David Airey is an independent graphic designer working with companies of all sizes since 2005.

Symbol, by Angus Hyland & Steven Bateman

Symbol book

Symbol is a new book by Angus Hyland and Steven Bateman, published by Laurence King. What’s the difference between Symbol and Michael Evamy’s Logo from the same publisher?

Symbol book

Symbol: “1,300 symbols organized into groups and sub-groups according to their visual characteristics.”
Logo: “1,300+ logos in 75 categories, classified by shape, indexed by sector.”

Symbol book

Symbol book

Clearly there’s going to be overlap between the two galleries, and they are very similar. In saying that, there are plenty of designs included that were created after Logo was released in 2007, and the more fleshed-out case studies in Symbol are a welcome addition, adding some context to the work.

Symbol book

An obvious difference is that this 2011 publication focuses solely on symbols, whereas logotypes/wordmarks are in abundance in Logo.

Symbol book

“They acquire value. These things become these vessels which so much is poured into over time—there’s a hell of a lot wrapped up in these things. They’re quite mundane, they’re part of our every day visual furniture, but take it away and whoof! That’s why it’s an interesting subject area.”
— ANGUS HYLAND

Quoted from a Q&A on The Atlantic.

Symbol book

Symbol book

Symbol book

Symbol book

Symbol book

Symbol book

Symbol book

Symbol book

Symbol book

It’s the kind of book I’ll look to if I want details on a specific logo (year of design, designer responsible, etc.). Logo has proved useful when drafting posts for Logo Design Love. I’ve dipped in and out these past years, and I’m sure I’ll do the same with Symbol. So a worthy addition to my small library.

Angus Hyland is a graduate of the RCA and a partner at Pentagram Design London. He is the author of C/ID and the best-selling The Picture Book.

Watch Angus giving a talk on symbols at the Design Museum, London (below). In particular, he chats about the logos for WWF (sketches here) and Penguin (guidelines here).

Steven Bateman is a freelance writer who has worked with some of the UK’s leading design agencies. A regular contributor to Grafik magazine, he also writes for ISTD Condensed, Nico, and Varoom.

My thanks to Debra Matsumoto and Lewis Laney for the review copy.

Purchase Symbol from Laurence King or:

on Amazon.com
on Amazon.co.uk
on Amazon.ca

Some other good books here.

My second book on Amazon

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8 appreciated comments about “Symbol, by Angus Hyland & Steven Bateman”

  1. Hey first look of this book seems outstanding hope it’ll join my library very soon.
    Thanks David once again to provide such good book info to us.

  2. The rounded animals symbol (3rd image from below), looks pretty much the same in concept with this t-shirt design:

    http://bursa.fotografer.net/detilBarang.php?id=117136

    :)

  3. This is exactly the type of book that would be perfect for quick inspiration and coffee table reading.

  4. I’ve just updated the post with a video of the book’s co-author Angus Hyland giving a lecture on symbols at London’s Design Museum (thanks for tweeting it @andrewsabatier).

  5. This book is great, I heartily recommend it. I enjoyed the video too, thanks for posting.

  6. I did find both Logo and symbol books on amazon looking for helpful books. I’ll probably get them now I have seen some sort of review on it :)

  7. Thanks, David! It’s great you post all this new stuff about books. Symbol is very useful!

  8. Got these books coming in the post any time now, can’t wait :)

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