Isotype 'Picture dictionary'
leaf from binder, Gerd Arntz, 1929-33, 300 x 225 mm, (I.C. 4/2)
The Isotype 'Picture dictionary' was a working reference file of all pictograms designed by Gerd Arntz. It was begun in Vienna and continually updated. Above is one of the sheets in the category 'Man', dating from the early period at the Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftsmuseum in Vienna. It shows the grammatical aspect of Isotype pictogram design, in which a symbol can be qualified, or made into a kind of compound noun, by combining it with another. The symbols within the human figures here indicate different kinds of profession.
Some objects resist typification: it seems almost impossible, for example, to design an immediately recognizable pictogram for 'potato'; Arntz's attempts are shown here in two different versions inside the middle sacks of the first two rows. (CB)
area of research: Development of the Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftsmuseum in Vienna (Burke)