We don’t even realize we’re using a language that has a history that reaches over 35 years back in time. Let our History of Icons (today on Product Hunt!) tell you a story about these tiny, but life-changing design elements.

The computer icon language has a history that reaches over 35 years back in time.

history of icons by FUTURAMO - computer icons
History of icons by FUTURAMO – A visual brief on icon history through different graphical user interfaces in different operating systems

A very eventful history. Born somewhere far away (or maybe, who knows, next door), not mentioned in the news, not discussed during dinners. Evolving in it’s own pace next to us, inseparably connected with the computing world, quietly taking over more and more areas of our lives. A language using signs as metaphors for words and ideas, the extremely intuitive and iconic for humanity: language of icons. Did you know there are real people behind these symbols? Or how many colors were in use in 1985, how did the first Apple icons look like? Does names such as Amiga Workbench or Geoworks Ensemble 2 ring any bell at all..?

history of user interface - computer icons
History of user interface icons by FUTURAMO

Whether you remember the early computers’ days or you jumped into this world a bit later, there is a place to take a glimpse at. Feed your eyes and curiosity with our little companions’ exciting story. Take a ride through decades on historyoficons.com!

trash icon - computer icons
A trash icon by Xerox 8010 Star, 1981
A computer icon – computer icons
A computer icons – Windows 1, 1985
piece of paper and a pen icon – computer icons
A piece of paper and a pen icon – Macintosh, system 7, 1991
calculator icon – computer icons
A calculator icon – Geoworks Ensemble 2, 1993