Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This study considers Rudolf Modley’s efforts to achieve the standardization of international graphic symbols from 1940 to 1976. Modley was one of the major activists in the movement to standardize graphic symbols and his interest in standardization continued throughout his life. During the 1930s and 1940s, Modley, who had the experience of working under Otto Neurath in Vienna, worked in the making of charts in the U.S. After WWII, he continued to undertake various projects and institutional works devoted to developing international graphic symbols until 1976, the year of his death. Although in some instances he is regarded as a ‘designer’, in reality, he was a consultant and coordinator in his field. By focusing on these more appropriate roles, this study examines his activities with the project of compiling a symbol dictionary and his work at Glyphs, Inc. Finally, some characteristics of Modley’s principles related to the standardization of graphic symbols are discussed and evaluated.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of IASDR 2011, the 4th world conference on design research 31 October – 4 November 2011, Delft, The Netherlands
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 10 2011


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