put the first meaning, because these are nothing if not smart.
For instance, if you look at Zapf Dingbats or Wingdings, you’ll see a circle with three radiating spokes, shown here in the upper left corner:
It’s reel-to-reel tape, something that was very much a specialty item when I was a kid. Admittedly, you don’t see many cassette tapes, but still, it’s a big step forward to a more contemporary and useful look.
For a full lowdown, read this article. You can download the new set at http://www.dingbatsfont.com/ for free. This is an amazing and generous deal for people working on any sort of information graphics.
Edward Tufte on Data, Analysis, & Truth
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